smoky mini meatloaves

Nothing says comfort food like meatloaf.  Now, I know some people are not impressed with meatloaf, but I think that means you've never had great meatloaf!

This is a classic, comforting version with a tiny smoky kick.  A great make-ahead dish, this almost tastes even better as leftovers the next day!
Smoky Mini-Meatloaves Recipe

3 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups milk
1/2 large onion, finely minced
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil, for browning
1 cup flour

2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco

In a large bowl, gently mix together the first 8 ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow mixture to set and flavors to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Form the meat mixture into palm-sized patties, and place onto a foil-lined baking sheet.   Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Dredge each patty lightly in flour and place into the hot oil, browning on each side (In batches - don't overcrowd the pan!).  When the patties are brown, transfer them to another baking dish.

Mix together the last 6 ingredients and pour over the meatloaves.  (This is a great place to stop, if you want to make these ahead of time!  Just cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to bake them!)  Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is bubbly!

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