Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Revisited

If you’re in the least bit fat-phobic, don’t even read this recipe.

I posted a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf a few years ago, and for a long time it was my most popular recipe, especially among my family and friends.  I make it myself fairly often and, as with many recipes, it’s evolved a bit.  These days, I use more bacon and substitute the glaze with some of my fabulous Maple Barbecue Sauce, and have, overall, made the process a little more streamlined.  It’s still a damn fine meatloaf.

Like many meatloaves made with grass-fed beef and minus the added fillers of milk and breadcrumbs or the like, it can be a little on the dry side.  The bacon mitigates that somewhat, but not completely.  When I made it last week, I spied the big hunk of butter from local, grass-fed cows sitting on my counter, and tossed in about 1/4 cup, just to see what would happen.

What happened was a wonderfully moist, intensely flavorful meatloaf of which The Young One devoured half in one sitting.

And that, my friends, is a good meatloaf.

Note:  This will be my last non-Whole30 recipe for awhile, since I will be joining in the annual August “official” drive again this year.  Since I know what to expect this time around, my expectations are a bit different, but I will still have plenty of tasty recipes every week.  In fact, the first couple are quite good. 😉

 Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf. Butter-infused meatloaf is wrapped with bacon strips for a decadent twist on a traditional favorite.

Click on the image to enlarge

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, Revisited
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Maple Barbecue Sauce[/url]
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Using your hands, mix together the ground beef, butter, egg, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Place the mixture on the vented lid of a broiler pan and shape into an oblong loaf.
  3. Drape the bacon slices over the top of the meatloaf and tuck the ends underneath until the meatloaf is completely encased in bacon. Spread the barbecue sauce over the top of the bacon.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 160 F on an instant read thermometer. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 434 calories, 35.9g total fat, 124.6mg cholesterol, 878mg sodium, 404.3mg potassium, 7.3g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 5.1g sugar, 20.9g protein

Click on the image to enlarge

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Ours was…interesting.  As part of our CSA share, we’re required to work 2 to 3 hours on the farm each season.  Last year Beloved and I harvested the shallots and readied the beds for the next crop; this year we decided to participate in one of the “group” harvests.  There are three each year: garlic, onions and potatoes.  Since garlic is harvested first, we decided to do that one – not only did Beloved and I go, we dragged The Young One along with us.

You have no idea how hard it is on your hands to clean four bajillion heads of garlic.  And it took over 24 hours to get rid of the smell (it’s very fortunate that all three of us happen to love the smell and taste of the stuff).  But, you know, we got a great sense of accomplishment from it – especially since the three of us were the only participants to stay until it was all done.

Summer has also finally arrived in our neck of the woods, and not only is it hot, it is humid as all get out.  Not exactly the kind of weather that makes you jump up and say things like, “Oh, I want to spend all day cooking – let’s use the oven while we’re at it!!”  Needless to say, we’ve been doing quite a bit of grilling over the last couple of days; there have been steaks and chicken and slaw and melon – all of it seasonal, easy and delicious.

This is what we grilled last night, and it was simply marvelous.  Flank steak is cut from the abdominal muscles of the animal and can be tough if not properly prepared, but it is also extremely flavorful.  When marinated and cooked quickly to a nice medium-rare, it is wonderfully juicy and reasonably tender – perfect for fajitas, which is the way we served it.

The orange, lime and cilantro in the marinade give it sweet and tangy citrus undertones, while the chipotle chili powder and cumin lend it a pleasant, contrasting spiciness.  We ate it with grilled onions and peppers, homemade guacamole and fresh watermelon – the perfect dinner for a hot summer night.  Whole30 compliant, too!

Note:  This recipe comes in at 4 grams of carbs (assuming six servings), but since the marinade is discarded, even that is overstated.  I’d say this probably contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving.

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak. Nothing compares to a perfectly grilled Flank Steak, especially when flavored with citrus and chili!

