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Meatloaf Surprise

1 pound lean ground beef
2 fresh eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
a few pinches of salt
1 tablespoon Italian Herbs (or your own
combo of Oregano, Basil & Thyme)
1 slender brick of mozzarella cheese, about 8 to 10 ounces.
lots and lots of fresh, cracked pepper

This is what you'll need to do:
In a large bowl, mix together well the beef, mayo, bread crumbs, herbs and salt.

Generously sprinkle the bottom of your greased loaf pan with cracked black pepper, preferably right from the peppermill. (This will pay off later when we invert the meatloaf out of the pan to reveal a spicy crust.)

Press a third of the beef mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan until packed & level. Lay in the brick of mozzarella on top of the beef, centering it perfectly. You may need to slice some cheese off the edges because what we want is at least 3/4" space all around the cheese to have the room to pack the meat firmly around it, to seal it in just right.

Use another third of the beef mixture to pack all around the brick of cheese as just explained. The cheese should have no way of escaping out the sides of the meatloaf when it melts. Pack in the last third of the beef mixture tightly and firmly.

Bake in the 375 oven for 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Allow to cool several minutes.

Invert loaf pan onto a cutting board. Your meatloaf will ease right out. Cut two thick slices for one serving, but quickly transfer them to a plate, as the cheese will be eager to ooze out of its hiding place.

This is great to make for guests who aren't told of the surprise awaiting them.

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