So, yeh, take points away for not having anything green on the plate, and mebbe for my using too many veggies and ending up with a kindofa softly textured meatloaf; but points most definitely added for one fine and tasty meatloaf will a little sumpin’ sumpin’ extra.
Like a wee, tiny bit of bourbon.
Only a tablespoon, to be honest, but it added a nice hint of flavor. The pepper gravy wasn’t to be sneezed at, either.
Note: the original recipe by Bill Daley was published earlier this summer in the Chicago Tribune, and I, as usual, have made, ermmm, a few changes to suit my pantry. ALSO, as noted above, my meatloaf came out just a bit soft, so mebbe cut back on the veggies or double the amount of meat and/or breadcrumbs. I’ll try one or both next time and publish the results in a future Parfait!
•1 lb ground beef
•1/2 green pepper – 1 cup diced
•1/2 red pepper – 1 cup diced
•1 cup diced carrot
•1 cup diced celery
•2 cups chopped onion
•1/4 cup pepperoni
•1/2 cup panko crubs
•1 egg and 1 egg yolk
•1/4 cup ketchup
•2 tbsp cola
•1 tbsp bourbon
•1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/4 tsp seasoned salt
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp Tellicherry pepper
•1/4 cup ketchup
•1 tbsp brown sugar
•1-1/2 tsp mustard
Black Pepper Gravy:
•1-1/2 tbsp butter
•1 tbsp flour
•1 cup reserved meatloaf drippings
•1/2 cup chicken stock
•1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•A few drops fresh lemon juice
Phew! Long list – but trust me – it all comes together pretty quickly.
First, warm a bit of olive oil in a large, pan over medium heat, then add the veggies (except for the pepperoni) and sauté for ten minutes.
Stir in the pepperoni, continue sautéeing for another five minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Now, you can use the veggies as they are, but the original recipe suggested processing them just a bit in the food processor, and I liked that step. Simply tumble the cooled veggie and pepperoni mixture into the bowl of your processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse three or four times – until finely chopped, but not puréed.
Heat oven to 350º.
Whisk the egg, egg yolk, ketchup, cola, bourbon, Worcestershire, and seasonings together in a large bowl, then stir in the panko and the chopped veggies.
Now, for the messy bit: using your hands (really, there isn’t a better way to do this), mix the ground beef into the veggie mixture.
Pat the meat mixture into a loaf pan, then set the pan in a rimmed baking pan (to catch any overflowing pan juices).
Note: I used my ever-ready tagine to sauté the veggies, and then used the emptied base as the holding pan for my meatloaf. Worked a treat, and reduced clean up considerably.
Whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small bowl, then brush half of it on the meatloaf.
Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven, brush with the remaining half of the glaze, and pop back into the oven for another 30 minutes or so, until the meatloaf’s internal temp reads 145º.
Remove from the oven, turn out of the baking pan, and set aside on a warm platter.
Pour off the pan juices to make one cup (if there are not enough juices to measure one cup, add additional chicken stock to make up the difference).
Melt the butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan. You could use the tagine base, which would then add any leftover crispity bits to the gravy, but it’s a kindofa large pan for this bit of gravy.
Whisk in the flour and continue cooking until the roux is smooth and has deepened in color.
Whisk in the pan juices and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for two minutes.
Add the salt, peppers, and lemon juice, then keep warm until ready to serve.
We had our gravy with a typical, traditional Monday meatloaf meal of loaf of meat, tots, and buttered corn.
A might bit starchy, and yes, the meatloaf could’ve used to be a touch more solid, but still a fine, tasty, and kinda thrifty* dinner.
*The tots were leftover from making a batch of cheesy sex tots (with bacon), and the leftover meatloaf worked a treat added to a bit of nicely doctored pasta sauce that I then used to make a batch of my mom’s lasagna, so absolutely nothing went to waste in the making of this dinner.
I like that in a meal.