Active Time
30 MIN
Total Time
1 HR 40 MIN
Yield
Serves : 8 to 10

As a teenager, Grant Achatz perfected his meat loaf–making technique at his parents' restaurant. But he had the most memorable version of his life only about 10 years ago, when he was visiting a girlfriend in Lansing, Michigan, and ordered smoked meat loaf. It inspired the pistachio-studded recipe here, which combines beautifully seasoned meat with the smoky Spanish paprika, smoked salt and ground bacon.    More Comfort Food Recipes  

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a spice grinder, combine the celery seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns and star anise and grind to a powder.

Step 2    

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion, minced fennel, celery, garlic, pimentón and the ground spices and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Step 3    

In a food processor, pulse the bacon until finely ground. In a large bowl, mix the bacon with the ground beef. Mix in the eggs and maple syrup followed by the vegetable mixture, bread crumbs, pistachios and salt.

Step 4    

Pat the meat mixture into two 9-by-4-inch loaves and set them on opposite sides of a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each loaf registers 160°. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the meat loaf into thick slices and serve with the Prune Ketchup.

Make Ahead

The baked meat loaf can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Notes

Smoked sea salt is available at specialty food stores and at SaltWorks.

Suggested Pairing

To complement this smoky, peppery, earthy meat loaf, look for a full-bodied Valpolicella from Italy's northeastern Veneto region that will echo the flavors of the dish.

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