Le Pain de Viande

The following is a classic pain de viande recipe (meat loaf by any other name). But I recently had some leftover short ribs, so I decided to add them to the dish. I stripped the meat off the bones, shredded it and mixed it with some gravy. I then layered the meat mixture for the pain de viande with the short ribs. The combination produced great flavour and juiciness. When it was hot, the loaf did not cut as neatly as desired, but it held together well when it was cold. If you want to try it with short ribs, buy them prepared (make sure they have gravy with them) and add them to the recipe.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green part only

½ cup chopped shallots

½ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped fennel

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

500 grams (1 pound) ground beef

500 grams (1 pound) ground veal

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup chopped watercress leaves

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pan gravy:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallots, carrots and fennel and sauté gently for 8 minutes or until softened. Raise heat to medium-high and add mushrooms, thyme and parsley. Sauté for 1 minute and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute longer or until mushrooms have released their juices. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine beef and veal in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir in mushroom mixture, mustard, soy sauce, watercress and breadcrumbs. Cook a piece to taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or herbs if needed.

Oil a metal baking dish. Shape meat into a loaf about 10 inches long, 4 inches wide and 2 to 2½ inches high. Toss onions with olive oil and scatter around meat loaf in the pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until meatloaf is firm to the touch and just cooked through.

Carefully remove meat loaf from pan and keep warm. Place pan on the stove over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over onions and drippings and cook for 3 minutes or until flour is lightly golden. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Add balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the meat loaf. Serves 4 to 6.