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Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider or white vinegar

2 teaspoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1/2 cup whole milk or plain yogurt
2 pounds meat loaf mixture (50% ground chuck, 25% ground pork, 25% ground veal
2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16) or quick oatmeal or 1 1/3
cups fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
8 ounces thin-sliced bacon (8-12 slices, depending on loaf shape)

Mix ketchup, sugar and vinegar in small saucepan; set aside.

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion
and garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to
cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce,
pepper sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large
bowl along with crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic;
mix with fork until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick
to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add additional milk or yogurt, a
couple tablespoons at a time until mix no longer sticks.)

Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture
into approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined
(for easy cleanup) shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze,
then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly
and tucking only bacon tip ends under loaf.

Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees,
about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining glaze
over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and
serve with extra glaze pass separately.


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