Here is another recipe in which we take a mainstream dish and make it miniature. These little loaves are downright pick-up-able—a happy thing, because that makes it easy to dip them in ketchup. And because they taste delicious at room temperature, they are perfect to pack for a school lunch or picnic. Free form the size as you like and use grass-fed beef or all-natural turkey whenever possible.Serves 4–6
- 1?2 cup (3?4 oz/25 g) panko bread crumbs
- 3?4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) whole milk
- 3?4 lb (375 g) ground beef or turkey
- 1?4 cup (2 oz/60 g) ketchup, homemade (below) or your favorite store-bought, plus more for serving
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1?2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Put 1?4 cup (1?3 oz/10 g) of the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add the milk and let soak until the crumbs have absorbed the milk completely, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, the remaining 1?4 cup bread crumbs, the ketchup, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, mix gently just until well combined. Do not overmix or the meat loaves will be tough.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the beef mixture into 12 mini loaves each about 3 inches (8 cm) long, 2 inches (5 cm) wide, and 11?4 inches (3 cm) high and arrange on the prepared pan 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) apart. Or, you can divide the meat mixture into 4–6 equal portions, and pack each portion into a nonstick mini loaf pan.
- If baking freestanding loaves, bake until the bottoms are browned, 20–25 minutes. If using loaf pans, bake until a meat thermometer registers 160°F (71°C) inserted in the center of the loaf, about 25 minutes. Unmold the loaves, if necessary, and serve. Pass additional ketchup at the table.
Makes 31?2 cups (28 oz/875 g)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 can (28 oz/875 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) firmly packed golden brown sugar
- 1?2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cider vinegar
- 1?2 tsp kosher salt
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about
- 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and crush with a fork to release the flavor. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and stir to mix well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. Stir more often at the end of cooking to prevent scorching.
- Let cool slightly, then transfer the ketchup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and the flavors have developed, about 2 hours, before using. The ketchup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.
From The Supper Club by Susie Cover, Weldon Owen, 2011