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Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich with a Bourbon Bacon Jam

Ok, I made this treat of a dinner tonight just for myself.  Yes, I made an entire 2 lb+ meatloaf and a jar of bacon jam for MY dinner.  Do you want to know why??  Because quite frankly it’s delicious and it only gets better after the next day or two, especially that Bourbon Bacon Jam!!  Which is why it’s a great “leftovers” type of meal!

Let’s say you made the traditional meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner one night and you’re not wanting the same darn thing the next..Well, simply add the Bacon Jam and garnishes to a meatloaf sandwich and you’ve taken repurposing to an entire new level!
*This jam is good off a plain spoon, but spread it on a warm slice of toast or English muffin topped off with a fried egg.  Now THATS a rave worthy breakfast!

The Starting Lineup

Bourbon Bacon Jam

  • 1 pckg (12-16oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced, plus 1 tbsp sauce
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 4oz Bourbon (2 shots, optional)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • Pinch of kosher salt & ground pepper

Meatloaf

  • 2lbs ground (I do 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground pork)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, diced
  • 1/2-1 whole jalapeño, seeded & finely diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk….*soak the above Panko^^ in the milk
  • 1 packet low-sodium meatloaf seasoning packet (or seasoning blend of choice)
  • Hefty pinch or two of kosher salt & pepper for the top of the meatloaf

Garnish

  • Hearty/crusty white bread slices
  • Mayonaisse
  • Thick sliced ripe tomatoes, seasoned with kosher salt & pepper
  • Havarti cheese slices (or another great melty cheese)  

As I stated earlier, this can all be made ahead of time or at seperate times if using as a “leftover” meatloaf meal…but let’s pretend that you’re doing what I did…let us start from the beginning!

Bourbon Bacon Jam time my friends!  Start by chopping, dicing and mincing the bacon, sweet onion & garlic.  In a large sauce pan (*if not nonstick, add a tbsp of EVOO), cook your chopped bacon until slightly crisp.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined dish and set aside. 

   

In that same pan with the reserved bacon grease, add in the chopped onions and cook down for about 10-15 minutes.  Add the minced garlic to the onions and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Now to the onion-garlic mix, add in all of the remaining ingredients (diced chipotle pepper & sauce, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, bourbon, smoked paprika, cumin, salt & pepper and the cooked bacon) and stir to combine.  Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer.  Let stand uncovered and do its thing while stirring occasionally.  *I like to leave it on the stove top on low for a good 2-3 hours and carefully drain the liquid from the pot about once an hour.  It’ll really thicken up!  Once done you can either transfer to a food processor to thin or leave as is.  I, myself, prefer it chunky for texture and leave it as is.  Keep in a mason jar or Tupperware container in your refridgerator, it’ll be gone FAST! 


 
 So while that Bourbon Bacon Jam is rendering away, we’ll begin the meatloaf.  Now this is a basic meatloaf recipe, and if you have a personal favorite then please feel free to use it!

*Ok, ok..I can hear you now.  “Carly, why does there have to be chipotles/jalapeño in the meatloaf??”  1.Because  2. Why not?  3. My 2 & 4 year old boys eat it and have no idea, it’s NOT really spicy 4. You need to finish off that can of Chipotles anyway and 5.  Your combining it with a SWEET bacon jam. You NEED the contrasting flavors.  It’s the little things that make food great!

Now back to the task at hand.  Meatloaf.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get whatever pan you use to cook your meatloaf in out and greased if not non-stick.

In a large bowl, combine ALL of the meatloaf ingredients together and gently mix with your hands.  Transfer the mix to your baking pan and again, gently, pack into meatloaf shape.  Crack some more black pepper and salt over top and place into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, uncovered.  

   Remember, while the meatloaf is baking your Bourbon Bacon Jam is still rendering away and smelling devine!  I dare you to tell me your haven’t inhaled a few spoonfuls already….

Now that the meatloaf has finished cooking, it’s assembly time!  Have 1-2 saute pans heating on the stove top.  

In one pan, lay thick slices of meatloaf down and slightly cook each side, as to create a bit of a ‘crust’. 

 Lightly coat each slice of bread (on both sides) with a thin spread of mayonaisse.  Then add a good helping of the warm Bourbon Bacon Jam to one slice. 

Transfer the mayo’ed slice to your second hot pan, top with the Caramelized meatloaf slices, tomatoes seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt & pepper, cheese slices and top it off with the second slice of bacon jam coated bread.  Cook each side for about 2 minutes, till cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown in color. 

   
Cut on the bias and serve warm, enjoy!  

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Have you ever had homemade pumpkin pie?  No, I don’t mean the slice that you bought at Marie Callendars restaurant and brought home to eat.  I mean a pie that you whisked and creamed and baked in your own oven!  

Now I’m not saying you’re hand scraping and roasting the baking pumpkins from your glorious garden, there may even be a can or two of pumpkin purée, but this is the real deal!  It’s light, creamy and not overly sweet.  Once it’s time for dessert, just add some homemade whipped cream and marvel in all of the “mmms, yumms, oohs & ahhs” you’re about to receive!  This one will make a believer out your most finicky pumpkin pie eater, which used to be me. 😉 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pie crust (home made or store bought)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 4oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup candied yams, drained from can
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt  

Now I do prefer to make my own buttery pie crust and with this recipe I always parbake my crust so that it has some texture to the bottom and doesn’t get soggy.  That is a personal preference though..some people love the softer bottomed crust. 

 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rimmed foil-covered baking sheet to heat up as well.

….To begin the filling!  In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs & yolks, bourbon and vanilla extract.  Set aside. 

   In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the pumpkin purée, candied yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Bring to a simmer and mash and stir the mixture together continuously until thickened.  This will be nice and glossy after about 10-12 minutes of doing so. 

   Remove the purée from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture (slowly so the eggs do not scramble in the hot purée). 

   Next, strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl while pressing down the remaining chunks with a rubber spatula.  Once it’s all sieved through, re-whisk. 

       Pour this yummy, custard’y mixture into your prepared pie pan/crust.  Give a little jiggle to evenly distribute and place the pan directly onto the preheated baking sheet into the oven. 

Allow to bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes *I like to cover my crust in either the beginning or end to reduce over browning.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 30-35, or until the pie is set and jiggles only slightly.  *It will continue to cook and set once removed from the oven.  Allow to cool completely before serving or refrigerated.  *Keep in the refridgerator overnight if serving the next day. 

   Enjoy!!

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