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Triple Threat Smoked Meatloaf

Posted: Friday, May. 31, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

We’ve all had it. A solid mass of ground meat; baked until unrecognizable and covered in pure ketchup. Yes, it’s true; meatloaf is a dish some love and most despise…that is until now.

Why make meatloaf when you can take ground beef, form it into patties and give it a nice char on the grill. Slap it between two buns and top with everything imaginable. True, burgers are wonderful. But what if told you that this meatloaf is better; dare I say, better than most burgers?

Ok, just give this a chance and I am telling you that you will make this again and again; and probably even slap it between two buns at some point because it is just that good. Meatloaf starts with fillers. Not just for flavoring or to bind but to help keep it moist even after time in the oven and finished on the smoker/grill.

Mushrooms, whether you like them or not, are perfect for meatloaf; they will absorb some of the cooking juices and keep them in the meatloaf. The addition of other flavoring components, pepperoni, peppers, onions, garlic; take this to another level of meatloaf. Wrap anything in bacon and of course it will be better than anything you’ve had before, but add some smoke and now you have something that deserves a better name than meatloaf. Maybe “your highness” “your majesty” “greatest of all times”; well…you get the point.

Give this a try along with the bourbon balsamic glaze and you family surely won’t ever miss meatloaf night again, ever. Serve this dish with sides like stewed tomatoes, or my roasted buffalo style cauliflower and or grill smashed jerked potatoes. For all of these recipes and lots more visit www.cheftroy.net.

Triple Threat Smoked Meatloaf

• 2 Tablespoons-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• ¼ Cup-Onion-diced
• 1 Each-Poblano-seeded, chopped fine
• 8 Ounces-Crimini Mushroom-chopped
• 2 Each-Garlic-smashed into paste
• 2 Each-Eggs-beaten
• 3 Tablespoons-Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 Tablespoons-Hot Sauce
• 1 Cup-Ketchup
• To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
• 1 Pound-Ground Beef
• 1 Pound Ground Pork
• 1/2 Pound-Sandwich Pepperoni-thin sliced, chopped
• 2 Cups-Panko Bread Crumbs
• 8 Slices-Bacon

Bourbon Balsamic Glaze

• 1 Cup-Ketchup
• 2 Tablespoons-Bourbon
• 1 Tablespoon-Balsamic Vinegar
• ½ Teaspoon-Black Pepper
• 1 Teaspoon-Granulated Garlic


1. Warm oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan and add onion, poblano and mushrooms.
2. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and mushrooms reduce in size by half, 6-8 minutes.
3. Add garlic, cook another minute, remove from heat and cool.
4. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, Worcestershire, hot sauce and ketchup.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
6. Soak wood/wood chips in warm water.
7. In a separate bowl add pork, beef, pepperoni, breadcrumbs; cook/cooled vegetable mixture, egg mixture and season.
8. Mix by hand until well combined.
9. Spray loaf pan with pan spray and line with bacon across pan.
10. Add meat mixture to pan, press to all sides and fold over bacon.
11. Combine ingredients for sauce and spoon over about ¼ cup on top of meatloaf.
12. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes.
13. Preheat/smoker for indirect heat cooking to about 225 degrees.
14. Remove meatloaf from oven, drain off grease and turn out gently on top rack of grill/smoker.
15. Add wood/wood chips to smoker box, close lid and cook over indirect heat for 30 minutes or until tender.
16. Baste with remaining sauce every 5-10 minutes.
17. Remove, sliced (place on grill if desired) and serve.

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