Winter Comfort Food - Meatloaf With Mushroom Gravy
Comfort food. It's that time of year where I am thinking of comfort food more often. Nothing warms the body and soul more than a good meatloaf when it is below zero and blowing outside. Remember December 21st is National Meatloaf Day.
When I saw this recipe, I had to try it. It was one of those times where once the thought it is your head it consumes you until the need is satisfied. I had to live with that need gnawing at me for three days. The anticipation was worth it though.
When trying a recipe for the first time part of the fun is gathering the ingredients. Fortunately this recipe is fairly straightforward and we had most of the ingredients in house. This is important for a comfort food because when you need it most, it is there for you.
Of all the comfort food recipes I have made, meatloaf is probably at the top of the list. It has the most memories associated with it and most variety in recipes too. It's like a warm hug from Mom or a hearty laugh from Dad, it just makes the day better.
The other thing about meatloaf is that it can be made different for every day of the year. Everyone seems to make it different ways. I've had it with bread stuffing, hard boiled eggs and even a dill pickle baked in the center for meatloaf surprise. I've had the crust glazed with BBQ sauce or ketchup. The best I have found so far is with this mushroom gravy. Not only is the mushroom in the gravy but they are also incorporated into the meatloaf itself.
The texture is so much finer than the standard meatloaf I grew up with. I think I'll be having this more often and even adapt the recipe and make my burgers the same way. I just can't wait. Give it a try and tell me what you think.
- 20 Saltine crackers
- 10 oz white button mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced fine
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Setup the oven rack so the meat loaf sits in the middle position.
- Use a food processor and pulse the crackers to fine crumbs. Set aside in a bowl.
- Use a 12 inch ovenproof skillet to fry up the diced onion to golden brown.
- Divide the mushrooms in two parts - set aside half for later. Whiz up the other half of the mushrooms into small pieces in a food processor.
- Add the mushrooms to the onions and continue to fry until the mixture is dry. Set aside to cool.
- Add cooled onion and mushroom mixture to the bowl with the crushed crackers
- Add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Add the 2 eggs
- Mix in the ground pork until almost combined.
- Add the ground beef and mix all until well combined.
- Turn out the mixture into the skillet and form into a loaf about 6 inches by 10 inches.
- Place on the middle rack in the preheated oven and cook until the internal temperature is 160C/325F ( about 50 -60 minutes)
- Remove from the pan and cover with tin foil to rest while you make the gravy.
- Remove all the solids and all but two Tbsp of oil from the skillet and add the rest of the mushrooms which have been sliced.
- When mushrooms are well browned add the flour and cook for a few minutes to cut the raw flour taste.
- Add 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and a bit more thyme to taste.
- Slowly add the chicken stock stirring to avoid lumps and let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
- Time to plate up. Add vegetables and wild rice blend or potatoes and you are all set.
You need an oven safe 12 inch skillet for this recipe. This one is oven safe to 550F.