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pioneer woman's meatloaf and a cauliflower train wreck

I made it 29 long years without eating meatloaf. 
This was due in large part to my (a) dad's aversion to anything remotely resembling a casserole and (b) my aversion to any meat product bearing the word "loaf."
But then I cracked my Pioneer Woman cookbook and spotted meatloaf wrapped in . . . wait for it . . . bacon. 
And that's when it came to me: Meatloaf is really a beautiful sort of marriage! It combines my pork heritage with my husband's beef background. It's the perfect meal!

Ummm, maybe.

The good news is that it actually turned out. The beef was cooked, and my husband didn't get salmonella poisoning. 

The bad news is that the Pioneer Woman's cauliflower side dish was less than desirable. 

Ok, that was my fault. Not sure how a vegetable can train wreck that quickly. 

But trust me: It did. 

But cauliflower withstanding, no matter how glorious the bacon and beef combination, there's one fact no one, even die hard meatloaf lovers, can deny: Meatloaf, no matter what it's wrapped in, still looks, well, let's face it, kind of gross. 

This is due to the fact that (1) I am an amateur photographer, but mostly that (2) We are focusing on taste and not presentation. 

At least, that's the line I fed Chris.  

 The meatloaf was, admittedly, a success. 
Keeping the mess in the kitchen to a minimum was clearly not. 
But's that's ok. 

Because even if the meatloaf had been a disaster, there's a little pup who'd be glad to take care of it for me. 
He doesn't care if it looks gross. 
Heck, he'd probably eat the plate I'd serve it on. 


  •  Meatloaf:
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 6 slices White Bread
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 4 whole Eggs, Beaten
  • 10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
  •  Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  •  Tabasco To Taste (I used sriracha.)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.


  1. Next time, skip the cauliflower casserole thingy and just roast it. Chop into decent sized florets, toss in olive oil with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese (enough, but not too much) and roast in the oven about 30 minutes at 350 (or until it's tender enough for your liking). Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. Devour. I have yet to wrap meat loaf in bacon...but that's genius. Meat loaf gets a bad wrap for presentation. (I hate that I just made an unwitting pun there.)

    1. Totally agree with Eric. Roast that cauliflower! We eat it at least once a week:-)

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  3. KenFebruary 7, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    In addition to the bacon - consider adding 1 lb. whole hog sausage to the beef. My beloved wife, Stacy, has even made this in a cooking bag using the crockpot - talk about easy cleanup! Such a cute "pup" with that "I love you" type of face.

  4. I love the ice cream on the stovetop.

    1. I love that you noticed it was there! It was my I-ruined-the-cauliflower consolation prize.

  5. Sorry I am late and missed the dinner party. I would like more details on the cauliflower train wreck because I have doubts it was that bad. My wife was despondent yesterday for as she claims ruining, burning two batches of cookies. The appeared to be both overdone, but I liked them. The one that came out looking melted in a nuclear reactor and a dark golden brown instead of white was wonderful. Then again I never ask her to make cauliflower. :)

  6. I have tried that same recipe from Pioneer Woman for the meatloaf. Which, by the way, I LOVE meatloaf and don't think it ever looks gross. I make it lots of different ways and with different combos of beef, pork, veal, italian sausage, even venison. Yep, I noticed the ice cream container in the kitchen too. I have just found your blog and can only guess that you never learned to cook? As you seem to be a little cooking- challenged? LOL.... love the cute put at the end!


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