4 strips lean bacon
2 teaspoons brown sugar, optional
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Cajun seasonings
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup evaporated milk or whole milk
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and coat with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. In a large skillet, cook the sugared bacon for about 2 minutes to render some of the excess fat. Or, cook on a paper plate in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Heat oven to 350°. Line a baking pan with foil and lightly oil the foil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, pork, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, egg, cheese, Cajun seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and milk. Put the mixture on the prepared foil-lined baking pan and shape into a loaf.
Spread barbecue sauce over the loaf and arrange the bacon strips over the top.
Bake until bacon is crispy and meat loaf is firm, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing or moving to a serving platter.
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