I love the range of mouthwatering tastes in this recipe, which combines old-fashioned meat loaf with Mediterranean flavors such as red peppers, paprika, cumin and coriander. Serve this with baked potatoes in their skins and a tossed salad.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
¾ cup water
½ cup reduced-sodium beef stock or water
¾ cup whole wheat couscous
1 lb extra lean ground beef
8 oz Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ cup finely chopped parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup reduced-sodium tomato sauce, divided
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin (see Notes)
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a saucepan, bring water and beef stock to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat and set aside or let stand until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before using.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, sausage, onion, bell pepper, parsley, eggs, all but 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne and couscous. Using your hands, mix until well blended. Transfer to a 9x5 inch loaf pan and spread remaining 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over top. Bake in preheated oven until temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour.
Substitute spelt or barley couscous for the whole wheat version.
For the best flavor, toast whole cumin and coriander seeds and grind them yourself. To toast seeds, spread in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind.