Bourbon and Coke Meatloaf Sandwich

bourbon and coke meatloaf sandwich 1

Celebrity chef Ed Lee’s bourbon and coke meatloaf sandwich piqued my curiosity. I wondered if Ed hits it out of the park and if his meatloaf becomes my new fave. Let’s face it, a meatloaf is all about the meat and the rest is just window dressing.

He created this for Southern Living magazine and revealed until then, he had never made a meatloaf. Think about that. Successful chef, multiple restaurants in several states, television credits with a top chef appearance and he had never made a meatloaf. Incredible!

While creating his first one, there were six failed attempts and he paused for a bourbon and coke – or two if I know Ed. With that inspiration, this meatloaf recipe became “the one” and like every sensible loaf maker, he created a sandwich. So good, I have to share it with you.

What I Learned Making Ed’s Recipe

  • Sautéing ingredients before making the loaf
  • Using bourbon, coke, celery and mushrooms in a loaf
  • That I could eat a fried egg, the first of my life and like it – on a big sandwich
eds meatloaf
Ed’s meatloaf, sliced for sandwiches

Complications, Missteps and Mistakes

I did make a mistake. While finishing the sandwich, my better half accidentally turned up the heat on my gravy, breaking it beyond recovery. I didn’t have time to remake it, so heavy whisking and away we went.

What I Did When Ed Wasn’t Looking

This is normally where I admit tweaking a recipe, but not this time. This one is recreated by the book. Ha, did you see what I did there?

And The Verdict Is…

This is a detailed, foolproof recipe that you can follow to the letter. I give myself an A+ for effort and a B+ for execution because of the broken gravy.

How can I say it? The meatloaf is… okay. Eaten by itself, the celery, mushrooms, bourbon and coke diminish the flavor of the meat, but this is meant for a sandwich.

On toast with mayo, tomato, fried egg and black pepper gravy it became transcendent! On a scale of 1-5, it’s a 10. Unbelievably delicious!

What was that earlier remark about window dressing? This window dressing is worthy of New York City’s 5th Avenue.

Tim and Ed Lee

This is Ed, giving me shiest about breaking the gravy! Print

Bourbon and Coke Meatloaf Sandwich

Bourbon and Coke Meatloaf with Mayo, Tomato, Fried Egg and Black Pepper Gravy

  • Author: Tim
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x




  • 1 TBL butter
  • 1 cup onion – finely diced
  • 1/4 cup celery – finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove – minced
  • 3 slices thick cut bacon – diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms – chopped
  • 1 lb 80% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 additional egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 TBL coca-cola
  • 1 TBL bourbon
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 TBL soy sauce
  • 1 TBL brown sugar

Black Pepper Gravy

  • 11/2 TBL butter
  • 1 TBL all purpose flour
  • 1 cup reserved meatloaf drippings
  • 1/2 cup home-made chicken stock
  • Kosher salt – to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • A few drops of lemon juice


  • (1) 3/4″ slice meatloaf
  • 1 slice white bread – toasted
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 3 TBL gravy
  • 1 large egg
  • Fresh Parsley – garnish


Meatloaf – Make this First

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  3. Saute the onions, celery and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes
  4. Add the bacon and mushrooms and cook another 4 minutes until soft
  5. Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool to room temp
  6. When cool add the ground beef, all the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until it is evenly blended
  7. Shape it into a loaf in a 9X5 meatloaf pan
  8. Make the glaze by whisking together the ingredients and cover the loaf
  9. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temp exceeds 145 degrees
  10. Remove from oven, drain and reserve the drippings for gravy

Black Pepper Gravy

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
  2. Whisk in the flour until it’s smooth and then whisk in the meatloaf drippings and chicken stock
  3. Bring to a simmer and whisk for about 2 minutes
  4. Add the black pepper and salt to taste
  5. Whisk in a few drops of lemon juice
  6. Turn off the heat and keep warm until ready to serve


  1. Toast the bread, smear a healthy layer of mayo on it and place it on the plate and place it on a plate
  2. Place a slice of meatloaf on the mayo, then the sliced tomato
  3. Add a pat of butter in a hot skillet and fry an egg, sunny-side up, then place it on top
  4. Whisk your gravy together again and pour a generous serving over each sandwich
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley


Thanks to Chef Edward Lee of Louisville, Kentucky from his best-selling cookbook Smoke & Pickles – Recipes From A New Southern Kitchen, 2013