Bacon Kaboom!

Billy Law says: “This is my version of the notorious ‘bacon explosion’ recipe that first appeared on a BBQ blog in 2008. It’s the most ridiculous meatloaf you’ll ever eat. I pimped it up even further by adding gherkin and jalapeños for an extra heat explosion – kaboom!”

Note: If you don’t fancy cooking this on the barbecue, as the recipe states, just put it in a low oven at the same temperature.

Time: 2.5 hours

Serves: 8–10


  • 1kg minced pork
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 15 bacon slices
  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 80ml (4 tablespoons) smoky barbecue sauce
  • 125g cheddar, shredded
  • 1 gherkin, halved lengthways
  • 2 jalapeno chillies, thinly sliced
  • hickory wood chips, for smoking (optional)
  • ranch slaw, (see note)
  • 8 bread rolls


Put the pork in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, sage and cayenne pepper. Using both hands, mix until fully incorporated. Do not over mix.

Remove the rind from the bacon and trim the bacon to equal widths, about 2–3 cm. For some of the bigger pieces, you can cut them in half lengthways. Cut the off-cuts into thin strips.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, cook the off-cut bacon pieces until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel.

Place a large sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. Weave the bacon strips on the baking paper.

Line another baking tray with baking paper, spread the meat mixture evenly to make a huge rectangle pattie, about 2.5 cm thick and just a little bit smaller than the bacon weave. Brush with the barbecue sauce, spread a line of cheese on top of the pork at the edge closest to you. Sprinkle bacon pieces on top of the cheese evenly, followed by the gherkin and jalapeño.

Starting from the edge closest to you, roll the pork tightly away from you, making sure the roll is firm without any air pockets inside. Carefully lift the roll and place on top of the bacon weave at the edge closest to you. With the help of the baking paper, roll the bacon weave and wrap the mince inside tightly, making sure the roll is sitting on top of the seam to stop it from coming loose. Fold the bacon strips inwards on both sides and secure with bamboo skewers.

Set up the barbecue with hot coals on one side and drip tray on the other. We are looking for a temperature of 120–135°C. Transfer the roll to the barbecue, placing on a wire rack on top of the drip tray, cover with the lid and cook with indirect heat for 1 1⁄2–2 hours. Test its doneness by inserting a thermometer into the centre of the roll – it should be 73–77°C. Meanwhile, prepare the ranch slaw (see note).

Remove the cooked meatloaf to a serving board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the coleslaw in bread rolls.

Ranch Slaw
To make the ranch slaw, mix 300 g finely shredded white cabbage, 1 shredded carrot, 150 g mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper together in a bowl, taste and season accordingly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavours develop.

Recipe taken from Man Food by Billy Law

If you’re hankering for meaty, hearty, comfort food, you need a MAN FOOD fix. Beware: this is a quinoa-free zone. Sticky chipotle pork ribs, fried chicken with cornmeal waffles, wagyu burgers, spicy oyster po’ boys, deep-dish bourbon pie, and pretzel and salted caramel ice cream – Man Food delivers flavour in spades. Join author and photographer Billy Law as he serves up epic meals for man-sized appetites.

You can purchase Man Food at

Published by Hardie Grant

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Bacon and Egg Tarts
Pork with Peach Chutney
Classic Italian Meatloaf

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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