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Author Notes: This is almost not a recipe at all, but more of a recipe to make a recipe. As long as you keep the proportions for the major ingredients - meat and dried fruit - you can vary just about everything else to suit your own preferences. All the dry spices can be adjusted or substituted to taste. The cinnamon helps bring out the fruit flavors and the hot paprika emphasizes the savory contrast that really makes the dish. —BadExampleMan
- 1.5 pounds ground meat
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 handfuls dried fruits. chop larger fruits into raisin-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon jam or fruit preserves. I like orange marmalade for the tang
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch hot paprika
- generous pinches kosher salt
- 1 egg
- Ingredient notes: the meat can be all beef or mostly beef plus pork and/or lamb. If you do use all beef make sure it's not more than 75% lean. All the dry spices can be adjusted or substituted to taste. My favored fruit mixture is a combination of raisins, apricots, and prunes, with just a few dried unsweetened cranberries.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly by hand.
- Press the mixture into a small loaf pan or other oven-safe dish. Use less than the entire vessel if necessary to make the loaf at least 2 inches thick.
- Bake for one hour until the top is well-browned. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.