I mixed in some brown sugar with the ketchup before covering the loaves of meat with it. It’s just a matter of personal preference – for me using the ketchup alone makes it a bit too acidic. Adding some brown sugar to the ketchup cuts the acidity enough to let the other flavors shine, and binds the outside of the meatloaf together nicely.
It also makes a bit of a glaze that provides just the right amount of sweet contrast to the savory flavors of the beef and bacon (while complementing the mild heat of the horseradish well). But if you really love plain ketchup on the surface of your meatloaf, feel free just to make it as Salad in a Jar did; plenty of people do like it that way!
¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers (12)
⅓ cup milk
½ cup onions (get the frozen ones if you prefer, or you can use fresh)
1 clove garlic
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork or turkey
1 tablespoon prepared cream horseradish
¼ cup Heinz chili sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I normally use Lea & Perrins original)
¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
Heinz ketchup (enough to cover loaves; see my comments below)
Brown sugar, roughly two tablespoons (my addition; see comments below)
10 slices pre-cooked bacon
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover small baking rack with aluminum foil and place on foil-covered half-sheet baking pan. Poke a few holes in the foil on the rack to allow excess grease to drain.
Place crackers, milk, onions and garlic in bowl of food processor and pulse several times until onions are finely chopped and crackers are completely crumbled. Break up meat and add to food processor. Pulse 10 times, one second each, to combine with crumbs. Be careful not to overdo it or you could end up with something looking like Spam. Put meat mixture in a large mixing bowl and use hands to lightly combine remaining ingredients with meat.
Mold raw meat into 2 small loaves and place on prepared rack. Cover with ketchup. Loosely lay 5 strips of bacon on each loaf and tuck ends under. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until temperature reaches 160 degrees internally.
Quick tip: Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your liking.
Thanks to Salad in a Jar for this delicious meatloaf recipe.