Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still waiting on cookbook but Mmm...MEATLOAF!

Okay, okay, so some of you might also follow the Glass Onion on Facebook, and you might be a bit peeved with my premature announcement of our cookbook's arrival. What can I say? I jumped the gun; I simply willed Glass Onion Classics to be here sooner, but when you order 1000 copies it evidently takes a bit longer. That said -- she should be here by next week, but I will not guarantee any date (and especially not post it online) before I have her in my hands!

However, maybe I can assuage your disappointment by posting a recipe that I have not shared yet -- MEATLOAF! I am inspired to share this particular recipe for a couple of reasons -- namely, cooler weather and a cry of help from a friend who will go unnamed. This friend claims she cannot boil water but somehow became involved in a meatloaf cook off. She threatened to withdraw herself from said cook off, but I offered up our recipe so that she might show up her fellow Chicagoans!

So, as the days grow shorter, and our cravings lean towards heartier foods why not host your own meatloaf dinner with this sneak preview from Glass Onion Classics.

Stew's Meatloaf

At the GO, we often have meatloaf on the menu because my partner Chris (AKA "Stew") happens to make the best meatloaf around. We generally serve it as a po boy, but here we give you a very tasty tomato sauce so that you can serve it over mashed potatoes -- or for something different, try serving it over grits!

At first glance, this recipe might seem, a no-brainer, but there is finesse involved. The key is to not overwork the meatloaf mixture. At the restaurant, we accomplish this by putting everything -- meat, vegetables, spices, etc. -- through the meat grinder. If you happen to have a home grinder, feel free to use this method. Another alternative would be to ask your butcher to grind the beef and pork together, but you can always just use your hands. Simply remember: work together gently, using a folding rather than a kneading motion!

And just like our shrimp cakes, we call for bread crumbs -- meaning stale bread that has been processed in the blender until crumbs form. These are vastly superior to the store-bought variety!

1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1/2 medium bell pepper)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted and finely chopped (or ground in a spice grinder)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium garlic cloves)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
2 cups bread crumbs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine onion, bell pepper, salt, black pepper, oregano, fennel, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor; puree. Add cream and egg; pulse to combine. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add bread crumbs; stir until well combined.

Combine ground pork and beef in a large bowl; work together with hands until just combined. Add pureed vegetable mixture; work together with hands until just combined (do not overwork!). Form into a loaf. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, until a nice crust forms. Lower oven to 325 degrees and cook for about 45 minutes longer, until an internal thermometer reads 160 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve over mashed potatoes or grits.

YIELD: About 6 servings

P.S. Leftovers make delicious sandwiches!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1/2 medium bell pepper)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium garlic cloves)
1 12-ounce beer (of your choice!)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add beer; stir to combine, loosening any bits that have collected in bottom of pan. Add tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and tomato paste. Simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until reduced by half and a nice thick sauce has formed, about 30 minutes.

YIELD: About 1 quart

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