Click on the image to enlarge

Citrus Marinated Flank Steak
Serves: 4 to 6
  • The juice of 1 orange
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pound flank steak
  1. With a small, sharp paring knife score the steak on both sides.
  2. Combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Place the steak in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
  3. Prepare the coals on the grill until they are glowing red with a white ash around them. Drain and discard the marinade and place the steak 4 inches over the coals; sear quickly, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  4. Move the steak away from the direct heat, cover the grill and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 135 F, about 7 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 346 calories, 21.9g total fat, 102.8mg cholesterol, 493.8mg sodium, 593.5mg potassium, 4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 1.6g sugar, 32.6g protein

Mexican Meatzza

Yup, this is what the whole week has been leading up to.

And I have to tell you, that as far as Beloved and I are concerned, we enjoyed this far more than the regular Meatzza (The Young One’s vote goes to the original recipe).  Frankly, I think that had as much to do with the fresh vegetables on top – the lettuce and tomatoes – and the addition of the Mango-Avocado Salsa as anything.  Although, I have to say the addition of the Mexican chorizo in the “crust” was inspired – the meat had a great flavor without being too terribly spicy, and the fat rendered out really well, leaving the meat layer moist, but not at all greasy.

So, here’s my contribution for Cinco de Mayo recipes – if you’re avoiding grains, it’s the way to go: it will be a great, fun meal on Sunday.  You can leave off the cheese as well, if you want to go dairy free – and make it Whole30 – and it will be pretty low carb without the addition of the salsa, although as far as I’m concerned, that’s what helped make the dish so delicious.  I have a feeling we’ll be eating this on a fairly regular basis this summer.

And it’s just darn pretty, to boot.

Note:  The calorie content is overstated – probably by quite a bit – since my recipe software calculates those values based on the raw ingredients.  Quite a bit of the fat will be rendered out of the final dish.

Mexican Meatzza. Take your family South of the Border for dinner tonight - gluten-free style!

Mexican Meatzza
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 recipe [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Enchilada Sauce[/url]
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese, such a Chihuahua or Cojita, shredded
  • 4 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 recipe [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Mango-Avocado Salsa[/url]
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the beef, pork and Chorizo together in a large bowl. Pat out into a standard-size cookie sheet or other shallow, rimmed baking sheet to a uniform thickness, pushing it up the sides slightly to form a rim. Spread the enchilada sauce evenly over the surface of the meat.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, or until the meat is cooked through. Carefully pour off any fat and liquid in the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Scatter the cheese, lettuce, tomato and olives over the surface of the meatzza. Cut into squares and serve with the salsa.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 530 calories, 38.9g total fat, 111.3mg cholesterol, 801.9mg sodium, 820.6mg potassium, 13.1g carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, 6.6g sugar, 32.4g protein


Grapefruit Glazed Beef Liver

Yes, yes…I can hear the groans already.

But then again, I can also imagine the interest from the contingent of offal connoisseurs among my readers – we do exist.

But if you’ve yet to take the plunge and eat some of this highly nutritious organ meat, this would be a wonderful recipe to begin with, because it is absolutely DELICIOUS.  I made it on a Friday night, when The Young One was out with friends, and it’s a good thing – if he’d been home for dinner, the situation would have gotten ugly because Beloved and I devoured this.  And were sad because there wasn’t more.

This came about because I had a grapefruit on my counter that needed to be used, and it was time for us to eat some liver, which we do 3 or 4 times a month.  It may not be exactly normal to immediately think about pairing grapefruit with beef liver (of course, I never claimed to be normal), but this was ridiculously, stupidly good and I am SO glad I did it.

The sauce is really nothing more than a spicy, tangy barbecue sauce; you can easily double it and use it on just about any meat – it would be wonderful on pork or chicken.  It was great with the fried beef liver, but I imagine it would be just as good on chicken livers.  In fact, it would probably be marvelous on my Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Livers.  (That sounds really, really good…)

A couple of notes:  I soaked the beef liver for about an hour in milk before cooking it – it really helps to mitigate the “mineral” taste beef liver can have.  I also dredged the liver in a mixture of seasoned tapioca/potato flour before frying it.  I left it out in the recipe because I really don’t think it did anything for the dish, other than increase the carb count – if your sauce is nice and thick, it will coat the meat just fine.

