I can no longer count on my fingers and toes how many times I’ve apologized to my father for torturing him with my aversion to onions when I was a kid. He would try his best to mince up the onions as small as possible when he made meatloaf in hopes that we could get through just one dinner without complaining or tears. It would never fail, I would spot one little morsel of onion and refuse to take another bite. Ugh. My remorse for how I behaved arises every time I eat onions, which is nearly every day. Especially since I now know the effort it takes to put a made from scratch meal on the table. I’m Sorry Dad, I love you, thanks for not selling me to the highest bidder.
I love the creative recipes that have hit the inter-webs that incorporate vegetables in the most uncanny ways. Spinach in brownies? That exists. Zucchini in cheesecake? Too easy. Cauliflower to make a dairy-free cheese? Been there, tried it, loved it. Parsnips as a base for ice-cream? Have first hand experience with how deliciously wonderful it works.
Another way to get people on board with eating their vegetables is to wrap them in bacon. In my experience people watching at BBQ’s, people tend to put anything wrapped in bacon directly into their mouth before ever asking what might be concealed in said bacon wrap. Summer is coming, test out my theory. I think, at a minimum, you’ll get a good chuckle. 🙂
If ever there was a crown given for “King of Things Wrapped in Bacon”, my sweet Husband would wear it proudly for the rest of his days. The man loves bacon. There is rarely a conversation that goes on in our household about tweaking a recipe that doesn’t include “…but, couldn’t we also wrap it in bacon??”. The answer is always, YES.
And thus, this beauty of a food masterpiece was born. Swoon.
This recipe is mash-up of PaleOMG’s Bacon Chorizo Meatloaf, a tutorial for making a bacon weave we found on the internet, and our love for any and everything stuffed with cheese. I was drawn to try Julie’s meatloaf because it was chock full of veggies and used chorizo. It did not disappoint. After one taste trial, the tweaking began. We didn’t find the need for the almond flour or the egg she uses and of course decided wrapping the entire thing in bacon instead of just placing slices on top was the best move to fulfill our bacon loving hearts.
The best part about this recipe is if you have a major aversion to vegetables, or think your children might cry at the dinner table upon discovering hidden veggies, you can leave them out! Dairy free? Leave out the cream cheese! Chorizo spiced meat will still be just as delicious wrapped in bacon, you have my word. 😉
And this recipe can easily be made in advance and over a few days. Make the bacon weave one day, throw the seasonings together with the ground pork for the chorizo the next day, manage to get the veggies cut up/processed and combined the next day…whatever works for you. We had the best of intentions on our normal batch cooking day, but it may or may not have taken a few days for us to pull our lives together and get this made. Ahem.
This recipe is the first in our “Not Yo’ Papa’s/Mama’s…” Series. We find ourselves incapable of just leaving a recipe as-is and usually take most traditional recipes to the next level, we just can’t help it. Stay tuned as we add to the series!
**A note on sourcing. Pigs are one of the most utilized animals in the factory farming industry. It’s too easy to manipulate them to generate high profits. We DO NOT support or condone this. We encourage you to take strides to source your meat properly and support farmers that are raising healthy, happy, animals the way they were meant to be raised. A good place to start is Eat Wild, they have a state by state directory for farms in your area, US Wellness will ship humanely raised meat right to your door, and Pederson Natural Farms is our in-store go-to when our freezer is dry. They can typically be found at Whole Foods and they have a store locator on their site to find their products near you. Put your money where your mouth is.**
- 1 LB Ground Beef
- 1 LB Ground Chorizo -OR-
- **Make your own chorizo by combining the following ingredients**
- 1 LB Ground Pork
- 3 TBL Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 TBL Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- ⅛ tsp Ground Cloves
- ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Thyme
- ½ TBL Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 2 TBL Smoked Paprika -or- Paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne
- **End chorizo ingredients**
- 2 Carrots or ⅓ LB Carrots
- ⅓ LB Mushrooms (any type will work, we used Crimini)
- 2 Handfuls Spinach
- ¼ Onion or ⅓ LB Onion (any type will work, we used Yellow)
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
- ⅛ tsp White Pepper
- 12 pieces of Bacon, approximately 12oz, sliced to about ⅛" thick
- 12oz Cream Cheese
- Make your bacon lattice weave. Start by laying out some parchment paper about 14" X 14" and lay out 6 strips of bacon. They should be touching. Rotate direction of the bacon strips since widths can vary, i.e. fat end toward you, next strip fat end away from you. There is a pattern you will follow when weaving in the cross pieces to the 6 slices of bacon you just laid down. It goes like this: 123456 will number the bacon starting from left to right. For the first cross piece lift the odd numbered pieces of your base, 1, 3, and 5, and lay the cross piece perpendicular to the base pieces. Lay base pieces 1, 3, and 5 back down. For the second cross piece lift the even numbers of your base, 2, 4, and 6 grabbing from the opposite end of the first cross piece and pull the strips until they fold over the first cross piece and lay the second cross piece down keeping it snug with the first cross piece. Repeat this process rotating even and odd base numbers as you go. Did we lose anybody there? Reference photo of lattice weave above for clarification.
- Scoop 12 oz of cream cheese and start forming a log. then place it onto a piece of cling wrap/plastic wrap and finish forming into a log approximately 8" long, place in fridge to chill.
- If making the chorizo from scratch, combine all ingredients for chorizo with the ground pork; this can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
- Working in batches, if needed, pulse the carrots, mushrooms, spinach, onion, and garlic cloves in a food processor until finely diced/minced, you want really small pieces, but you don't want puree. If you don't own a food processor, go buy one! Seriously though, if you don't have a food processor, dice the vegetables as fine as you possibly can so they will incorporate into the ground meat.
- Combine the ground beef, chorizo, vegetables, and remaining seasonings in a bowl.
- Split the meat/veggie mixture in two and create a rectangular base approximately 3" x 9".
- Place the cream cheese log on top of the meat/veggie rectangle.
- Dome the other half of the meat/veggie mixture over the cream cheese log and seal the seams to the bottom meat/veggie rectangle.
- Place your formed meatloaf onto the center of the bacon lattice weave, dome side down. If your loaf sticks to your work surface use a dough scrapper or spatula to help manipulate it.
- Grab one end of the parchment paper under the bacon lattice and pull it up and over the loaf. Put your hand under the meat so you can lift the whole thing upright and remove the parchment paper, the bacon may not wrap completely end to end, that's OK. Just tuck the bottom ends of the bacon under the meat as best you can.
- Place the meatloaf, open bacon ends down, onto a baking dish or into a loaf pan. Anything will work here, just make sure it has high sides as you will get quite a bit of drippings as the loaf cooks.
- Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Increase your oven temperature to 450F degrees and cook for 15 minutes longer.