Meatloaf is for Lovers

I’m about to admit something that is probably completely un-American: I’ve never made meatloaf until now. Worse still, I think I’ve only eaten meatloaf a handful of times and none of them occurred before I was the age of 25. Meatloaf gets a bad rap, what with its un-sexy name and general loafy quality. But who knows, fancy or gourmet meatloaf might be the next haute cuisine trend. And when that happens, you can say you were one of the early adopters…

This recipe came out of creative necessity, probably as meatloaf itself likely originated. I had a pound of ground bison and no interest in making chili or burgers. It turns out that in the recesses of our minds, all of us probably know how to make meatloaf. Because when I stood before my refrigerator and thought, “What goes in meatloaf?” my hands confidently grabbed the onion, egg, breadcrumbs, worcestershire and tomato paste. I believe a 1950s housewife secretly lives in all of us—or at least me—because there is no other logical explanation for my meatloaf prowess. Obviously.

As a bonus, by trading beef for leaner bison, the fat and calorie counts go down and the health quotient goes up. Eliminating some of the fat allowed me to add bacon, which makes everything taste even better, duh. An easy way to pack in a lot of protein? Sign me up.

Bison Meatloaf
–4 strips bacon, chopped
–small onion, minced
–4 cloves garlic, minced
–2 springs rosemary, chopped fine
–TBSP tomato paste
–15 oz can diced tomatoes
–1 cup breadcrumbs
–TBSP worcestershire sauce
–Pinch salt
–Pinch pepper
–1 egg
–1 lb ground bison

Cook the bacon bits in a large skillet until they are crisp. Drain on paper towels, leaving the fat in pan. Cook onion and garlic in the bacon fat. Roughly chop or crumble the cooked bacon into various sized pieces so some are chunky and others are fine.

Transfer the onion mix to a large mixing bowl (using a slotted spoon to leave any excess fat in the pan). Add all ingredients to the bowl. Stir to combine but don’t over mix.

Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray and spread the mixture into the dish. Cook at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through. I hope yours turns out as delicious and juicy as mine did!

Dammit Jim, I’m not a doctor…
Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6
Calories: 361 per serving

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  1. Julia
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I like to bake my meatloaf in a muffin tin. Meatloaf muffins. they look good on the plate, take less time to cook through, serving size already determined. Also, I have tried making it with stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs, which got a thumbs up in my house. Happy meatloafing.

    • leah
      Posted January 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I have seen the muffin tin idea with stuffing but not with meatloaf. Love the idea of single serving sizes pre-made as it makes for an easy lunch tomorrow! I’ll have to try it next time I make this recipe. Thanks for the tip!

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