Guinness and Cheddar Meatloaf

serves 8

For the Glaze

3/4 cup (6 ounces) stout beer, such as Guinness extra stout

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

For the Meatloaf

2 Tablespoons Canola oil

2 medium yellow onions, finely diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup (6 ounces) stout beer, such as Guinness extra stout

4 ounces quality white bread (about 2 slices of white bread), roughly torn

1/2 cup whole milk

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground lamb

2 extra large eggs

3 ounces aged white Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 (.75 ounce) package of dried Porcini mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces sliced bacon, about 12 strips

For the Glaze

In a medium saucepan, bring the stout, brown sugar and honey to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool; set half the mixture aside.  Reserve remaining glaze for another use.

For the Meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened and just beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the stout and simmer briskly until almost dry, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until just warm.

In a small bowl, reconstitute the dried mushrooms by covering them with boiling water; allow to soak for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the mushrooms and finely chop.

In a shallow dish, soak the bread in the milk, tossing once, until soggy but not falling apart, about 5-7 minutes; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, add beef, lamb, and soaked bread and process until well-combined, about 10 (1-second) pulses.  Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onions.  Add eggs, cheese, mushrooms, parsley, Worcestershire, salt and pepper; mix with hands until thoroughly combined.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then a sheet of parchment paper.  Transfer the meat mixture to the sheet and form into a 9x5-inch rectangular loaf.  Drape the meatloaf with slightly overlapping strips of bacon, tucking the ends under the loaf. Brush the top of the meatloaf with half of the glaze.

Bake until an instant read thermometer registers 160° F in the center of the meatloaf, about 45-50 minutes.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven.  Place the oven rack 6 inches from the broiler element and preheat the broiler.  Brush the remaining glaze over the meatloaf and broil until the bacon is browned and crisped, about 2-3 minutes, checking and rotating to make sure the glaze doesn't scorch.  Using two large spatulas, carefully transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Cut into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices.  Enjoy!

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