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 you might imagine.
I interviewed Chef Braux, asking him, "Is there a recipe from the book 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?"
He replied, "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; 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."
Meatloaf Nicois Recipe
- 4 bacon strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 lb ground beef grass-fed
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces breads crumbs or GF bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 chives or green onions, sliced thin or 2 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon black pepper ground
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
- sea salt and tomato to taste
- 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.