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Smoked Meatloaf...Catch up post with pics

Meatloaf is one of my wife's favorite meals. She it requested for her birthday recently, being a great husband how could I say no? We have been watching our carb intake in an effort to get a little healthier and more creative in our meals; so instead of making some kind of potato dish, I decided to do some mashed cauliflower. The meatloaf was cooked on my Big Green Egg, set up for indirect, and cooked at about 400 with some hickory chunks until the internal temp was 160.

I am always looking for new ways to try making old staples; and meatloaf is no exception. I did a little searching on Google and found several mentions of using a mixture of saltine crackers and milk to the meatloaf to keep it moist. There where also tips on the how finely ground the meat was before being mixed. Sauteing the veggies until they are tender before using them in the mix was also something I hadn't done before. Well, here we go...

Ingredient List

For the meatloaf...

  • 3lbs of 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 medium onions diced small
  • 1 large green pepper diced small
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 cups of crackers (didn't have saltines, so I used some Cheese Nips)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • About a 1/3 of cup of seasoned bread crumbs

For the mashed cauliflower...

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic ( to taste, it doesn't  take much) 

Now for the pictures...

Saute the bacon for a few minutes; once it renders a little fat into the pan, add the peppers and onion. Cook on medium heat until they are tender. Add a little salt & pepper.



While the veggies where on the stove top, I began to prep the rest of the meatloaf. Here is my crackers and milk mixture. In hindsight; I think I would continue to use these instead of saltine crackers. The cheese crackers added some really good flavor to the meat.


Once the cheese nips and milk were blended well in the food processor; I began adding the ground beef to the mix of crackers in the processor. The meat was originally a courser grind, and as I was going for better texture, I decided to blend the meat in the processor with the cracker mixture.


Then it was time to add the rest of the ingredients. Once I had it all mixed up; I placed the mixture in an aluminum loaf pan and set it in the fridge for a few hours.



When the egg was up to temp; I took the loaf pan and turned it upside down in a baking dish so that when cooking the meatloaf, it could get more of crust over more of the meatloaf. I have it a quick coating of Dizzy Pig's Dizzy Dust as well...


Once the meatloaf was on it's way, I started to make the side dish. I simply cut the cauliflower up and cooked it until tender in the microwave. Then into the food processor with some milk, salt, pepper, melted butter, and garlic. Process just like if you were making potatoes...


Once the meatloaf reached an internal temperature of 160, I pulled it off the egg and set it aside to rest.



Here is the finished meal...


My wife loved the meatloaf; saying the taste with the addition of the cheese crackers out it over the top. My family also like the texture of the meat, saying it was unlike any meatloaf they'd had before. The cauliflower was a big hit...

I will have to continue practicing making meatloaf, while this tasted very good, it didn't stay together as much as I wold have liked.



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