Monday, 9 November 2015

Loafing Around

Piccolo Polpettone Involto in Radicchio, con Glassa di Miele & Balsamico
Mini-Meatloaf, Wrapped in Radicchio with Balsamic & Honey Glaze

Yes, of course size matters! And no, obviously, as I live alone, enjoying somethings as lovely and traditional as a meatloaf is not something that happens very often... because traditionally, that is something you would make to feed the whole family. 

Oh, but I was feeling nostalgic! And so I made a tiny little one, all for myself! Of course, I had to do something totally un-traditional with it, being me and all... and this is what it was that I came up with!

Yes, it looks like something from another planet, it's true... but it did actually taste pretty "out of this world" too- haha! That is- if you like radicchio... which I know that many people don't! 

But, I decided to make this as a cross between a meatloaf and a "stuffed cabbage" type dish- giving my little "loaf" a glaze of honey and balsamic vinegar at the end to enhance the flavor of the bitter radicchio. And I do love a bit of sweet and sour- so it made this into a real treat!

So, as you can see from this picture, it really was a teeny-tiny little affair- but a tasty one at that! 

My ingredients were, 1 radicchio, 1 egg, 1 spring onion, 200g of ground mixed pork and beef, 1-2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, salt, pepper, fennel seed, parsley, honey and balsamic vinegar... and a few, little potatoes on the side. That was all and it was more than enough!

I began by blanching the leaves of the radicchio for around 2 minutes... which sadly makes them lose their beautiful color... but you can't have everything! 

I immediately rinsed them off under the cold tap after draining them, to stop the cooking process and set them to one side to drip dry whilst I prepared my little filling... my little "meat loaf" of sorts...

For this, I simply mixed together the meat, egg, bread crumbs, finely chopped onion and parsley, with about 1 level teaspoon of fennel seed and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

I laid out the radicchio leaves, with the stalks together in the center and overlapping and the thin ends of the leaves on the outside. I seasoned them with a little salt and pepper, then placed my little "loaf" on top.

And of course the next thing that I did was to gather up the leaves and to fold them over the top of the ground meat, sealing it in completely...

...which required a little patience and squeezing, but by folding the leaves shut one at a time, it was not all that difficult after all. 

I then rolled my aluminium foil shit and twisted the ends together, to form a little bon-bon. And that is what I began really preparing my meatloaf differently, because I began by steaming it initially, before baking it in the oven- that's right!

I peeled and cut my potatoes into quarters and started them boiling, but set my little meatloaf on top of them steam for a good 15 minutes, in which time I turned on the oven to the highest setting to warm up.

After 15 minutes, I transferred my little parcel to the oven and continued to bake it at 200°C for a further 10 minutes.

Whilst it was baking, I stirred together 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. 10 minutes later, I unwrapped my little parcel and brushed/poured this simple glaze over the top and popped my little loaf back into the oven for 10 minutes to finish.

I served up my little loaf with the juices, which had reduced nicely together and with the potatoes, which I drizzled lightly with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Simple... but perfect!

Meat, potatoes, vegetables, a little sauce... what more could you want? Oh- ok... a little glass of wine to go with it- that's right!

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