Makes: 8 very large servings
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced small
3 ounces tomato paste
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup port wine
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
½ cup prepared roasted and chopped garlic (see note)
½ tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 pound applewood smoked bacon
2 teaspoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cups cognac or brandy
2 cups veal stock (available at specialty food stores)
2 cups veal demi-glace (available at specialty food stores)
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
Make cognac sauce: In a medium pan, heat butter. Add onion, shallot, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf and sauté until onion and shallots are golden brown. Add cognac and reduce by more than half. Add stock and demi-glace and reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain. Discard solids.
At this point, you can store this in an airtight container until ready for serving. (Cream will be added just before serving.)
In a large saute pan, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until caramelized. Add tomato paste and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, port and sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine meat, garlic, spices, eggs, panko and reserved onion mixture. Mix by hand to combine thoroughly.
Set about a 17-by-13-inch baking sheet horizontally in front of you. Line generously with heavy-duty foil. Foil should come well over ends of the pan.
Lay bacon slices horizontally on the foil so that they run from top of pan to bottom. You will have to overlap them slightly.
On the right side of bacon strips, form meat into a loaf to cover the bacon strips.
Using the foil, roll the meat mixture over the remaining bacon to completely encase the meatloaf. Seal the open ends of the bacon by weaving a toothpick or wooden skewer through the strips. Set loaf, skewers side down, on the baking sheet and then cover completely in foil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Set meatloaf on a baking rack over a jellyroll pan. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, then remove meatloaf from oven and remove the foil. Return meatloaf to oven (setting it on the rack over the pan), and bake 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
Let cool slightly, then cut into sections. Set flat on a plate so bacon slices surround the meatloaf.
Immediately before serving, add cream to the cognac sauce and bring to a simmer, then pour over meatloaf.
Notes: If desired, you can make your own garlic. Take ½ cup chopped garlic and roast in preheated 350-degree oven 1 hour, or until soft and light brown.
bacon recipe source: Mike Stoner and Duffy O'Neil, North Star American Bistro, 19115 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53045; Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel)