All right, it's been a month since we started the Meatloaf Madness project, and the response thus far has been great. I've received at least one new meatloaf recipe a day, usually more, since it started.
April is Made in Oklahoma Month, so I asked the Made in Oklahoma Coalition to send me a meatloaf recipe to try, and they did.
The result was a big hit with my 15-year-old son. My wife and daughter don't do meatloaf in any shape or form, but that's a subject for family counseling.
The MIO version is three-fourths beef and one-fourth sausage, which is a pretty reliable foundation. Instead of breadcrumbs, it calls for saltines as a binder. I really like the smoothness of the result. The recipe also directed me to make two small loaves rather than one big one, so I took the opportunity to play with the glaze on the second one. In keeping with the Made in Oklahoma spirit, I simply mixed a tablespoon of Suan's Scotch Bonnet Jelly with two tablespoons of the Head Country Barbecue Sauce, and the result was excellent.
I was concerned about including onions raw rather than sauteed lightly, but the amount of onions for this much beef is pretty small so there was no harsh raw onion residual flavor, which you sometimes get in other meatloaf recipes.
Oklahoma Barbecue Meatloaf
1½ pounds ground beef (I use 80-20 ground chuck)
½ pound J.C. Potter regular sausage (I chose the “Hot” regular)
20 saltine crackers, crumbled
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup Choc beer or Hiland milk
½ teaspoon Head Country All-Purpose Championship Seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
8 slices Bar-S Bacon
¼ cup Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce
• Lay Bar-S Bacon over meatloaves, wrapping the ends underneath each loaf. Spread Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce over top.
• Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Cook's notes: My chef friends taught me a long time ago that if you're going to wrap bacon around something, you should first blanch it. Simply bring plenty of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the bacon in for about a minute and pull it out. By blanching off some of the fat, the bacon tends not to smoke up the whole house and maintains a nice, flat surface that makes it much easier to slice. I also decided to withhold the sauce until the last 10 minutes of cooking to protect the sauce from becoming a black spot that bore only the faint memory of Head Country's tasty sauce.