Prepare oven and loaf pan: Preheat your oven to 350℉. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine meatloaf ingredients: In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatloaf together (except the bacon) and mix well with your hands. You can also saute the chopped onion and pepper first to soften it a bit, but it's not necessary.
Transfer meatloaf to loaf pan and cover with bacon: Place the meat mixture in the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Cover with bacon slices, tucking in the bacon over the sides.
Make sauce and brush over meatloaf: In a small bowl whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Brush half the sauce over the meatloaf.
Bake: Transfer the meatloaf to the oven and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Half way through, take the meatloaf out and brush the remaining sauce over it and continue baking.
Cool: Let cool for about 10 minutes then cut into slices and serve over mashed potatoes.
You can make this pork-free by using 2 lbs of ground beef, chicken, or turkey, and turkey bacon on the outside.
Add any veggies you'd like to load up this meatloaf and clear out your fridge. Mushrooms work fantastic in a recipe like this, as they keep the meatloaf nice and juicy.
Bourbon can be replaced with any type of whiskey, rum, or brandy. Use 1 tsp of vanilla extract if you'd like a non-alcoholic substitute.
To make this gluten free, use 1/3 cup of potato starch, also called potato flour, in place of the breadcrumbs.
If you want to use a pre-made BBQ sauce to speed up the process, that is okay.