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Tenacious Flog
Thursday, January 26

Domesticity and Meatloaf  

There. I said it. The "M" word. No, not marriage. Something that dredges up connotations even more sinister and boring: MEATLOAF.

Last night, I made it. Inspired on the spur of the moment by the presence of appropirate ground meat in my freezer and a blog entry on Simply Recipes that just looked darn tasty, I set about to creating what essentially amounts to a big rectangular-shaped spiced hamburger.

But beyond a hamburger it went - with the middle eastern spices, sourdough bread as binder, and both beef and lamb to flavor the dish it did become the ideal of all dishes: more than the sum of its parts. Otherwise, why not just eat the parts?

Do NOT be put off by the list of ingredients - most of them are dried spices and this thing can be thrown together in about 15 minutes, and then the sauce cooked while the loaf is in the oven.

Morroccan Meat Loaf
(inspired by Elise, who was inspired by Monica Pope from the Niman Ranch Cookbook)
(makes one 8x4" loaf to serve 4-6)
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 tsp powdered ginger (or 1 T fresh)
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
a couple of saffron threads (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used one square La Brea individual ciabatta, about 4" in size)
2 eggs
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 T fresh mint, chopped

Chipotle Sauce
1 can chipotles in adobo
1 T olive oil
1 26oz can tomato puree
1 T honey
salt & pepper
cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

1. (For the meatloaf) Saute the onion, celery and carrot in the oil with a little salt until tender and golden.
2. Add all the dried spices to the vegetables and saute over high heat for a minute or two until the flavors just pop out of the pan. Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. In a metal bowl combine the meats with the sauteed veggie mixture, then add the eggs, bread, and fresh herbs. Mix very well with a spoon or your hands - much more fun!
4. Spread into a greased loaf pan and set THAT into a water bath. Bake for about an hour.
5. (The sauce) Puree the chipotles, sauce and all, in a food processor. Heat the oil in a sauce pan, then add the chile puree and saute until slightly darkened. Add the tomato sauce and honey and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

After the meatloaf is out of the oven, slice and serve with the sauce (either "plain" or with some added heavy cream to cut the heat - this will change the sauce from deep red to a lovely orange color):

Enjoy your newly found domesticity and try not to wince too much.... its really not so bad, is it? Is it?

Time posted: 20:57 [permalink]
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