For years I have refused to use egg as a binding agent in meat dishes; I never understood the point to be honest. You’re adding extra fat and cholesterol for the sake of holding meat together while it cooks. Personally, I’ve never had trouble with meat staying together in a patty or in a pan in the oven. I’ve also tried the same thing in cupcake tins, which makes cute little circular meat loafs for individual servings. The point is that it’s not necessary.
So why follow the rules? Being stuck at home with a contagious disease may have played a part of it all (don’t worry, all better now), and the other reason was that I had hamburger, bacon, and eggs that all need to be used before they went bad.
For my meat loaf, I probably used close to 3-4lbs of 85% lean certified angus beef. I like the flavor of it, and I can usually buy it on sale, but if it’s available, I usually get the 93% lean. I threw in a bit of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, McCormack hamburger seasoning, clover honey, onions, and peppers. I did’nt have fresh garlic and I had very little of the dried kind, so I added garlic butter crackers, about 14-20 crackers in all. I also added two eggs.
The bacon I weaved beforehand in the dish I intended to bake with, to make sure it would cover the top. I used a whole 16oz package. I then slid it out and onto a plate. How I did this without the weave coming apart I have no idea. It slid fairly well, so just do that and don’t try to lift it. I used the same process to put it on top and pulled the ends a bit to stretch it out.
I baked it covered with tinfoil on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes, then for another 30 minutes without the tinfoil on it to crisp up the bacon. The pieces on the bottom of the weave come out softer, but still cooked.
After eating some, I realized that the egg did not make a drastic difference, but the bacon is pretty awesome! As far as texture goes, it compares to my other meatloaf recipes. You really don’t need a binder; just need the right meat and some patience. It was pretty good, but I think I’ll refrain from using egg in the future. The bacon on the other hand…