I have not always been a meatloaf fan. I remember it being a budget-friendly meal mom threw together using bread crumbs and ketchup to keep four little monsters fed. So, I was surprised to see it on so many Farm-to-Table menus offering “gourmet meatloaf” with a sticker price of $22 per plate. What’s up with that?
With all the extra activities around the holiday season, I’ve been feeling a bit worn down and need a little me time. When that happens I turn to one of my favorite winter meals. A combination of two classic comfort foods: Chili and Mac-n-Cheese. It is guaranteed to warm you up, fill you up, and get you out of the kitchen and snuggled up in cozy PJs in no time at all. A chili based pasta filled with spicy goodness swirled in cheese.
“Undoubtedly, there would be very few men that would decline an invitation to sit down to a juicy tender beef blade pot-roast…no matter what time of the year. Naturally, remembering that a pot-roast is a ‘ress-demanded and a less-tender meat cut, it must be braised slowly until tender.” Taken from “The Rural Homemaker: Volume Two” by Margaretta Dewey. Original publication,1954. Last addition 1979.
I’m cooking with bourbon tonight, I might even add a little to the food, (as borrowed from W.C. Fields). Adding bourbon to beef is one of my favorite things to do. The bourbon adds an additional layer and brings out the flavors in beef. Note that I keep repeating beef. Darker spirits do better in darker meats like beef or pork. If cooking with chicken and fish stick with wine or lighter alcohols.
There are certain things that just go together. You can’t say one without thinking about the other. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Tailgates and Chili. This rich bean version is simmered in spicy flavors and cooks into a deep red stew. Thick, hearty, and delicious. It travels well and finishes cooking in a crockpot at the tailgate.
I’m having dinner guest tonight and I am serving up a grilled sirloin petite steak with a South American flavor. The chipotle chile in adobo sauce kicks up the flavors while the lime juice and cilantro absorb some of the heat by adding a bit of sweetness to the mix.