Friday, January 27, 2012

Meat Loaf

Recorded January 27, 2012. Adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats recipe.
4 oz (1 sleeve) wheat saltines
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T mushroom powder
2 t chili powder
1 t dried thyme
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 oz cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
, coarsely chopped
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1/2 T kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten

3 slices bacon or prosciutto de parma to cover top of loaf (optional) 
Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C). In a food processor bowl, combine crackers, black pepper, mushroom and chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl.  Combine the onion, carrot,  garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground meat with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the beaten egg and combine thoroughly with clean hands, but avoid squeezing the meat mixture.
Form into a loaf on parchment paper on a heavy baking sheetabout 10 inches (25 cm) long by hand, or by molding with a 10-inch loaf pan. Cover the top with the bacon or prosciutto slices. Bake 50 minutes, and then raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 C) for 10 to 15 minutes to brown bacon or ham. Internal temperature should be about 160 degrees F (70 C). Let cool 20 minutes before slicing. Suggested sides: roast tiny potatoes, mushroom gravy, and fresh green beans braised in butter and tarragon.