Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smokey Spanish Meatloaf



Who doesn't like meatloaf? You know who doesn't like meatloaf (apart from people who don't eat meat of course)? People who haven't eaten a delicious meatloaf, that's who. We eat it prepared in a few different ways to keep it interesting. One of our favourites is Italian Meatloaf and Italian Meatloaf take 2 , we do a Korean Style Meatloaf and a cranberry glazed turkey meatloaf that is full of thanksgiving flavours without the hassle of roasting a big turkey.



I promised The Kid that I would make it this week. I am always looking for new ways to jazz things up a bit when I came across my smoked paprika. Hmmmm. What about doing some Spanish flavours in there? I am kind of all about Spanish food right now, ever since I did a tapas spread for our Christmas Eve soiree.

I spent some time living and working in Madrid in my former life and these were the flavours that still linger in my noggin. I went out and got a bit of Spanish Manchego cheese and some quince and got to work. The first attempt was good but there was something missing so the next time I made it, I tried throwing in a bit of chorizo and it was much better. I served it with mashed potato/sweet potato and roasted brussels sprouts but it was even better the next day in a sandwich with a smear of my homemade mustard, some arugula and bit more manchego.

Let me talk to you about Spanish chorizo, not to be confused with soft, raw Mexican chorizo that you prepare like any other sausage. Spanish chorizo is a smoke, cured (sometimes fermented) sausage that is hard and most are eaten without having to cook it. It can be mild or spicy and they do vary a bit in the hardness or softness of the actual sausage. I think that the long thin ones are usually considered to be sweet and mild and the shorter, fatter ones are spicy.  It's got a really distinctive, strong, smoky flavour and not everyone loves it so if you have never tried it before, get a bit and taste it first. I love this stuff but it doesn't take much to become too much in a recipe so I only added one. If you are crazy for chorizo, feel free to chop a couple of them up and use them. Now, the whole mincing the chorizo thing... I had read that you can just roughly chop it up and grind it in your kitchen aid with the grinder attachment. Now, maybe it's because I don't have the hard core, pro KA stand mixer, but all I know is that you should NOT DO THIS.

I chopped up the chorizo, threw it in the grinder and started pushing it through. It seemed like it was going to work but about ten seconds and I should have just stopped the machine right away but nooooooooooo. I had to keep trying until I realized that I was most likely going to burn my motor out kill my beloved KA so I stopped and made my first attempt to screw the ring off the front to take the attachment apart and get all of this rock hard meat out. WHATEVER. I guess the force of the rock hard sausage trying to work its way through the holes of the grinder blade thingy tightened up the front piece and it would not come off. I finally had to ask Shack to get it off for me and HE could not get it off. He tried and tried and tried and finally muttered something obscene before disappearing out to the garage. He returned, holding this:


Okay, lesson learned. Just do the dirty work and chop that chorizo up until it's minced, even if it takes a while because, as delicious as this baby is,  murdering your Kitchen Aid stand mixer is just not worth it.






Smoky Spanish Meatloaf

    makes 1 meatloaf or 4 servings

Ingredients

1 generous tbls olive oil
 carrot grated (approx 1/4 cup)
 parsnip grated (approx 1/2 cup)
1/4 large red onion, finely chopped
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
pinch kosher salt
1 slice of bread
1/4 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1 100g spanish chorizo, ground up or chopped as finely as possible
3 tbls tomato puree
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbls smoked paprika
1 tbls fresh thyme
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated manchego cheese
glaze:
1/4 cup of quince preserves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1tbls ketchup
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced


Instructions

heat a sauté pan over med heat with a small glug (approx 1 tbls) of olive oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrot, parsnip and garlic for about five minutes until it's softened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp.
Preheat oven to 400F

Put the slice of bread in the food processor and grind up into crumbs. Add the milk and let sit and put aside. Put the beef, minced chorizo, tomato puree, eggs,  herbs, salt, worcestershire and cheese in a big bowl. Add the bread crumbs that you soaked in milk and the cooled veg and mix with your hands for about a minute. Don't over mix or your meatloaf will be tough. I like to fry a tiny morsel of the mix to taste and check for salt and adjust if need be. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Divide the meat mixture into halves and form each half into a loaf shape on the parchment lined pan. If you have a wire rack, you can set that on your lined pan (this is my preferred method). I think it really benefits from being elevated off of the pan so that air can circulate fully and the fact can drip off to the parchment (or foil) lined pan beneath.


Put the baking tray in your hot oven and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hr. After 30 minutes, remove the meatloaf and brush on the glaze, put back in the oven and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until  the internal temp is be at least 160F. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for about ten minutes to settle before slicing and serving.



It makes a great sandwich with some peppery arugula and jarred spanish red peppers




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