With Todd away all week, it was my time to capitalize on his absence by cooking up all the foods that he doesn't like: last night I busted out a meatloaf!! With an Asian twist! I spied an amazing recipe in the March Bon Appetit magazine and knew it would have to come to life in my kitchen one day - enter a couple meatloaf-loving pals and voila! Instant party! In case you're wondering, banh-mi is the equivalent of a Vietnemese sub - a sensation of a million amazing flavours all wrapped up in a killer french baquette. I don't know who invented these sandwiches, but they deserve a medal. And to take the banh-mi concept up another notch, just to blow everyone's mind, let's serve it with a freakin slice of meatloaf. I know, pull yourself off the floor, dust yourself off and get cooking. BTW: this is not a "throw it together after work in an hour" kind of meal. It takes a long time - I had no idea meatloaf took over an hour and a half to cook, not to mention the preparation of all the yum that goes into it, AND the resting time, arg - I would suggest if you're going to host a meatloaf banh-mi party, cook up the meatloaf the night before.
Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf Banh-Mi (from March 2012 Bon Appetit Magazine)
Hoisin Glaze Ingredients:
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1" piece of ginger, peeled & minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups bread cubes (I used multi-grain bread, a few days old...) crusts removed
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 sliced bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions (keep the green & the white parts separated)
3 celery stalks
1 4" piece ginger, peeled
7 cloves garlic
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 tsp ground anise seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
5-6 large radishes, sliced thinly
1 large red chili pepper, finely diced
3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 ciabata buns, or 2 large bagettes to make sandwiches with
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno peppper
Combine all of the hoisin glaze ingredients in a bowl and set aside (according to the instructions in the magazine, you're supposed to bring all of these ingredients to a boil in a saucepan, but I just realized that I didn't do that!!) My way worked out though, so I'm going to stick with that - didn't need to dirty a pot!
For the meatloaf, preheat the oven to 375degrees. Prepare a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Get your bacon going in a large non-stick frying pan. While that's happening, pour the chicken broth over the breadcrumbs and let the liquid absorb - it only takes about 5 minutes till you get a bowl full of mush! Set aside.
By now the bacon should be crisping up, add the white parts of the green onions, the celery, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. BTW - I chucked the onions, celery, ginger and garlic into the mini food processor and grinded it all up, then added that to the bacon - it soaked up all of the delicious fat that had rendered out.
Next, combine the bacon/onion mixture with the bread mush in a larg bowl. Add 2 tbsp of your hoisin glaze, along with the rest of the green onions. Add the beef and pork, the eggs and spices. Really get in there and get those ingredients all mixed up! Press into the prepared loaf pan.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and spread 2 tbsp of hoisin glaze over top, baking for another 30 minutes; at this point, I actually drained a bunch of the fat/liquid that was starting to pool. I then basted with another 2 tbsp of hoisin glaze and bake for another 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165degrees when inserted in the centre. (I also did another good drain of the liquid before letting the meatloaf sit and rest for 20 minutes.)
While the meatloaf is cooking, you will have plenty of time make the salad - combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Finally, what seems like hours later, it's time to serve up these sandwiches! I followed the instructions and grilled slices of the meatloaf. Slice up the baguettes, or buns, and spread with hoisin glaze, a slice of meatloaf and top with the salad and cilantro - add some jalapenos if you like things spicy!
I served these sandwiches up with some nice cold Stella's - a perfect pair!