Last night I brought a classic brie en brioche (brie baked in brioche) to a potluck, topped with apricot preserves.
And I thought, why not make meatloaf in brioche? It would be an elevated meat pie. I don't speak a lick of French; I had to ask a friend how to say meatloaf. Pain de viande: bread of meat. Perfect.
For this, the meat needed to be simple. Pork and beef, with romano cheese, seasoning salt, and just one egg. It turned out to be the most scrumptious meatloaf yet--what did it? Well, I had some stale slices of brioche leftover from a previous loaf (I've been on a kick. It happens.). Rather than whirl 'em up in the food processor, I turned to my grandmother's method of briefly soaking the bread in water and mashing it up with the meat. The meat turned out moist and rich--really lovely.
As the meat, formed into a flat disc, baked in the oven, I rolled out my dough, which had chilled in the fridge overnight and was easy to handle. My toddler yelled at me to let her try, so I set her up with a step stool, a teeny piece of dough and a miniature rolling pin so we could work side by side.
Now for the fun part--assembly. One layer of dough, then meat, then cheese...but I wasn't done. In order to recreate the flavor profile from the night before, I spread a layer of roasted sweet potato on top of the cheese. That, I hoped, would bring a sweetness and color similar to the apricot. I topped it off with more dough and brushed the whole thing with egg wash. After it rose for an hour and got nice and puffy, it was ready for the oven.
This was the first time I was mad about having to wait for the photo shoot. It smelled so good, I wanted to dig in--especially when we cut into it and the cheese came oozing. Mmm! Good stuff, I hope you try it.