Monday, April 11, 2011

April 9: Gravy-Smothered Cajun-Style Meatloaf Patties with Maple Pecan-Glazed String Beans

1 pound ground sirloin
1/3 pound ground pork
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/8 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 pounds green beans, stem ends removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and create a well in the center of the meat. Fill the well with the bread crumbs and dampen them with the milk. Pour the egg over the bread crumbs and then add salt, pepper, the Worcestershire, nutmeg, tomato paste, green peppers, garlic, and scallions.

Mix together and form into 4 large oval patties, 3/4 inch thick. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Fry the meatloaf patties for 7 minutes on each side.

Preheat another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped pecans and toast them, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.

Remove the toasted pecans from the pan and reserve. Return the skillet to the heat and add 3/4 cup of the chicken stock; bring it up to a simmer. Add the trimmed string beans and spread out in an even layer.

Cook the beans for about 10 minutes, covered, or until almost tender (add water if necessary). Add 2 tablespoons of the butter, the maple syrup, salt, and pepper to the skillet with the beans, turn the heat up to high, and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the beans are shiny and glazed, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss with the pecans.

Remove the meatloaf patties to a platter, tent with foil, and return the pan to the heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the onions, and the red pepper flakes.

Cook for about 2 minutes and then sprinkle the onions with the flour. Cook the flour for 1 minute and then whisk in the remaining cup of chicken stock and the heavy cream. Bring the gravy to a bubble. If the gravy is too thick, thin with additional stock. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and remove the gravy from the heat.

Slice the meatloaf patties and smother with the gravy. Serve with a pile of maple pecan-grazed string beans.


The flavors in this meal are very tasty. For some reason, the patties stuck to the pan and fell apart. I would like to know what the reason is. They seemed too wet maybe. I used a yellow bell pepper instead of a green one.

The only thing I changed in the recipe was the length of the cooking time of the green beans. She says to cook them for 3 minutes, but nobody in my house (especially my visiting in-laws) likes crunchy, raw green beans. If they could have their way, they would cook them all day until you don't even have to chew them; they just dissolve in you mouth. So I cooked them for at least 10 minutes. They were still crunchy, so I don't think anyone liked them, but at least they were tender. I liked them.

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