Alabama Meat Loaf

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups soft breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped smoked ham
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 bacon slices

Stir together ground beef and next 11 ingredients in a large bowl just until combined. Shape mixture into 2 (9- x 4-inch) loaves; place in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.
Pour half of tomato sauce evenly over each loaf, and arrange 2 bacon slices over each loaf.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Mini Alabama Meat Loaves: Shape mixture into 12 (2- x 4-inch) loaves, and arrange on a rack in a foil-lined broiler pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.

To make ahead: Omit tomato sauce and bacon. Wrap unbaked meat loaf in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, unwrap, and proceed as directed.

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings