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Spicy Spanish Mini Meat Loaves and Piquillo Pepper Rice

Spicy Spanish Mini Meat Loaves and Piquillo Pepper Rice


  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • A pinch of saffron

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice

  • 1/2 cup jarred Piquillo or roasted red peppers, drained and pureed in a food processor

  • 1 pound ground meat (a mixture of beef, pork and veal)

  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

  • 1 cup tomato sauce, divided

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/3-1/2 cup breadcrumbs (a couple of shallow handfuls)

  • 1/4 cup grated Manchego or Pecorino Romano cheese (eyeball it)

  • 1/4 cup manzanilla olives with pimentos, chopped

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)


Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. In a medium pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil with the butter and saffron. Add the rice, then cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in the pepper puree. Cover and turn off the heat; set aside. While the rice is cooking, in a large bowl, using a fork, combine the meat with the paprika, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, olives and egg; season with salt and pepper. Form the meat mixture into four 1 1/2-inch x 6-inch oval loaves. Arrange the loaves on a nonstick baking sheet, drizzle with the EVOO (eyeball it), and top with the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Bake until firm and crisp on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Serve the individual meat loaves with the Piquillo pepper rice.