I know everyone is all about the turkey these days, but we’ve got to eat between now and Thanksgiving, at least I know I do, and this Bourbon Glazed Meatloaf is a great choice for all you holiday frazzled folks. It’s an easy variation on the old fashioned classic; just like mom’s, but better. I’ve been a meatloaf lover all my life, for me it’s the ultimate comforting dinner, but I think it does suffer from PR issues…I’m betting that this warm bourbon glaze is just what it needs to re-brand itself with a little bad boy edge.
One of the appeals of meatloaf is that it’s so easy to make. I like that you can form it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven at the end of the day when things are hectic. This glaze can be made ahead along with it. This meatloaf itself is a moist blend of beef and pork, lightened up with fresh breadcrumbs, egg, and onion. Pretty much the basic recipe. The glaze is an intense concoction of sweet and sour, with a hit of heat and anchored by lots of smooth Bourbon. I brush on one coat as the meat goes into the oven, then baste it with another layer during cooking, and give it a final slathering just before serving.
The thick bourbon glaze looks like a lot in the photos, but once you slice the meat you’ll find that it isn’t at all overpowering, and in fact I think your friends and family will appreciate a small bowl of extra glaze on the dinner table. Once you’ve tasted the sweet spicy sauce you won’t want to take a bite without it.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (you can also use dried)
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp salt
- lots of fresh cracked pepper
- 1 cup fruit jam or preserves, I like to use apricot or cherry
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (use regular brown sugar if you don't have dark)
- 1 Tbsp hot chili sauce or Sriracha (use more if you like things hotter)
- 1/2 cup bourbon (or any kind of whiskey or cognac)
- 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- Set oven to 350F
- To make the sauce, put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil lower the heat and simmer/boil gently, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until thickened. If you used a chunky jam you may want to use an immersion blender to puree the glaze.
- Put the meats in a large mixing bowl, breaking them apart into small pieces as you add them.
- Add the egg, breadcrumbs, onion and salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix everything well with your fingertips. You want to thoroughly incorporate all the elements without over-doing it.
- Form the meat into a loaf, not too tall and not too wide. You want it to cook evenly, so try to get it even from end to end.
- You can set it directly in a pan or on a baking sheet, or set it on a rack if you have one. Whatever you do, be sure to line the pan with foil since the glaze will drip and make a mess.
- Spread a layer of glaze all over the meatloaf and bake it for about 60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160F. I baste another layer of sauce on the meat halfway through the cooking.
- Remove the meat and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. Slather on a final coat of glaze just before serving, (heat it up on the stove so it is hot) and serve extra sauce on the side.
To make fresh breadcrumbs just tear up a slice or two of bread and whiz in a food processor.
So there you go, forget all about giblets and trusses for the night and enjoy.