What to grill for valentine’s day? Some would argue that nothing you grill will be as romantic as something from a nice restaurant. Don’t think ribs or brisket or pulled pork. True, those aren’t romantic to most women. To the women those items are romantic to, well, they’re keepers! But if you want to know what to grill for valentine’s day, then you’ve come to the right place. Dad nailed it and I will hand it off to him to show you the foolproof instructions on how to make it yourself…
Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey…great song from The Drifters in 1961 and the inspiration for this Valentine-themed grilling recipe. Interesting to note two of the four backup singers on this recording were Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick. Additional inspiration was provided by the discovery of my dearly departed mother’s heart-shaped cake pan in which she baked that special cake, with pink frosting of course, every Valentine’s Day. I began thinking what could I do with that special pan on the grill for a timely post about the love holiday?
***Editor’s Note ~ This recipe practically requires a heart shaped pan. For those of you that didn’t have a mother (in Dad’s case) or grandmother (in my case) who handed one of these down, you can buy one from Amazon for $14 plus shipping***
While pondering love thoughts from years ago for further inspiration (I was fourteen when the song came out and I was beginning to think seriously about love…sure I was!) I realized I needed appropriate props for the photos accompanying the grilling recipe. Remember these?
I remembered grilling other recipes in a pan and meatloaf was always a hit. I would simply cook it in a different pan…simple eh? We’ll see. I decided to sugar the recipe up a bit in keeping with the special day nearly at hand and it shall be called Sweetloaf. Ingredients were selected for two versions of this grilling recipe. Take a look and see if you can tell the difference.
The difference? BACON!! I’ll show you later how this was territory a guy should probably avoid.
Here’s a newcomer to Grillin Fools ingredient list…Riley’s All Purpose Seasoning.
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground sirloin
1 lb ground pork
1 medium onion finely diced
6 fresh garlic cloves, finely diced
3 fresh eggs
2 cups bread crumbs (I used Panko)
8 oz sweet BBQ sauce (I selected Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey variety)
2 tbsp brown sugar (I was humming the song at this point)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp Ancho chile powder (for more heat sub cayenne or chipotle)
2 tsp thyme
3 tsp salt
1 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
Riley’s All Purpose Seasoning (for dusting)
2 slices bacon (very optional)
Blues Hog Tennessee Red (for glazing)
Rope Provel cheese blend (for topping-totally optional)
Let the prep begin! Finely diced garlic and onion to add to the meat mixture in a large bowl.
Panko bread crumbs added.
Now the shredded smoked Gouda and seasonings added. Mix the ingredients well but be careful to not overwork the mixture.
The Sweetloaf mixture is pressed into the heart-shaped pan then dusted with Riley’s for an additional layer of flavor.
Now here is where my grilling love thoughts begin to go awry. It looks like a great idea at this point but we shall soon see the error of this Fool’s folly.
Those are supposed to be X’s to combined with the O’s later on.
My kettle grill is setup for indirect grilling with coals to the right and the left and nothing in the middle.
Smoke wood selected was cherry for additional sweetness. You can fill in your own joke here.
Sweetloaf is placed in the center of the grate anticipating a cook time between 60-90 minutes or until internal temp is 160 degrees. I sometimes remove ground meat a bit before as it continues to cook while resting. I suggest you decide what you are most comfortable with. Be safe out there!
Here’s a look about 45 minutes in. As you can see, I’ve yet to master nighttime photography.
Blues Hog Tennessee Red painted on for what I hope is a red glaze.
The Sweetloaf is taken off the kettle grill and brought inside to rest. The heart-shaped plates came in handy but my idea of bacon Xs and rope Provel Os proved to be a bit more of a challenge than I had imagined.
Let’s take a closer look at my artwork.
The rose and the love potion provide a more attractive setting.
Let’s take a closer look at the bottle of love potion. A tasty sparkling Riesling from Dr. Loosen aptly named for the love night celebration. Don’t laugh! You know you were thinking it too!
One more look at my presentation disaster. Perhaps this guy-fool should leave the fancy decorating to some of my friends of the opposite sex who are more gifted in that arena than am I. The idea to have grilled Xs and Os was great idea but the execution was lacking. Well, my heart was in the right place. Everybody is supposed to say “Awwww!” about now.
In the end, well not quite the end, the Sweetloaf was outstanding. According to my other half it may have been my finest effort to date with meatloaf. The Sweetloaf was very flavorful, moist, sweet (but not overly so), a little smoky, with great texture. I’ll prepare this recipe again and likely make it my go-to meatloaf recipe for the foreseeable future.
I hope the toppled wine flute is affectionately pointing to a sweet evening with your significant other.
Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey….
If you have any questions or comments about this grilling recipe for valentine’s day, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
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- 1 lb ground veal
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 6 fresh garlic cloves, finely diced
- 3 fresh eggs
- 2 cups bread crumbs (I used Panko)
- 8 oz sweet BBQ sauce (I selected Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey variety)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (I was humming the song at this point)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Ancho chile powder (for more heat sub cayenne or chipotle)
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 cup shredded smoked Gouda
- 3 tsp salt
- Riley’s All Purpose Seasoning (for dusting)
- 2 slices bacon (very optional)
- 2 tbsp of Blue's Hog BBQ sauce
- Combine the veal, sirloin, pork, finely diced onion, finely diced garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, Sweet Baby's Ray's BBQ sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, ancho chile powder, thyme, gouda, and salt.
- Press the meatloaf into the heart shaped pan
- Dust with Riley's seasoning
- Place X's of bacon on top (Optional)
- Prepare the grill for two zone/indirect grilling with coals and smoke wood on one side and nothing on the other
- Place the heart shaped meatloaf over the side with no heat
- Target internal temperature of the grill is 300-325 and estimated grilling time is 60-90 minutes
- After 45 minutes, brush with Blue's Hog BBQ sauce
- When the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees, remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat