1 hr 25 mins
– Place an oven-proof tray on the lower rack or bottom of your oven, and fill it with water. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (180C). This will create light steam.
– Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are transparent. About 6-8 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Whisk the eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl until well combined.
– In a large bowl, combine ground chuck beef, onion-garlic mix, the beaten eggs, ground saltine crackers, salt, and pepper. Gently mix all the ingredients with a spatula or a fork. Do not knead or over-mix the dough, otherwise, the meatloaf will be chewy and dense.
– Place a large piece of aluminum foil (about 10 inches long) over a baking sheet. Transfer the meat to the aluminum foil, and very gently, shape it to form a rectangle of about 6 X 10-inch. Place the hard-boiled eggs in the center of the rectangle, and add the jalapeño pepper strips, if using. Form the loaf by lifting the edge of the aluminum foil to the center, and then rolling to form a log.
– Smooth the top and the edges, with the help of the aluminum foil. Place the bacon strips on top of the loaf and lightly cover with another piece of aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.