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Hi everyone,

Today I'm attempting one of my brother's favorites, smoked meatloaf cordon bleu florentine. This is essentially a rolled meatloaf with layers of spinach, swiss cheese and ham.

I used smoked ham from the grocer. I cold-smoked some swiss myself last night.

Here are photos up until the point it went into the smoker. I'll post the finished product later on.


Loaf pressed out into a flat rectangle. First layer baby spinach:

Second layer smoked swiss cheese:

Third layer smoked ham:

Roll it up and seal the edges:

Top with mixture of BBQ sauce, ketchup and Frank's. Into the smoker with pecan and apple for 3-3/4 hours:
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Andy J: You're right, next time I'll lose the loaf pan. I was worried about it falling apart. Next time I'll put it on the rack and put a pan down a shelf to capture the drippings.

I did drain the pan twice during cooking (at 1-1/2 hours, and 3 hours), then again when I brought it in, so it didn't sit in its grease the whole time. My wife could not believe how much grease there was collected at the end. I use 20% fat ground chuck because I don't want a dry loaf, but I didn't expect this much grease.
I'd have to classify this as a success. I cooked the meatloaf for about 3:50 at 225. I opened the door twice to pull out the pan so I could drain off the collected grease, each time the temp dropped a bit then had to come back up.

The recipe is below these final photos. Worth the effort to make it! It got an A+ from my wife and my housekeeper. The smoked cheese is a nice extra, but regular Swiss can be used as well. I also forgot to add the chili powder in the meat, so I sprinkled it on the outside after rolling. And I added a decent amount of Frank's Hot Sauce to the dressing (equal amounts of bbq sauce and ketchup), which gave it a great kick.

Here is the meatloaf after pulling from the smoker. I let it rest about 10 minutes loosely foiled. Note that at the 3 hour mark when I pulled the tray to drain the grease, I brushed on a bit more of the dressing:

Here is a slice of smoky goodness:



4 lb. ground beef (my strong preference is for ground chuck – 80/20 fat ratio)
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1 c. milk
3-4 beaten eggs
1 large onion diced or chopped (or 1Tbsp. onion powder)
1 1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
12 oz. smoked ham, sliced
16 oz. smoked Swiss cheese, sliced or shredded (use regular Swiss if smoked is unavailable)
5 oz. baby spinach, cleaned
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Pasilla chili powder, to taste (optional - I used Thai chili powder)
1/2 Tbs. dry mustard powder (optional - I used it)
Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Frank’s Hot Sauce, mixed (1:1:taste)


Put ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Mix in by hand the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, onions, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and chili powder (optional). On a large piece of parchment or waxed paper, pat out the meat mixture 1/2" thick or thinner, to a flat shape of approximately 12" x 18". Season the meat with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper. Layer spinach, cheese, and ham, leaving 3" margin of meat at far end of meat and about an inch on other 3 sides.

Take edge of paper closest to you and roll "jelly roll fashion" the long way. Pinch ends of roll to seal (this is important to keep the loaf from separating during cooking. Cover with the spicy ketchup mixture. May prepare in advance and refrigerate for several hours.

Bring loaf to room temperature. Smoke-cook at 225F for approx 4 hours (I cooked for 3:50), using hickory, oak, pecan or a combination (I used pecan + apple).

Remove from smoker, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

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