On marriage…

9 Mar

I don’t want to make him babies. I want to make him dinner.

BACON AND PRUNE STUDDED MEATLOAF
From Gourmet Magazine, February 2008
“This is the perfect antidote to the Sunday blues, not least because there will be enough left over to pack sandwiches for Monday’s lunch. A mix of beef, pork, and bacon ensures meatiness, with Worcestershire sauce, chopped prunes, and cider vinegar added for good balance and occasional suggestions of sweetness. Because the loaf is baked without a loaf pan, there’s plenty of well-browned crust to go around. “
 
This turned out amazing. Next time we will add some wine to our brunoise-cut mirepoix, and may swap out allspice in favour of some oregano (although we get that the allspice/prune combo substitutes for ketchup). We love the idea of making a prune/bacon paste to add, but are considering using leaner back bacon or pancetta. Thanks to our darling Le Creuset oval baker, we were able to drain the grease easily. There was a lot. Our loaf was very moist, but firmed up well. We like our meatloaf pan with its drainage holes, but we are kind of sold on our oval baker giving more crust surface.
  • 1 cup fine fresh, torn bread from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped (try less)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Garnish:
  • cooked bacon
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add to bread-crumb mixture.
  • Finely chop bacon and prunes in a food processor, then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and mix together with your hands.
  • Pack mixture into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan.
  • Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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