FOODIE: Meatloaf and Brussels Sprouts with Lardons

A few Fridays ago, I was on my way back from LA on my favorite airline, JetBlue. I just can’t tell you what a difference a tiny 5-inch TV makes in that six-hour flight from LA to NY. But I managed to get some good sleep for most of the flight and emerged into a twilight semi-sleep state when the “Barefoot Contessa” came on Food Network. This episode was like mind-control for my flight-addled brain.
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My plan was to go home after landing, shower and go to some party. Not after Ina Garten got ahold of my brain! In my semi-sleep state the idea of meatloaf and Brussels sprouts with bacon seized my mind. As soon as I landed I just had to get to the grocery store to get the ingredients.
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Instead of using only beef, I incorporated 1/3 lbs of ground pork with 2/3 lbs ground beef thinking that it would make the meatloaf more moist, but I don’t think it did. I also left out the bread crumbs thinking that would add to the moisture, but after watching an episode of “Good Eats,” I realized that both of these actions led to a much drier meatloaf than the recipe below would. So don’t do what I did kids, stick to the recipe below.

The Brussels sprouts came out perfectly. I didn’t add golden raisins as the original recipe called for, but I would go with that. I’m not really a fan of random raisin additions to savory food, but if you are, go for it!

I also baked a potato to go with everything for good comfort food measure and put a good dollop of sour cream, butter and some scallions – cause there’s nothing wrong with that!

Individual Meat Loaves

1 tablespoon good olive oil

3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)

1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)

2 extra-large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don’t mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

Brussels Sprouts with Lardons

2 tablespoons good olive oil

6 ounces Italian pancetta or bacon, 1/4-inch dice

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (2 containers), trimmed and cut in 1/2

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 3/4 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth

Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper to the fat in the pan and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the raisins and chicken stock. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry, add a little chicken stock or water. Return the pancetta to the pan, heat through, season to taste, and serve.

Tell us how yours turned out!

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Like Foodie? Check out the rest of Parlour’s recipes from both J’alla and Nichelle here.


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