Grapefruit-Glazed Beef Liver.  Thin strips of beef liver coated in a tangy, spicy citrus sauce - surprisingly delicious!

Grapefruit Glazed Beef Liver
Serves: 4
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice (about 1/2 a grapefruit)
  • 2 tablespoons [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Ketchup[/url]
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound beef liver, cut into thin strips
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • lard or tallow for frying
  1. In a small saucepan, cook the onion in the ghee over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the grapefruit juice, ketchup, mustard, coconut sugar, chili powder and cumin and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer the sauce to a large bowl and keep warm.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet heat the lard or tallow over high heat. Generously salt and pepper the liver, and fry until barely pink in the center, about 1 minute per side. Do this in batches if necessary.
  3. Drain the liver briefly on paper towels, then transfer to the bowl with the sauce, stirring to coat the meat well.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 345 calories, 23.1g total fat, 341.3mg cholesterol, 126.2mg sodium, 453.8mg potassium, 9.5g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.4g sugar, 23.7g protein


Yes, I know everyone and their dog has a recipe for this, but there’s no reason I can’t post mine, is there?

Before we begin, let it be known that I’m not a big fan of pizza – all things being equal, I’d rather have a taco. Perhaps it’s because I’m from Texas.

Now, having said that, I live with two men and pizza is the #1 Favorite Food of creatures with, er, manly bits.  (Well, it’s true….)  So, when my better half started hinting that he would really like some pizza, I figured it was time to make one.

The last couple of times pizza became an imperative in our home, I tried my hand at a conventional crust using yeast and an all-purpose gluten free flour.  All I have to say about that is I really admire anyone who can make a yeast bread using all-purpose gluten free flour; mine resembled a crumbly rock more than a fluffy, chewy bread.  When I decided to make it this time, Beloved suggested a pizza crust made from cauliflower or zucchini and while such things exist, I’ve read mixed reviews of them and neither really sounded appealing to me.

I’d been reading about the legendary meatzza for quite some time and figured if I were going to try it, now would be a good time.

I looked over a few recipes online and realized it’s nothing more than a variation of meatloaf, patted out thin on a cookie sheet, and topped with pizza toppings.  I decided at that point that my Italian meatball recipe would make a great base and I’d simply top it with what I like on a pizza.  And since the base was already meat, putting more meat on top seemed rather redundant, so I topped it with sauce, vegetables and cheese (and yes, my sinuses let me know about it later, but what the heck – pizza without cheese just seems silly).  Well, most of it had vegetables (and pineapple – yes, I’m one of those people); The Young One’s portion – about 1/3 of the meatzza – was simply topped with sauce and cheese.

At any rate, it was just delicious – the males in my house loved it, and I liked it pretty well myself.  In fact, since I’d rather have a taco, I think I’m going to make a Mexican version next week; I think it will be great.

Note that the pizza will shrink up some – mine was about an inch smaller on all sides and I poured off a bit of fat and liquid when I pulled it out of the oven, but that was okay.  We ate this by itself the night I made it, but next time I think I’ll serve it as a main course and make some sides to go with it – it will certainly go further that way (it reheats beautifully, by the way), and make for a more balanced meal, in my not-so-humble opinion.

You can, obviously, top it with anything you like – like I said, this is what I like on a pizza – but the nutritional content will differ, of course, depending on your ingredients.

Meatzza.  Avoiding grains and nuts?  Not to worry - pizza is back on the menu!

Serves: 8 to 10
  • Base
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or other hard Italian cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Toppings
  • 1 recipe [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Pizza Sauce[/url]
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all of the base ingredients together in a large bowl. Pat out into a standard-size cookie sheet or other shallow, rimmed baking sheet to a uniform thickness, pushing it up the sides slightly to form a rim.
  3. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the surface of the meat, then scatter the rest of the toppings over the sauce, finishing with the cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, or until the meat is cooked and the cheese is beginning to brown.
  5. Carefully pour off any fat and liquid in the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 464 calories, 23.5g total fat, 164.1mg cholesterol, 1310mg sodium, 1002.2mg potassium, 18.3g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 8.9g sugar, 45.5g protein