While I never consider meatloaf the height of culinary perfection, it is still an easy to make kid-friendly staple. In the past, I have only made glazed meatloaf (see here and here), but the mushroom gravy in this recipe is delicious. A nice alternative to a ketchup-based glaze. Thankfully, the recipe is very conscientious about the mess, reusing the same non-stick skillet a three times. No better nor worse than a standard, glazed meatloaf; but definitely different. 4-stars.
I brought the leftovers to work twice for lunch. It re-heated nicely and the sauce kept the re-heated meat from being too dry. It worked out better than I thought it would.
- While Chris Kimball says that you can supplement your burger drippings with melted butter or vegetable oil, I ended up with way more than the 2 tablespoons called for in Step 9.
- I didn’t have a coffee-filter to line my mesh strainer, so just used a paper towel in Step 2.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Low/Medium.
Start time: 4:30. Dinner time: 6:30
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup water
16 saltines crackers (or 18 round saltines)
10 ounces white mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves
1-lb ground pork
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-lb 85% lean ground beef
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 375-degrees.
- Rinse the dried porcini mushrooms, and microwave for 1 minute in a small bowl with 1 cup of water and covered with plastic wrap, until water begins to steam. Allow to soften for 5 minutes. Remove porcini and mince, and strain the water through a coffee-filter-lined fine mesh strainer, reserving 3/4 of a cup.
- Process your crackers in a food processor for 30 seconds until they are finely ground, then empty into a large bowl.
- Add half your white mushrooms to food processor and pulse 8 to 10 times until finely ground.
- Mince your onions, and peel your 4 garlic cloves (mince them if you don’t have a garlic press).
- Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a 12″ non-stick skillet, place over medium-high burner and pre-heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Saute the minced onions for 6 to 8 minutes until browned. Add the mushrooms from the food processor (reserving the remaining mushrooms for gravy in step 9) and add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown. Press the garlic directly into the skillet and cook for just 30 seconds. Empty into bowl with the saltines and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Add ground pork, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup of the reserved porcini liquid to the bowl with the cooled onions/saltines. Gently knead until mostly combined. Add beef and knead until thoroughly combined.
- Empty meat into the same skillet and form into a 10″x6″ loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees. Use a spatula to move to a cutting board and loosely tent with aluminum foil while you make the gravy.
- While the loaf bakes, thinly slice the remaining white mushrooms. Remove any solids from the skillet, leaving only 2 tablespoons for fat in the skillet (you can supplement with melted butter or vegetable oil if you are short). Pre-heat over medium-high burner until the fat begins to shimmer. Saute the white mushrooms and minced porcini mushrooms for 6 to 8 minutes, until they become deep golden brown. Meanwhile mince thyme.
- Add minced thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook for 2 minutes; stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and 1/2 cup reserved porcini liquid, and 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Scraping up anything stuck to the bottom of the skillet, bring up to a boil then reduce burner to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened; occasionally whisking. Taste gravy and adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Slice meatloaf and serve with gravy.