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El Jefe's Festivus Meat Loaf

This is a meat loaf recipe I've made up over the years in an attempt to leave behind the "vegetable soup" meatloaves we had growing up. Needless to say, this meat loaf is the perfect main course for your annual Festivus celebration! - El Jefe

Looking for a perfect wine pairing for this?

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
6 ounces (by weight) sun dried tomato wheat thin crackers (yes, really)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine or crushed in a garlic press
3 pounds ground beef (half chuck and half siroin works well)
3 (or more) slices thick bacon, chopped up
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

In a food processor, chop up the crackers and the seasonings into fine crumbs. In a bowl mix the meat, bacon, and garlic. Then, add in the cracker crumbs, egg, and water to mix well.

You can bake this in a loaf pan, but I prefer to mold it into a loaf shape on a cookie sheet and bake free standing. This lets some of the grease run off, and forms a really nice crust. Bake at 325 degrees until the temperature at the center of the loaf reads 155 degrees (about 45 minutes or so).

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