Here is the recipe for my Andria’s style meatloaf:
2lb ground beef
1 cup milk
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground mustard
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
¾ cup of crushed saltine crackers
¼ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green pepper
¼ cup Andria’s steak sauce
14 slices of bacon
Here are the diced peppers, onions and chopped basil:
And to make this meatloaf even better…I smoked it wrapped in a bacon weave. You know how it goes, everything is better with bacon.
Now, the first task is to mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl except for the bacon and BBQ sauce.
Place the raw meatloaf in the refrigerator and get out the bacon. The next step is making the bacon weave. If you have never done this before, you will only need these steps to get the idea:
First, lay down 7 strips of bacon vertically, side by side.
Second, fold every other bacon strip in half (it does not matter where you begin).
Third, take the 8th strip of bacon and lay it across the middle, horizontally over the vertical strips of bacon and just below the bacon folded in half. Make sure the horizontal bacon is real close to the folded strips of bacon.
Fourth, unfold the bacon so all vertical strips are in their side by side position.
Fifth, fold the opposite strips of bacon up over the horizontal strip of bacon.
Sixth, place another horizontal strip of bacon and repeat the process until complete.
Now, take the meatloaf and pour it in the center of the bacon weave. Form the “loaf” on top of the bacon.
Carefully roll the bacon weave over the meatloaf.
While the weave did not come apart during this task, it may have been easier if I would have used saran wrap underneath the bacon weave to roll the bacon over the meatloaf.
Make sure the bacon overlaps each other and the ends are rounded off too.
***Editor’s note ~ While that doesn’t look all that cool considering it’s in a bacon weave, realize that the loaf is actually upside down at this point. The underside of what you see here will be the top of what you cook***
I found that thin slices of bacon work better for this because a thicker cut of bacon would result in a loose weave, which tends to come apart on the grill.
Speaking of the grill, I set up my smoker at 230 degrees with cherry and hickory wood chunks. This recipe also works for indirect grilling too. Another thing, I would usually add rub, but I wanted to try without it first to get a taste for the meat and the effect the Andria’s.
When the grill is up to temp, I gingerly place the loaf on the grill, opposite of the charcoal.
As always, the vents are all the way open on the lid. In addition, the vents are placed directly over the meat to let the smoke pass over the meat and escape out the vents. I do this because trapped smoke can make meat taste bitter. So now it’s time to cover the lid and check on it in an hour.
After an hour in the smoker, the bacon has turned a light brown and it has taken the shape of the meatloaf.
The bacon weave looks really good right here. I check the water level and add more wood chunks before I put the lid on. I tend to use Scott’s advice to do as much as I can while I have the lid open, so I don’t have open it often and lengthen the cooking process. In another hour the meatloaf will be done.
An hour passes and the internal temp of the meatloaf is 173 degrees. Anything over 170 degrees is well done for beef. However, before I plate it, I fire up my gas grill to high heat. For just a few minutes I grill the meatloaf over the hot grill to crisp up the bacon. Otherwise, it comes out of the smoker soft and slightly chewy. In the last minute on the grill, I brush on some BBQ sauce. Now it’s time to plate it.
Total cook time was about 2-1/2 hours. This turned out to be my best looking meatloaf. It’s done to perfection and I can’t wait to dig in.
Even with the crappy knives I have, the bacon holds intact with a clean slice. It doesn’t tear or pull the rest of the bacon when I cut into the meatloaf. And look at that smoke ring!
This was some great BBQ and it was every bit as good the next day when I made a meatloaf sandwich. The Andria’s definitely added some unique flavors. When making your next meatloaf, try it instead of ketchup or BBQ sauce. You may get the pickiest of eaters to actually like something you grilled.