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- In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Keep the bacon grease in the pan. Set the bacon aside.
- Add the olive oil to the pan with the bacon grease. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, cooled vegetable mixture, egg, panko, salt, and pepper. With your hands, mix until well incorporated, adding more panko if the mixture is too sticky.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a miniature muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Roll a piece of the meat mixture into the size of a golf ball and press into the muffin pan. Using your finger, poke a well in the middle of the meat cupcake about halfway down. Continue with the rest of the meat mixture. Spoon or squirt some ketchup into each cupcake well. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Using tongs or a spatula, remove the cupcakes from the pan. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a pastry decorating bag. (You can also use a large plastic zip-top bag with the corner snipped off, or use a spatula.) Pipe the mashed potatoes on top of each cupcake as you would frost a traditional cupcake.
- Crumble the bacon into smaller pieces, then sprinkle on top of the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the parsley on top of the bacon.
Stella and Daniel Antic'S RECIPE NOTES:
I decided to bring my version down in scale for a tiny two-bite morsel. Here, little savory meatloaf bites are topped with creamy mashed potatoes and crowned with crispy bacon “sprinkles.” These would be great for a party as an appetizer, or fun for little kids who might be a bit picky.