By Chad Sparrow
Fall is upon us, and other than pumpkin spice lattes and bourbon, I am ready for comfort food. If spring and summer are when you focus on shedding pounds for your beach body, fall and winter are all about putting them back on. Leading up to the ultimate comfort meal at Thanksgiving, I have another favorite: none other than meatloaf.
Not your typical meatloaf from Sunday evenings’ blue plate special at the diner, this one is elevated. Instead of gravy on top, I use habanero and garlic ketchup. In place of mashed potatoes, cook up some sweet, yet savory, elote-style corn. You might be expecting green beans for your side, but this one is served with crispy salted Brussels sprouts. Did you think ground beef was the main ingredient? Think again. A combination of half ground sirloin and half ground pork belly can’t be beat.
Not only is this an amazing comfort meal, after which you can immediately pass out on the couch, but you’ll also have plenty of leftovers. Using this to make a meatloaf sandwich is guaranteed to redefine your concept of leftovers. I like to use Texas toast, mix some of the habanero and garlic ketchup with mayo to create an aioli, then top it with fresh jalapeños, crispy onions and, of course, bacon.
So, enjoy this recipe, but if it’s too many steps or you can’t find the time, you are in luck. Mason Social’s fall menu has the entrée for dinner and the sandwich for lunch.
Chad Sparrow is managing partner of Common Plate Hospitality, the restaurant group that owns Mason Social, Urbano 116, Catch on the Ave and Augie’s Mussel House and Beer Garden.
Recipe: Not your mama’s meatloaf
2½ pounds ground sirloin
2½ pounds ground pork belly
2 jalapeños, chopped and seeded
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup BBQ seasoning
1½ cups chicken stock
1 cup BBQ sauce
6 strips bacon
Mix all ingredients except bacon gently by hand and form into two shallow 1/3 baking pans. Top with slices of bacon. Bake at 375ºF for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with habanero and garlic ketchup.
Recipe: Habanero and garlic ketchup
10 cloves garlic
2 carrots, peeled and cut in pieces
¼ yellow onion
5 habanero peppers (charred under broiler) stems removed
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup of vegetable oil
2 cups ketchup
Salt to taste
Add all ingredients except oil and ketchup to blender. Turn on high and slowly add oil as ingredients blend and emulsify. Blend until smooth, then add ketchup and salt to taste. Blend until all ingredients are mixed.