Yes, I know this is March, but I still have a ton of recipes from this past Christmas I want to share.
As a child multiple Christmases is sheer wrapping paper ripping heaven. As an adult multiple Christmases is sheer cooking, baking, gift wrapping hell. Well, maybe it isn’t that bad, but it does require organization and built-in time for stress relief. This year, I had five Christmases. I cooked a full on dinner for the first two, cookies for the third, breakfast for the fourth and a monster cake for the fifth. The first Christmas was a small one just between my boyfriend and I. When we do this, I go all out and make a ridiculously huge meal. This year’s menu was:
- Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with a Brown Sugar Glaze
- Root Gratin
- Dijon Braised Brussels sprouts
- Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
- Pear-Vanilla Blueberry-Ginger Pie (the flavor was amazing, but the consistency was off, will post about this once I try it again and fix a few things)
Yeah, all this for just two people. I will post about each of these recipes in due time, but let’s start with the meatloaf. When I asked Aaron, what he wanted for Christmas dinner, he replied, “You know I have never had a meatloaf I actually liked.” I took that as a challenge! How do you make someone like meatloaf? 1. Wrap it in bacon. 2. Make sure it is moist because there is nothing worse than dry meatloaf. You might as well eat cardboard. My reference recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). I love this site; hell, I would love to work for these people. I only made minor changes with some of the spices and doubled the glaze recipe (doubling included here), but other than that I kept true to ATK, and Aaron LOVED it. I demolished that challenge!
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Brown Sugar – Ketchup Glaze
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen – I can’t give you the direct link since it is a membership only recipe.
Brown Sugar – Ketchup Glaze
1 cup ketchup or chili sauce – I chose ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cider vinegar or white vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic – I loved crushed garlic, but it can be minced as well
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ cup whole milk or plain yogurt
1 pound ground beef chuck
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground veal
24 Ritz-like crackers crushed up (basically the round butter crackers) – you may need more
½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
6 – 8 ounces bacon , thin sliced (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)
1. For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan; set aside.
2. For the Meatloaf: Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
3. Mix eggs with thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks. If the mixture is too wet and falls apart on you, add more crackers)
4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf, (see illustration 1, below).
5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze passed separately.