How to make ground beef taste gourmet? Blue cheese, pistachios, garlic and red bell peppers place this dish firmly in the gourmand's view screen.
3 large red bell peppers
1 1/2 quarts boiling water
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
1/3 cup Gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped pistachios, roasted and salted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 recipe Beef Gravy (recipe follows)
Optional: additional Gorgonzola, pistachios and rosemary for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Half peppers lengthwise, remove seeds and ribs. Place in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from pot with tongs and set cut side down on a board to drain. Discard water. In a mixing bowl, combine beef, quinoa, egg, garlic, onion, blue cheese, pistachios, salt, pepper and rosemary. Mix together thoroughly. Place peppers in a buttered baking dish, cut side up. Spoon meat mixture into peppers without packing down. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Serve with beef gravy and garnish with cheese, pistachios and rosemary if desired.
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons beef stock paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat butter in a sauce pan. Cook until butter begins to brown. Stir in cornstarch. Add water and whisk until smooth. Whisk in stock paste, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar and pepper. Cook and stir until gravy is thick and hot. Serve over meatloaf.
Hints: Par boiling the peppers is the only way to get them cooked enough without overcooking the meatloaf stuffing. Mix the meatloaf mixture well but lightly. The quinoa works nicely in this recipe and makes it gluten free. You can substitute bread crumbs for the quinoa but will only need about 3/4 cup. I have also used dry oatmeal. If you don't love rosemary, try thyme or oregano. This recipe makes good meatloaf/ meat balls w/o the peppers, but we all need the veggies, right? The gravy can be used for mashed potatoes or noodles. I prefer the beef stock paste to beef bullion crystals or canned broth, but you could substitute either in this recipe.