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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaves

Meatloaf is a staple meal for a lot of us. But how often have you made meatloaf for company? You can serve these little individual meatloaves to your guests with pride; they are both delicious and handsome. Wrapped in a strip of bacon, topped with tomato paste, and garnished with parsley, they make a stunning addition to the table.

Use whatever combination of ground meat appeals to you. You can use all ground beef or combine ground beef and pork. I often make them from ground venison. If you can't get your hands on venison, try lamb for a change of pace.

Bacon Wrapped Mini Meatloaves

2 lb ground meat
4 slices fresh bread crumbs OR 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 TBS fresh thyme OR 1 tsp dried thyme
1 TBS fresh oregano OR 1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 eggs
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1 small can tomato paste
8 strips bacon
1 TBS dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the first 10 ingredients. Do not over mix or your meatloaves may become tough. Line a half sheet pan or large cookie sheet with foil. Using a 1 cup dry measure, mold 8 meatloaves. Smooth the tops so that they are somewhat rounded. Wrap a slice of bacon around the base of each meatloaf. The bacon should stick to the meatloaves and a toothpick should not be necessary to hold the bacon together.

Divide the tomato paste between the meatloaves and smear over the top of each. Bring tomato paste right to the edge of the bacon. Sprinkle the tops of the meatloaves with dried parsley. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature measured with a thermometer reaches 160 degrees.

These meatloaves freeze well and can be thawed and reheated easily in the microwave.

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