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.

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.
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!


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

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