Now, I'm a little embarrassed to admit it turns on a bottle of ketchup. But it is what it is.... we have no secrets here.
What you'll need:
1 & 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (or a combo of ground beef and pork)
1 medium onion chopped finely
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (I use wheat but not sure it matters)
1/2 cup Milk
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
@1/3 cup brown sugar & @1/3 cup ketchup [I don't measure these]
Preheat oven to 350F
Throw all your ingredients except the sugar and ketchup in a big bowl and mix it up like you mean it. Shape it into a nice tight loaf and set aside.
Wait for it.....
Here's the family secret... Shhhhhh
Put a 1/3-1/2 cup of brown sugar in the bottom of your loaf pan (I like my glass one for this recipe) and pat it down evenly. Then get out your family size Heinz ketchup and cover the sugar.... Should take about a third to a half cup.
Set your loaf on top of the ketchup and gently Pat down. You're done.... Cook for 1 hour in preheated oven.
OMG it's embarrassingly good.
p.s. I served it with a saute of carrot "chips" [1 over-flowing handful], fresh green beans [trimmed and cut in 3 pieces ---approximately 1 1/2 cups trimmed] and fresh corn which I cut off the cob [2 ears]. Sauteed in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter on low low low heat for 30 minutes while the meatloaf finished up. Seasoned with sea salt as plated.