Pain de Viande Niçois or Meatball Nicois
This recipe comes from Chef Alain Braux’s cookbook Healthy French Cuisine and is an example of how to prepare delicious, healthy, French meals for a lot less than might imagine. I interviewed Chef Braux asking him, “Is there a recipe from the book that I can share with my readers that offers an example of how they can eat incredible French food that’s not only healthy but costs less than $10 to make?”
His reply to me was, “Actually, if you remember it’s $10 a day but yes, I’ll give you one that most people will never believe has a reasonable cost. It’s even gluten and dairy-free and no one will know the difference. Add to that steamed haricots verts in vinaigrette and voila, a meal for about a couple of dollars per serving.”
Recommended Side Dishes
4 natural bacon strips
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 large egg
2 oz breads crumbs or GF bread crumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 chives or green onions, sliced thin or 2 tsp dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground
1-15 oz can crushed tomatoes
Sea salt and tomato to taste
How To Prepare At Home
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Fry your bacon until crispy; drain on paper towel and crumble. Set aside.
Sauté the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt in olive oil until soft; add sliced mushrooms and cook gently until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Set aside.
Combine beef, breadcrumbs, egg, bacon, and cooked mushrooms with juice, all herbs and spices in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands.
Place that mix in a loaf pan sprayed with olive oil. Bake for about 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
15 minutes before the meatloaf is ready, warm the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste, or warm 8 ounces of Alain’s tomato sauce recipe. Simmer gently.
Allow meatloaf to cool and settle for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
To serve, cut the loaf in 8 slices. Spoon 2 ounces of tomato sauce on top of each slice.
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