Yield: 6 to 8 servings
5 tablespoons gochujang, divided
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger, grated on a Microplane
3 tablespoons (unseasoned) rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Add 4 tablespoons gochujang, the Worcestershire, soy sauce and sesame oil to a small pot. Whisk to combine. Transfer ¼ cup of this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of gochujang, the ginger, rice wine vinegar and sugar to the small pot. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
¼ pound frozen bacon, roughly chopped (it must be frozen!)
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large whole eggs, whisked
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (white or black)
2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2¼ pounds ground beef, 80% lean
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 325ºF.
2. In a food processor, pulse the frozen bacon until it’s finely chopped. Transfer chopped bacon to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
3. In the same food processor (no need to clean) pulse together the onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the gochujang mixture.
4. Add the mustard, egg, pepper and sesame seeds to the large bowl. Mix together thoroughly.
5. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the mixture. Sprinkle the ground beef (breaking it up as you go) over the mixture. Finally, sprinkle the bacon over. Fold together (get in there with your hands) until combined. Avoid squeezing the meat.
6. Press the meat into a 9” x 5” loaf pan, pressing the top to make it level. Using a pairing knife, run the blade along the inside edges of the pan to loosen the meat from the sides of the pan. Turn the raw meatloaf out (flip it) onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. If your oven has a gas (flame) broiler, use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. (Remove the loaf pan.)
7. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Rotate the sheet tray and continue cooking for an additional 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150ºF.
8. While the meatloaf is cooking, place the small pot of glaze over medium-low heat. Reduce the glaze, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until it is thick like a barbecue sauce.
9. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Turn oven to broil. Glaze the top and sides of the meatloaf using a brush, with half of the glaze. Place sheet tray back in the oven on the middle rack and broil for 1 minute. Keep your eyes on it and set a timer – the high heat may cause the parchment paper to brown (which is why you should use aluminum foil if your heating element is gas/a flame). Remove the sheet tray and glaze again with the remaining liquid. Broil again for 1 minute.
10. Remove and let the meatloaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Pairing suggestion: serve meatloaf with a vegetable, such as green beans, as well as rice and kimchi. Go crazy and top your slice with a fried egg!