Hello and welcome to the final week of our virtual Halloween Party here at Bear & Bug Eats. If you noticed that “our” was oddly emphasized in the last sentence, very good! That’s cuz, for the first time thus far, it’s time for me (Robby) to officially introduce myself to the blog. When Katie brought up the idea of doing this Halloween party, I immediately told her that I
NEEDED wanted to do the main course / entrée post.
Before we delve any further into this, we may or may not have, as I so aptly put it on Facebook a few days ago, “done a thing” last week when, on Friday, we completed the buying process and closed on our very first house! So, without further ado, I introduce to you: Chez Bear & Bug!
I have to pause for a moment and give a huge shout-out to my bug, Katie: throughout the entire buying process, throughout all the stress and headaches, she was the rock that stayed firm, the soothing voice when things got RAWR, the insanely and incredibly diligent task-master that made everything come together so we could have OUR very first HOME!
And now that I got that sappy, mooshy-gooshy, lovey-dovey bit out of the way, to the real reason you’ve come here today- THE NOMS!!!!
So growing up, holidays were kind of a huge deal in my family, and we had a ton of fun decorating and celebrating pretty much each and every holiday that came around. From Easter to the 4th of July, from St. Patrick’s Day to Thanksgiving, we had fun with all of them, and had tons of traditions for each one. One of my all-time favorite traditions, though, was the festively-creepy food that we made for dinner every Halloween to enjoy before setting out to pillage the neighborhood (yes, I may have been a pirate once or twice) and
return with the spoils feast on copious amount of sugar-coma-inducing sweets.
Every year, we would make the same 3 main things- “eyeballs” (deviled eggs with yolks died to appropriate colors), “mash’em gash’em spuds” (mashed-potato head with broccoli hair, appropriate edible replacements for facial features) and “dead man’s meatloaf.” While I greatly enjoy cooking complete meals, I figured for my first post here, and to maintain the continuity of single-recipe posts for this virtual party, I would stick to one recipe- meatloaf. However, I wanted to do something a bit different from what I grew up with.
When I sat thinking about what I wanted to alter with the meatloaf for this post, I remembered seeing something similar on Pinterest a couple years ago- this “mummy meatloaf” where they used crescent dough to create the mummy-wrapping around the meatloaf, followed by posts where they used something even better than crescent dough- bacon! And since we happened to have a half-used pack of bacon sitting in the fridge, I figured “hey, let’s try this monster meatloaf and see how my sculpting goes!”
When I went shopping, I kinda misjudged how much ground beef I was going to use to create the monster loaf — a word to the wise, 3 lbs of ground beef, once removed from the package, turns into THREE POUNDS OF GROUND BEEF!!!!.. in other words *sheepish shrug* it’s a lot. So I ended up also reliving my childhood and made a dead man’s meatloaf for funsies / because what else are you going to do when you still have 1.5ish lbs of extra meatloaf mix.
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 cup milk
1 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices uncooked bacon
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the onion in half vertically (from stem to root). Cut off stem end so the onion can be peeled. Discard the skin and tough outside layer. Carefully peel off the next layer and cut layer into quarters. Set aside the two quarters that are the most "square" to use for eyes.
Chop the rest of the onion into 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch rectangles. Set aside 8 to use for teeth; the rest will go into the meatloaf (chop these smaller if desired).
In small bowl, beat egg and stir in milk.
In large mixing bowl, combine egg mixture with ground beef, remaining onions, bread crumbs, and spices. Use hands to mix thoroughly.
Now for the fun part! Using hands, plop meatloaf onto baking sheet. Sculpt into a head shape.
Cut strips of bacon in half, creating 8 short strips.
Use 4 pieces to wrap the circumference of the head. Lay 5th piece of bacon horizontally across the middle of the face. Above this strip, set the onion eyes; below this strip, place the onion teeth in two rows.
Place 6th strip of bacon diagonally across face, covering where the nose would be. Wrap the 7th and 8th pieces above the eyes and below the teeth.
Bake for 40 minutes or until bacon starts to crisp. If desired, garnish with ketchup blood.