Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf: 2 Out of 3 Ain’t BadBy Todd • Jul 11th, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog
I don’t know Paula Deen. Never met her. Never seen her in person. Never been to her restaurant in Savannah or Charleston. I’ve never even watched one of her shows. She seems nice, I suppose, in that Sweet Magnolia, matriarchal kind of way. I’m sure she’s an excellent cook. She is Southern, and that pretty much guarantees that she’s all about real, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.
But the whole celebrity chef thing bothers me. It bothers me with Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, and on and on and on. It all seems way too manufactured. I always get the impression that it’s all about photo ops and public appearances and hosting their own show and endorsing their own line of cookware and launching a series of books that someone else really wrote and teaching Matt Lauer how to pan-sear the scallops that the food stylists laid out for the live TV segment and starting their own restaurants that they never even go to. And pretty soon, they stop actually cooking the food that made them famous to begin with. Anyone who has an “empire” attached to their name immediately warrants extreme don’t-buy-into-the-hype skepticism from me.
But when I ran across a recipe for Paula Deen’s “Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf,” I thought maybe I’d been too hard on her. Maybe she’s different. I mean, break it down word-by-word. Bacon? Um, yeah. Cheeseburger? Of course. Meatloaf? All righty, then. How can I go wrong?
I assembled my ingredients and got to work. Nothing goofy here, all standard stuff. In fact, nothing I couldn’t see using in a basic cheeseburger recipe. I took that as a very good sign.
Pressed into the pan, it looked a little gross. But then again, what meatloaf doesn’t? Not worried yet.
I mixed up the sauce and spread it on top. It was just ketchup and mustard, but it had a weird orange color that just looked off-putting. But seeing as how I’m not a fan of either condiment, I looked past this small red- no, make that orange- flag.
After a stint in the oven and a sprinkling of French fried onions, I was back to being optimistic. This looked good.
And then I cut into it. Even for the guy who likes fried eggs, mayo, and grilled cheese sammies on his cheeseburger, the huge slick of yellow fat and grease at the bottom of the pan was wholly unappetizing. And, to my horror, I realized that my meatloaf was soaking in it.
By the time it got the plate, this thing was literally falling to pieces. But if it tasted as awesome as I hoped, the experiment would be a success, I’d have a new way to enjoy the essence of a bacon cheeseburger, and therefore, all would be forgiven. Paula Deen would have one brand-spanking new fan.
Sorry, Paula. I found the meatloaf to be thoroughly unspectacular. A little too tangy for my taste, too mustardy. There was some bacon cheeseburger taste in there, but it got lost somewhere between the orange ketchstard (I invented that word just now) on top and the yellow grease on bottom. Maybe the venerable Ms. Deen could show me what I did wrong. Maybe the version she would make herself would blow my mind. But I’ll keep my bacon cheeseburger between the buns for now, thanks.
Here’s Paula Deen’s recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf.
1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
8 oz. sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
3 oz. French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chuck and next 8 ingredients in large bowl and mix well. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup of the mixture ["Ketchstard!"] into meat mixture, save the rest. Press meat mixture into loaf pan, spread remaining ketchstard over the top. Bake for 40 minutes. Then top with the French fried onions, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.