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Smoky Meatloaf


2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1/4 cup minced green peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Spanish paprika
1 lb. uncooked bacon finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor
3 lbs. ground beef chuck
3 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup fresh pumpernickel bread crumbs
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt


Using a mortar and pestle (or a spice grinder) grind the fennel seeds and peppercorns to a powder. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use a large skillet and heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat. Add ground fennel, peppercorns, onion, chopped fennel bulb, green pepper, garlic and Spanish paprika to the oil.

Cook with stirring until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground beef, bacon, eggs and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl. Add the spiced vegetables, pumpernickel bread crumbs, pistachios, and salt to the meat mixture. Use clean hands to mix the meatloaf until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Split the meatloaf mixture into 2 loaf pans (9 x 4 inches) and bake for approximately 1 hour. Make sure the meatloaf has an internal temperature of 160 degrees before removing from the oven.

Before slicing, let the smoky meatloaf rest for 10 minutes

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