When I moved from San Diego to Brooklyn last year, choosing which neighborhood to move to was no task. There are so many! And each one is so incredibly unique. It didn’t help that I was moving in the middle of winter (Snowmageddon?), which made neighborhood exploration nearly impossible.
Thank goodness for Craigslist. I quickly found a sublet after posting in the housing wanted section, shipped off a few boxes of stuff, and hopped on a plane to NYC. The apartment was in Greenpoint, a neighborhood known for its large Polish-American community. It was amazing. I could pick up freshly baked babka and eat pierogis, borscht, and sasauge to my heart’s content. Then I discovered that Tørst, the well-known craft beer bar, was right around the corner. Score! (Well, maybe not for my wallet.) The only downside? It didn’t quite feel like home.
So the search continued.
After spending time lots of time wandering the city, learning new subway lines, and drinking at a multitude of local bars, I found the perfect spot: Bushwick.
In the 1840’s and 1850’s, most of Bushwick’s residents were German immigrants who established a large brewing industry. It even included an area called Brewer’s Row, 14 different breweries in a 14-block radius. That’s so many breweries!
Nowadays the neighborhood is home to a strong Latin American Community. The bodega around the corner from my apartment carries a large selection of dried chiles, makes amazing mole paste, and the tortillas are fresh from the tortilleria up the street. I used to live on Mexican food in San Diego and I’ve found that it has inspired a lot of the dishes I make now. Having access to all of those ingredients in NYC is a dream come true.
The recipe that follows is inspired by Tijuana hot dogs, a bacon wrapped beauty of a drunk food that I’ve enjoyed entirely too many of, and the incredible selection of chorizo and cheese from my corner bodega. This is the type of meatloaf that will take center stage at the dinner table, act as an incredible base for a night of drinking, and make one hell of a sandwich for lunch the next day.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add the chipotles, jalapeño, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Reduce heat to low and stir in the adobo, Vienna lager, ketchup, brown sugar, and cumin. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Let cool prior to serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 350° F and position rack in the center of the oven.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, jalapeños, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in salt, pepper, Jugo Maggi (or Worcestershire), 1/3 cup chipotle ketchup, and Vienna lager; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until cool enough to handle; this process can be expedited by placing the skillet in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl with the ground beef, chorizo, eggs, breadcrumbs, and cilantro. With clean hands, mix until well combined.
Line a loaf pan with bacon so each slice lies across the width of the pan with the ends hanging over the edges. Add 2/3 of the meatloaf mixture, patting it down so that it’s compact. Make a lengthwise groove and fill with cheese, then top with remaining meatloaf. Fold the bacon overhang over the top. Cover with remaining 1/3 cup ketchup.
Bake until internal temperature reaches 155ºF, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate, cut into thick slices, and garnish with fresh cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with additional chipotle ketchup and a cold Mexican lager with lime.
To absorb excess grease, place two to three pieces of sandwich bread at the bottom of the loaf pan before adding the meatloaf mixture. Discard the grease soaked bread prior to serving.
To quickly and easily remove meatloaf from pan, line loaf pan with enough parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges. Then line the parchment paper with bacon and proceed with recipe. This will make it easier to lift the meatloaf out of the pan once it has been cooked.
This recipe can also be made on a baking sheet rather than in a loaf pan. Line a baking sheet with foil to prevent sticking. Shape 2/3 of meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape roughly 8 x 5 inches. Fill with cheese then top with the remaining meatloaf mixture. Wrap in bacon then top with remaining 1/3 cup chipotle ketchup. Bake until internal temperature reaches 155ºF.
Tags: beef • beer • cheese • chipotle • chorizo • cilantro • cooking with beer • craft beer • dinner • jalapeno • meatloaf • mexican lager • queso fresco • recipe • vienna lager