February 4, 2011

Although large amounts of meat don’t usually feature as the centerpieces of our meals, we’ll make an exception on special occasions for this delicious free-form meatloaf! Cooking it on a baking sheet rather than in a loaf pan allows the sides as well as the top to be glazed, and the bacon turns out more crispy as well. The saltine crackers and the milk/yogurt keep it from turning out too dense and dry.

I’ve found that the glaze passed at the table is very popular, so I usually double what the recipe calls for. Recipe from The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.


Serves 6 to 8



  • 1/2  cup ketchup
  • 1/4  cup brown sugar
  • 4  teaspoons cider vinegar


  • 2  teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1  medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2  medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2  teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon hot pepper (Tabasco) sauce
  • 1/2 – 1  cup whole milk or plain yogurt (I prefer yogurt)
  • 2  pounds meatloaf mix (ideally 50% beef, 25% pork, 25% veal, but standard mix from the grocery store works fine too)
  • 2/3  cup crushed saltine crackers
  • 1/3  cup minced fresh parsley
  • 8  slices bacon (or more, amount varies depending on loaf shape)


  1. For the glaze: Mix all the glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan; set aside.
  2. For the meatloaf: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium skillet; add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix the eggs, thyme, salt, black pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and 1/2 cup milk/yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the egg mixture to the meat in a large bowl along with the crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with a fork (or your hands) until evenly blended and the mixture does not stick to the bowl. (If the mixture sticks, add more milk/yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time, until the mixture no longer sticks.)
  4. Turn the meat mixture onto a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. With wet hands, pat the mixture into a loaf shape approximately 9 by 5 inches. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange the bacon slices crosswise over the loaf, overlapping them slightly, completely covering the surface of the loaf. Tuck the bacon ends underneath the loaf.
  5. Bake the loaf until the bacon is crisp and the internal temperature of the loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer the remaining glaze over low heat until thickened slightly. Serve sliced and with the remaining glaze passed separately.

One comment

  1. […] Rats in Teacups Serves 6 to […]

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