Michael Symon's Double-Trouble Meatloaf

I love Michael Symon!  Don't believe me?  Click HEREMy mother also likes Michael Symon.  She watches him every day on the Chew.  So for Christmas she got me a copy of his latest cookbook, Carnivore!

I opened it on Christmas day.  No stores are open so I had to make something for which I had all the ingredients in the house.  It was cold, really cold, temps in the single digits with sub-zero wind chills.  What goes well with that weather?  Meatloaf!  And as luck would have it I had nearly all the ingredients in the house.  What was I missing?  Parsley.  I figured the meatloaf would survive without parsley.

It seems Mr. Symon and I share a love for the movie A Christmas Story. He quotes Randy Parker in this recipe just like I did when I made Ina Garten's meatloaf a little over a year ago!

There are a couple of points on which Michael Symon and I disagree however.  He doesn’t like grass fed beef.  He says it tastes “iron-y”.  I disagree.  I have been eating grass fed Highland beef from Butternut Woods Farm LLC for about a year now and I love it.  Every time I bite into a burger I am amazed at how good the beef tastes.  You get so used to the hamburger tasting like the toppings and not much else.  This Highland beef is delicious!
The other disagreement is on the selection of sides for the meatloaf.  This disagreement is more with my husband than me.  Michael Symon is not a fan of mashed potatoes as a side for beef.  When writing about sides for steaks he calls mashed potatoes “baby-food-like mashed spuds” and the gravy “heavy, fatty sauce” that “conceals the whole affair.”  In fact he says that serving mashed potatoes with a steak “Wrong, wrong, wrong!   My husband heartily disagrees.  When I read that quote to him his response was “but it’s yummy!”

Michael Symon’s argument is that it is mush on mush texturally.  Ok, I’ll give him that you have to add something with a little texture to the plate.  But I think if I served meatloaf with a salad and nothing else, well, there would be sadness in my house!

I also disagree that mashed potatoes are “baby-food-like.”  Is there anything better than creamy mashed potatoes with a good bit of salt, plenty of butter, some caramelized onions and blue cheese?  I think not!  Baby food?  Hardly. And Mr. Symon himself says to serve the meatloaf with “your favorite mashed potatoes or potato salad!"  Here’s a LINK to the recipe from the Chew website.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the meatloaf!

It is really quite easy to put together, once you have your bacon ground!  I was so excited to get out my meat grinder and attach it to my Kitchenaid!  Kind of like my husband when he gets the power washer out!

The meat grinder made quick work of grinding up the bacon.

To start the meatloaf you sweat some onions in butter.  Who doesn’t love that smell?  Once the onions are soft garlic is added then chipotle powder and smoked paprika.  I love toasting spices and with the onions and garlic I almost wanted to just eat this with a spoon!

The recipe calls for “day old” bread.   I didn’t have any of that in the house so I had to “make” some.  I sliced up some bread, cut the crusts off and put it in a warm oven for a few minutes to dry it out.  Then I chopped this up and let it soak in milk while I worked on the rest of the prep!

The rest of the ingredients include a pound and a half of ground chuck, the ground bacon, two eggs, salt and pepper.
Any excess milk was squeezed out of the bread then all of the ingredients are mixed together.

The recipe calls for a loaf pan but I don’t like making meatloaf in a loaf pan.  I find the steaming of the bottom of the loaf in the "juices" from the meat extremely unappealing.  And there’s always that gross fatty stuff that lines the edges of the pan.   So I make my meatloaf on a broiler pan.

It took about an hour for this beauty to bake.  Is that gorgeous or what?  The outside was beautifully crusty and when I cut into it, it was moister than any meatloaf I’ve made before!  Dave and I both liked the meaty, smoky flavor from the bacon, chipotle and paprika.

And yes, I served it with mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted vegetables.

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