Family meal: Serve up meatloaf and potatoes roasted with cola

April 8, 2015 at 9:44 AM ET

Cooking for a crowd? Meat and potatoes is standard fare that's sure to please. But here, chef Bryan Voltaggio takes a twist on the traditional with his recipes, serving up meatloaf and potatoes roasted with cola. Both recipes are from his cookbook, "Home."


Serves 8, with leftovers

When I was a kid, my mom would top her meat loaf with pineapple and ketchup.

It was a sweet glaze, and I always have that in the back of my mind. My meat loaf also has a sweet glaze, minus the pineapple, and features a different kind of ketchup. Sir Kensington's ketchup has become a favorite of mine. They have a classic version and a spicy version made with chipotle peppers, and you can use either depending on your taste. I like the fact that they don't use processed ingredients, and the ketchup tastes delicious. I use ketchup in the loaf and in the glaze. Meat loaf just doesn't seem like meat loaf without it. And in case there are actually any leftovers, there's nothing like a cold meat loaf sandwich.

I try to make enough to ensure that happens.

For meatloaf:

  • 4 bacon slices, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into small dice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 2 pounds grams ground pork
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

For glaze:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup sorghum syrup or molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Prepare the meatloaf:

  1. Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan set over medium-low heat.Render the bacon and cook until it becomes crispy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, 10 to 15 minutes. Next add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are slightly caramelized, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the vegetables are completely tender.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and let the vegetables cool completely.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Put the beef, pork, and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and salt until smooth and pour over the meat. Add the cooled vegetables and mix everything together using your hands or a rubber spatula. Shape into two loaves in cast-iron or regular loaf pans. 

Make the glaze and bake the meat loaf:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, sorghum syrup, vinegar, and salt. Reserve a small amount separately for brushing over the finished meat loaf.
  2. Brush some of the glaze over the meat loaf and bake for 30 minutes. Brush with the glaze again, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. 
  3. Brush with the glaze again, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes, for a total cooking time of 1 hour. 
  4. Remove from the oven, finish with a final coat of the reserved glaze, and let the meat loaf rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted Potatoes with Cola

Serves 4

For chili oil

  • 2 tablespoons Aleppo chili flakes (or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Crunchy breadcrumbs

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slices bread, diced
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for frying parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Cola-Braised Potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, split in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cola-flavored soda
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Make the chili oil:

In a small saucepot, combine the vegetable oil and Aleppo pepper (or paprika and cayenne pepper, if using), and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve for plating.

Make the breadcrumbs:

Preheat the oven to 300F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the butter, then add the diced bread. Toss vigorously to ensure the bread is toasting with no burnt spots. Once completely toasted, transfer to a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes to dry out. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a small pot to 300F. Fry the parsley leaves until they are crisp and bright green and transfer to a tray lined with paper towels. Allow to cool.

After the toasted bread cubes and parsley are cool, grind the bread in a food processor until coarse-it should look like little pebbles. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the fried parsley, herbs, and spices.

Make the potatoes:

Wipe the large sauté pan clean. Add oil and place on medium heat. Sear potatoes, cut side down. Once they are golden brown, remove from pan. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted. Put seared potatoes back into pan and add cola, vegetable stock, and salt. Cover with lid and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes. The potatoes are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork. The liquid at the bottom of the pan should be the consistency of a glaze.

Put the potatoes into a serving bowl or platter, top with a handful or two of the breadcrumbs, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the chili oil. Serve as a side dish to meat, fish, or poultry.

Rocky Road Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Rocky road is one of my favorite ice creams. I love the combination of chocolate, marshmallow, and almonds. It was one small step to turn them into a cookie. These are indulgent enough to be a satisfying dessert. I must admit, though, that in the summertime I've been known to sandwich them around a small scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Either way, you'll find it hard to eat just one.

For cookies:

  • 6 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks
  • 7 1/4 ounces almonds, chopped

Coating sugar:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Make the cookie batter:

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).

Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds more. Repeat until the chocolate and butter are completely melted, 1 to 2 minutes total.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until they are just blended. Fold in the mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks, white chocolate chunks, and almonds.

Make the coating sugar:

Put the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and whisk them together.

Bake the cookies.

Use a 1¾-ounce ice cream scoop to portion balls of dough. Roll each ball of dough in the Coating Sugar and put them on baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between each one. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are just set.

Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Copyright ©2015 by Bryan Voltaggio. Recipes courtesy of Little, Brown and Company.