Meatloaf is an extremely popular comfort food around here. While my husband doesn’t like it, most everyone else I know loves it. In fact, one of my coworkers requested I make bacon-wrapped meatloaf for his birthday instead of cake this year. I consider him a friend and wanted to make him happy on his birthday, so I made the meatloaf he requested. Ironically, he called in sick that day and was forced to eat his piece reheated the next day. All of my other coworkers enjoyed it fresh from the oven. There was barely enough left for the birthday boy.
If you search for meatloaf recipes online, you will find so many varieties that your head may spin. My recipe changes according to what I have in the kitchen. If I have ground beef, that’s what I use. If I have ground turkey, that’s what I use. You get the picture. I like to use bacon, but I don’t always have it. I refuse to make a special trip to the store to buy one ingredient. I always try to use barbecue sauce instead of ketchup, though. Barbecue sauce gives my meatloaf a little zing that I really enjoy.
Here’s my base recipe. I call it a base because I customize it according to what I have and what sounds good. I often toss some chopped green peppers in there for a little color. I snapped this picture right after I took the meatloaf out of the oven, so I hadn’t removed any of the grease yet. It’s meatloaf, so there will be a significant amount of grease produced.
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix ground meat, eggs, diced onions, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. I usually use my hands, which I thoroughly wash before and after, because a spoon takes too long. Crush the crackers and add to meat mixture. Form the mixture into a loaf. Wrap bacon strips around the meatloaf until completely covered. Place the loaf in an ungreased baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Bake on the center oven rack uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If using ground beef or venison, you want an internal temperature of 160 degrees. If using ground pork, you want an internal temperature of 170 degrees. If using ground turkey, you want an internal temperature of 180 degrees. I hope you enjoy my meatloaf recipe and find comfort in life’s simple pleasures.
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