Virginia's Great Meatloaf
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This is a simple and basic, and very good, meatloaf recipe. It's another Internet find, with about 1000 good reviews, and you can see the original by following the link at the bottom of the page. This has become one of two standard house recipes that we use for meatloaf. Be sure to try this one.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 slice of bread (or 1/4 cup garlic croutons)
1 egg
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (~ 3/4 cup)
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbls ketchup
1/2 to 2/3 cup half-and-half (or whole milk)
4 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 - 4 tbls dark brown sugar, packed firm
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1 tsp Franks Original Hot Sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

Combine meat loaf ingredients, gently mixing them together, and place into a loaf baking dish (or form into a log shape on a baking sheet pan).

Add all the sauce ingredients in a small pan, and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce gently over low heat just until it comes together (it should not be runny). Cover the meatloaf with the sauce.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until done.

Cliff Notes: We usually use the free form loaf method. This gives the meatloaf surface area when backing for the saucy crust to form. The best pan for this is the old fashion double layered broiling pan. The little holes in the broiling pan let the grease drip away from the meatloaf. If you don't have this pan, use a foil covered baking rack sat on top of a sheet pan.

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