This is my stand-by, accept no substitutes, only meatloaf ever, recipe. The only things I changed was replacing the maple syrup with ketchup, and replacing the ketchup with BBQ sauce. I use Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar. It keeps it sweet, but adds a smokey flavor to it, too. I prefer to make the whole recipe, and then split the amount made and vacuum seal one half to pop in the freezer. Because without a doubt, one half of this recipe can feed a family of three with leftovers! Plus, by letting all the flavors rest together, and thaw out again together, the second loaf is always better than the first. :)
Alabama Meat Loaf
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups soft breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup finely chopped smoked ham
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 4 bacon slices
- Stir together ground beef and next 11 ingredients in a large bowl just until combined. Shape mixture into 2 (9- x 4-inch) loaves; place in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.
- Pour half of tomato sauce evenly over each loaf, and arrange 2 bacon slices over each loaf.
- Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Mini Alabama Meat Loaves: Shape mixture into 12 (2- x 4-inch) loaves, and arrange on a rack in a foil-lined broiler pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
- To make ahead: Omit tomato sauce and bacon. Wrap unbaked meat loaf in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, unwrap, and proceed as directed.
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