Thursday, January 28, 2010

Empanada-esque Dressing

Around Thanksgiving Mrblocko and I were watching Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffman on the Food Network. She was making a several Thanksgiving dishes and her homemade 3 meat stuffing caught our attention.

The stuffing recipe reminds me a lot of Empanadas with the olives, raisins and hard boiled eggs. Some of the reviews on the Food Network website poo poo this recipe because of that combination. Clearly those people have never had empanadas before to know, while the combo sounds weird on paper, it's delicioso on the tongue.

Ingrid's recipe calls for a whopping four pounds of meat. I knew that in order to make this recipe work I'd have some serious tweaking to do. My version of this recipe is basically half the ingredients of the original. We ate this as a main course instead of a side dish to turkey. Ingrid must have a ginormous family. I had to freeze half of what I made. What we did eat was enough for 2 meals for the three of us. One night we ate this as a topper for crockpot garlic baked potatoes. That was an especially tasty combination.

While we all enjoyed this meal a lot, there was a lot of preparation and chopping involved. This is not a dish I'd add to my regular meal rotation. This will be saved for when I'm in a serious cooking mood, or when Mrblocko asks me with a sad puppy dog face and I'm not super cranky. (yeah, when is that?!)

Here is my altered version of Ingrid Hoffman's Homemade Three Meat stuffing

Meaty Stuffing
A few swirls of olive oil
5 eggs
1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk Italian Sausage
5 small onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c steak sauce (or 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 c BBQ sauce)
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 a lemon, zested
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T oregano
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 red pepper, seeded, ribbed, roasted and finely chopped(directions for roasting here)
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
one bunch of scallions, finely chopped. (separate the dark green part from the white)
1/2 can (3 oz) tomato paste
5 slices of slightly stale whole wheat bread, cut into bite size cubes
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c olives with pimentos, coarsely chopped
1/2 c flat leaf parsley

Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely before peeling and chopping.

Pour a few Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef and pork; cook until the meat is starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 the chopped onions and garlic, along with the steak sauce, vinegar, lemon zest, cumin, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are completely tender and the meat is cooked through, 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain the fat. Transfer the meat mixture to a large bowl to cool. The meat base can be made up to 1 day in advance. You may cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to make the rest of the stuffing.

To the same large pot, pour a few more Tablespoons of olive oil and warm on medium heat. Stir in the remaining onions and garlic, along with the bell peppers, celery, and white and light green parts of the green onion. Add the tomato paste and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes. Add the meat mixture back into the pot, along with the chopped eggs, sausage, raisins, parsley, olives, dark green parts of the green onion and bread cubes. mix to combine. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the stuffing to a buttered 9x13 dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

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