Most people who replace their ground beef with buffalo, in recipes like meatballs, burgers, and meatloaf, are usually disappointed. Ground buffalo is much leaner than ground beef, which is the biggest challenge. In case you're new, it's the fat that provides most of the flavor and moisture. Also, for whatever reason, pre-packaged buffalo is ground very fine, almost to a paste, which can lead to a rubbery meatloaf, unless you use a few tricks.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
40 mins
cook:
1 hr 10 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
2 hrs
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Meatloaf:
Glaze:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

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  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-heat. Cook and stir chopped bacon in hot butter until almost crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Pulse onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add vegetable mixture and rosemary to bacon in the skillet; cook and stir until vegetables soften and sweeten, about 5 minutes.

  • Mix vegetable mixture, bread crumbs, and milk together in a bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Stir egg, salt, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into vegetable mixture. Add buffalo meat to vegetable mixture and mix with your hands until well-blended.

  • Turn meat mixture out into prepared baking dish and shape into a 9x5x3-inch meatloaf. Lay bacon strips crosswise over the top of the meatloaf, tucking in ends of bacon under the loaf.

  • Whisk rice vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard together in a bowl until glaze is smooth.

  • Bake meatloaf in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Brush glaze over loaf and continue baking until no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 155 degrees F (68 degrees C). Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cook's Note:

You can substitute 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary for the 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, if desired.

To check for seasoning: once everything is mixed, fry a small piece of the meatloaf mixture and taste. Adjust, if necessary, and recheck.

Nutrition Facts

348 calories; protein 35.8g; carbohydrates 19.3g; fat 13.6g; cholesterol 134.5mg; sodium 1239.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/01/2016
Oh my GOODNESS!!! Chef John you have outdone yourself again. Hands down the BEST meatloaf I have EVER made or EVER had. Buffalo. Bacon. Mushrooms. Tons of veggies within. Over the top amazing. Never again will my meatloaf be plain and lifeless. Instead it will be the family's most requested meal. Read More
(2)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/11/2020
The flavorings were decent. I didn't use the bread crumbs (because I CAN'T). Perhaps that was why the loaf sat in 2 inches of water at the end. Sorry to those who hate reviews that include changing the recipe. I do what I can to adjust according to my health needs. Read More
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/29/2016
Oh my GOODNESS!!! Chef John you have outdone yourself again. Hands down the BEST meatloaf I have EVER made or EVER had. Buffalo. Bacon. Mushrooms. Tons of veggies within. Over the top amazing. Never again will my meatloaf be plain and lifeless. Instead it will be the family's most requested meal. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2017
I omitted butter. It seemed like an overkill. I subbed zucchini for mushrooms. I used less bacon on top as I felt like 7 slices was also an overkill. Family loved it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2016
Outstanding! Rave reviews from guests with requests for the recipe. Chef John's expertise isn't to be trifled with!!! I usually follow his recipes without modification. Once again this was the wise choice. No substitutions no deletions no additions. I added the optional glaze and think it really added to the dish. I trust my butcher and after reviewing this recipe he suggested that I use 90% lean bison instead of 85% lean. This is an expensive ground meat as compared to beef but I think the expense is worthwhile if one's budget allows. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2015
I had to change a few things I had three pounds of meet instead of two and I had to chop all the veggies instead of using a food processor since mine is a tiny. I think it turned out pretty good anyway. The wrapped bacon looks beautiful and tastes amazing too. I did use the glaze and it helps the bacon get a more even brown golden color besides tasting delicious. Make sure that your meatloaf is not touching any of the pan walls because the bacon will not brown or get crispy. Mine was barely touching it from the ends and those sections the bacon stayed soft (I hate soft bacon) also be aware that the bacon you tuck at the bottom of your meatloaf will not get crispy either. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
09/22/2016
My hubby and son said this was good but alittle spicy! I made this with beef instead of bison. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/17/2019
Added a 1/4 tsp of cumin to add some smokieness to the dish. And a stick of celery to the ground veg mix. And yes I will fix it again. Read More
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Rating: 3 stars
03/11/2020
The flavorings were decent. I didn't use the bread crumbs (because I CAN'T). Perhaps that was why the loaf sat in 2 inches of water at the end. Sorry to those who hate reviews that include changing the recipe. I do what I can to adjust according to my health needs. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/02/2019
I will make it again it was good but it took a while to make Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/06/2016
Yes I will make this again. I had omitted the mushrooms due to personal choice and I did not have any peppers on hand. It was still quite good! I did use only beef hamburger. I would like to broil the outside to help get the bacon crispy the next time I make this. Thanks for the great recipe! Read More
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