No. 255 & 256: Meatloaf with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce & Simple Sauteed French Beans

One of my colleagues asked me an interesting question this week:

What's the one thing that you are a complete nerd about?

Don't worry, I had to clarify what that meant too.

Essentially, what's the one thing that you could read about, research or discuss for hours? What topic really gets you going at cocktail parties (much to the annoyance of your spouse who has heard this point of view one million times)?

For me these days, it's definitely food and wine with a smidge of Greek life on the side. I also get really excited talking about the state of our education system. But that's for another blog:)

If you nerd out about the first topic like me, here are some fun links to check out.

Happy reading!

Meatloaf with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

When Mr. McC said meatloaf sounded good, this contest winning recipe from Food52 seemed like a great way to go.

Ingredients

Serves 6

For the meatloaf
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cups milk
3 pieces of white bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces

For the blackberry barbecue sauce
2 small onions, peeled, and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, rough chop
2 cups blackberries, fresh or thawed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Generous pinch each of salt and black pepper

To make

Begin with the sauce. Add the above ingredients to a blender, and puree until nice and smooth.

Ready to blend

Add this to a small pot, and cook on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes.

Sauce

Stir, and remove from the heat. You can put some on top of the loaf while baking or just use as a side for serving.

For the meatloaf, first preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of your ingredients with your hands, with the exception of the sauce.

Ready to mix

Once combined, add to your bread/loaf pan. Shape into the pan, then add your sauce to the top, roughly a half cup.

Place in the oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool for roughly five minutes. In the meantime, warm up more of the bbq sauce. Remove the loaf to a serving dish, and drizzle the sauce on the top.

Simple Sauteed French Beans

8 ounces french green beans, cleaned and trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, beans, salt and pepper. Saute until lightly golden.

Add oregano and garlic; saute for another minute. Then add about two tablespoons of water, just enough for moisture. Cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 2 mintues until beans are at desired tenderness. Uncover and cook to evaporate liquid before serving warm.

The results

Man, I wish I liked this meatloaf recipe as much as the Food52 meatloaf contest judges. Both the loaf and sauce have a lot of promise and ingenuity.

Final plate

However, the meatloaf lacks in flavor; mainly due to the absence of fresh herbs. I'd also soften the onion and garlic with a quick saute before incorporating next time around.

I will say I loved the bread swap for bread crumbs - very cool idea.

The blackberry sauce, sigh. It should be the perfect mix of sweet and savory. It should match the loaf perfectly. It just didn't. I ended up reaching for the regular bbq sauce.

The best part of the meal? The crunch, fresh, slightly garlicky french beans.

If you're looking for meatloaf that we love, check out our classic McC version here.

Check out a full index of recipes here
Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com