Long time no talk. I hope this finds you all well and enjoying this warm, glorious weather.
My house is finally empty (as in, no more guests!) and I was longing for this to happen. Don’t get me wrong: having family around is fantastic but, after a while, I really miss my routine schedule. Especially my mornings.
After Stefano leaves for work and Her Majesty is off to school, I treasure those precious morning hours when I reconcile myself with the rest of the world. Sipping my coffee, I take care of my house chores, I work on my professional and non-professional projects and I get ideas for new projects. All this in the silent company of Sofia. She never leaves my side but she has learned to be calm and quiet during those hours. It is amazing how she can be more in tune with me than most people I know. She knows what I need simply by instinct. :-)
This meatloaf “en croute” has been on my mind for quite a while. I have tried a couple of different flavor combinations and the one that I’m sharing with you today is the one that we liked the most.
As often with food, this recipe is just a combination of ingredients that you can adjust and/or substitute so as to satisfy your palate’s liking. You can use different ground meat (lamb, pork, turkey) or different nuts and dried fruits, you can replace the speck with bacon, pancetta, salame or prosciutto and you can add those herbs that you cannot live without. Or you can simply go with your own meatloaf recipe. As always, ideas are meant to flow and in the end it is just a question of taste! :-)
1/2 lb, ground veal
1/2 lb, ground beef
2 slices of speck, 1/4 inch thick, chopped
1/4 Cup, bleached hazelnuts
1/2 Cup, dried apricots, chopped
1/2 Cup, whole milk
2/3 slices, white bread
6 Tbsp, grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
1 sheet, pastry puff, thawed
Ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl, place the bread and pour the milk (except for a couple of tablespoons that you will use later for the egg wash) and let it sit until the bread absorbs the milk.
In a large mixing bowl, put the meat, the eggs, the speck, the apricot, the hazelnut and the Parmesan cheese. Squeeze the bread in your hand in order to eliminate excess milk and add the bread into the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and combine all the ingredients with your hands.
With your hands, form a loaf. Brush the loaf with the olive oil. Place some parchment paper on a baking pan and transfer the loaf on it.
Cook the meatloaf for about 25 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool.
In the meantime, on a lightly floured surface, lightly roll out the pastry puff sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk the yolks and 2 Tablespoons of milk.
Set the cool meatloaf on the pastry puff sheet lengthwise and wrap it with the dough. Cut the excess dough (do not discard it because you can use it for decoration) and seal the edges. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Use the rest of the dough, if any, to decorate the top of the pastry and brush the decorations with the rest of the egg wash.
Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden/brown and crispy. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving it.
Looking forward to hearing from you! Xx