Is there a good and decent way to tell you that I made you a meatzza?
Or am I just feeling a little strange about having made an entire pie out of meat, and then topping it with meat? Also cheese.
If you’re a meat eater, I wouldn’t call it unhealthy — even though it looks more over-the-top than the hot dogs fried in butter that my mother makes.
Think of it like a pizza burger. Or a big cheesy meatball.
Here’s the deal: if you’re considerate about the ingredients you buy — well-sourced, grass-fed beef, tomato sauce with as few additives as possible, high quality pepperoni, and fresh mozzarella — and if you’re mindful of your portion, a meatzza may very well be one of the happiest ways we’ve ever used ground beef, outside of tacos.
I’ve seen this idea floating around, and while some may be turned off by the forthrightness of all this meat, I don’t know; I dig it. The crust is a meatball, for crying out loud. There’s the sweetness of the sauce. Soft slices of fresh mozzarella. There are enough pieces of spicy pepperoni on here to ensure that you’ll never run out. You’ll never be sad again.
Since I won’t lie to you, there are two general problems that you’ll encounter when make a meatzza: the shrinking and the grease.
Yes, the pizza you see spread above shrinks significantly. That pan (above) is 12″, and doesn’t it look like such a sizable pie? I thought the same. The cold hard truth, though, is that when you pull that meatzza out of the oven, fully baked, it will likely fall somewhere between 8- and 9-inches. And there will be a pool of grease around it. It’s OK; we all wonder what the hell we’re going to do with the grease. Just let the pizza rest for a few minutes, drain off the drippings, slice, and serve. I’m sorry you even had to do that.
The recipe I riffed off of belongs to Nigella Lawson. If I’ve been able to put together one bit of coherent judgment from seeing her on TV all these years, it’s that she’s so remarkably poised, so firm and true to herself. Her recipes are unapologetic, decadent but without the fuss. The meatzza fits right in.
Make it. Put a kale caesar salad on the side so that you can feel like you’re really taking charge of your health.
- 1 pound ground beef sirloin (90% lean)
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
- ⅓ cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- ½ cup tomato sauce (I use plain, canned tomatoes, but you can use your favorite jarred version)
- 4 ounces (½ of a large ball) fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 14 or so slices pepperoni (I like Applegate Farm brand)
- Fresh basil, chopped, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the beef, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt, and egg. Be careful not to overwork the mixture -- just lightly mix it together, or the meat will become too dense and the end result will be tough.
- Add the meat to a large 10- or 12-inch skillet or baking dish, pressing the mixture lightly with your fingers to cover the bottom like a pizza crust.
- Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the top of the meat crust, leaving a ½-inch border all around. Arrange the mozzarella slices on top, and then the pepperoni, and bake until the meat is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Drain the grease and drippings, then transfer to a serving plate, top it with fresh basil, and cut into wedges as you would a pizza. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Pizza): Calories: 390, Fat: 22.5g, Carb: 9.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugars: 2.3g, Protein: 35.4g
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
OH! Before I go — I took the ALS ice bucket challenge and ruined one special lady pug’s life in the process: