This isn’t just any meat loaf recipe! Kicked up flavors with pork sausage, chipotle, and mustard, then wrapped in bacon and coated in a glaze, this recipe serves 16 to 20 hungry souls and is a delicious main dish to make around the campfire, at a tailgating party, or on the back porch. Glaze
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cider or distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground chipotle (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 ½ cups crushed saltine crackers, fresh bread crumbs, or quick oats
- 1 cup dried chopped chives
- 2 pounds sliced bacon
Note: This recipe will make two loaves that can be cooked in one large camp Dutch oven (14-inch or 16-inch) or in two smaller ovens, (12-inch or 10-inch). For this blog post, I have cut the ingredients in half and cooked one meat loaf in a 12-inch Dutch oven.
- For the glaze, mix all ingredients together in a 6-inch Dutch oven. Set aside.
- Place a 14-inch camp Dutch oven over a pile of hot charcoal (about 14). Add onions and oil and sauté until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from charcoal. Scoop onions out and place in a bowl to cool. Leave oil in the bottom of the oven and let it cool while preparing the meat loaf.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, eggs, thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle, and milk until all ingredients are incorporated completely. Using clean hands or a large spoon, mix in ground beef, pork sausage, sautéed onions, crackers, and chives.
- Divide meat mixture in half and shape into two loaves about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide. Place on a clean work surface (a cutting board or a cookie sheet). Brush half of the glaze on top of each loaf. Wrap with bacon slices, either by laying each slice side-by-side, or weaving bacon together. Using a spatula, transfer the loaves into the Dutch oven, tucking the bacon underneath each loaf as needed.
- Fire up a big chimney of charcoal with at least 30 briquettes. Place lid on oven. Bake meat loaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit by placing 18 hot charcoals in a circle around the lid and 10 in a circle underneath the oven. Bake for about an hour or until bacon is crispy and internal temperature of meat is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Charcoal will need to be replaced after about 30 minutes, depending on environmental conditions (wind, cold, etc).
- Simmer remaining glaze over 4 or 5 hot charcoals for about 20 minutes to thicken it up. Serve with meat loaf.
Oh, the layers of flavor in this meat loaf explode in your mouth! The bacon hits your nose first, making your mouth water, then the subtle hint of spice from chipotle sneaks in behind as the meat loaf falls apart in your mouth, smooth and light. When you pull the lid off, folks will be begging to get the first slice and will come back for seconds, if there is any left! I hope you enjoy making this for your friends and family and then let me know what you think about it by posting your thougths in the comments below!
I adapted this recipe from pages 451-452 in The New Best Recipe (2004) by America’s Test Kitchen.