RECIPE #455, DAY #627
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Pepper Loaf” from Bert Greene’s Kitchen Bouquets
TIMING: 2 hours, most of it just waiting around
TOOLS: A loaf pan, mixing, bowl, and blender. Also, something to crush your pepper balls, like a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder
COOK TYPE: Oven
HEALTH: Just a block of meat, so you definitely need to surround it with vegetables and healthy grains. Then you have a nice weeknight meal. Just don’t eat the whole loaf yourself.
EXPERIENCE: I was dubious about making this loaf, because of the sheer amount of pepper. When Kevin and I were first married and I was in the hard knocks school of cookery in our tiny apartment kitchen, I found a recipe for a broccoli casserole that prescribed 2 tablespoons of pepper. So I did it. As we choked down our first few bites, I realized that they probably meant 2 teaspoons. Or even ½. And as we got in the car to go grab some Thai to replace our lost dinner, I vowed never to make that mistake again.
Which is why I was twice as dubious as the average experienced cook. But the notes on the recipe were clear: it would be a bracing meatloaf, but tasty with all that pepper.
One. Two. Three. Jump.
It actually works. I love the peppery taste, and surprisingly, no one in the family found it too spicy. My kids just used some ketchup to kid-ify it, and they were as happy as anyone with this meatloaf. I still like my sage meatloaf the best, and also the glazed turkey one… But this one is a departure from the usual.
Also, this loaf couldn’t be easier to make on a busy night.
NOTES: I halved this recipe, just because we are not huge meat eaters. I left the egg and bacon as it was.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a blender, blend together 3 ribs celery, ½ cup parsley, and ½ cup chicken broth until fairly smooth.
- Pour celery mixture into a mixing bowl with 2 pounds ground veal, ½ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup crushed black peppercorns, 1 egg, and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix gently, just until fairly well mixed.
- Shape the loaf into a loaf pan and top with 2 slices of bacon.
- Bake for 1 ½ hours and make sure the meat is cooked in the middle. Let rest for 15 minutes before turning out and slicing up.
Serve with herb roasted potatoes and sautéed kale.
LEFTOVER IDEAS: Make a meatloaf sandwich. You can also crumble it up into a pot of soup.
*Recipe changed from the original.