That title is a mouthful. Literally! I’m that person that thinks about a Vietnamese banh mi probably once a week. I’m not the guy that is thinking of that (IMHO) six inch sub that lacks all sorts of every taste just so I can make […]
Search Results: meatloaf
My wife has literally been begging me to make meatloaf for some time now. I am not sure what her fascination is with meatloaf, but does she ever love it. I honestly think that she likes the mashed potatoes that are served with it, but I could be wrong. After all, I do make some pretty good meatloaf (here and here). However, there is really nothing to making a meatloaf. If you were like me, growing up, meatloaf seemed to be a mixture of ground meat, and topped with ketchup. I have grown way out of that stage, and have matured to really get beyond the ketchup topping.
So recently, I called a couple of family members and asked them to come by for dinner. They jumped on the idea, of which applied a bit of pressure on me, as I had to now think of a menu. I had that ‘AHA’ moment and quickly thought of meatloaf, thanks to my wife. I also thought that many of the family members tend to love Italian food. How about an Italian meatloaf? It would be a win-win situation. I quickly threw together my Italian sauce and thought that I could top the meatloaf with that. Next, the other common ingredients. Let’s get started.
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 lb of ground sirloin
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1/2 lb of ground pork
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Italian sauce, approximately 2 cups
Begin by heating a skillet on medium heat, and adding the olive oil. Once heated, add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers, and cook, just until tender, roughly 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Next, get a large mixing bowl out, and mix all of your ground meats. Add in the eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and chopped herbs. Toss in the cooled onions, peppers, and garlic, Mix well.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you have loaf pans for making breads, use them for making your meatloaf. Spray with a bit of cooking oil, or lube with a bit of oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Keep in mind that the fat content should prevent the meatloaf from sticking, but best to be on the safe side.
Add the meat mixture to a couple of loaf pans, and top with the Italian sauce. Cook in the oven for nearly one hour, uncovered. Remove after one hour and let rest. If there is a lot of excess fat, carefully remove the loaf to a serving dish, and discard the drippings.
Slice into desired thickness, and garnish with fresh basil and Italian parsley leafs.
This take on an Italian meatloaf really surprised the family members, however what didn’t surprise me is that they kept coming back for more! Enjoy.
Milwaukee may have one of the largest Polish communities in the midwest. The church where my wife and I got married in, the Basilica of St. Josaphat actually had a Polish restaurant directly across the street. I went to school with kids whose last name ended with ‘ski’. Milwaukee has an annual Polish fest as well, and we attended this year and devoured all of the food that had to offer, and may I add very delicious food. Typically the only Polish cuisine that I was familiar with was Polish sausage, but there are so many great dishes out there such as Polish meatloaf, pierogies, and all things cabbage. The cabbage, or should I say sauerkraut is what let me to this recipe known as bigos, or hunter’s stew. It immediately grabs your attention due to the simple ingredients, but the flavor is just out of this world.
Bigos is not the prettiest of dishes, but it does provide comfort in every way, shape, and form. Bigos is typically served with potatoes, and uses sauerkraut and a variety of pork.
Let’s get started.
- 2 14 oz can of Sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 mushroom bouillon
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 lb polish sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
- 12 oz beer
- roasted baby yukon potatoes, or 1 baking potato
- 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp canola oil
Start by heating two skillets on medium heat. To each skillet add one tablespoon of canola oil. Let this come up to temperature.
To one skillet add the pork shoulder and sliced polish sausage. Brown on all sides, then remove to a plate to be used to make the bigos.
To the other skillet add the onions, mushroom, and garlic. Stir and let these cook down for about 8 minutes.
During this time, heat the water to a boil and add in the mushroom bouillon cube. Break that down until the cube is dissolved. Turn off the heat.
When the onion mixture is cooked down, add in the tomato paste, and stir that into the mixture, cooking the paste for about 5 minutes.
The tomato paste might stick to the pan due to the heat, but that’s OK because we are going to use the beer to deglaze the mixture.
After the tomato paste is cooked through, add the beer, and use your wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet. Add in the washed and drained kraut and give that a good stir. Toss in the salt and pepper.
To a medium or large pot, add the mixture, and add in the semi cooked pork. Add in the mushroom stock, and stir.
Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for about 3 hours on low heat.
The end result is a dish that has this slight bit of sourness to it that you cannot get your hands on but want to keep coming back for more. The sausage and pork just falls apart and is a perfect pairing with the kraut. It almost reminds me of Filipino adobo If you are looking for a great, comforting Polish recipe, give this one a try. It’s perfect for this time of year!