I know – there is nothing sexier for Valentine’s Day than a big ole pile of meat smothered in mushrooms, right? 😉 Since I’ve been easing into mushrooms (I’ve hated them my whole life, but I think I’m turning a corner!) I thought the logical next step was to try out a mushroomy meatloaf. I came across this recipe, which is a twist on an America’s Test Kitchen dish, so I knew it was going to be good – always trust a man in a bow tie.
The verdict was that Sir Dave LOVED it and I liked it. I’m not going to lie, I missed the darn ketchup! So when I ate it for leftovers I didn’t use the gravy – just good old heinz – and everything was right with the world again. But if you’re a mushroom lover (like Dave) – you’ll dig the gravy big time.
Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 1 Hour
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup water
16 saltines crackers
10 oz white mushrooms
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 lb ground pork
2 large eggs
1 tbs plus 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
3/4 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
First, pre-heat the oven to 375-degrees. Then rinse the dried porcini mushrooms and place in a small bowl with the one cup of water – cover with plastic wrap and microwave for one minute until the water steams. Allow to soften, covered for five minutes. Then remove the mushrooms and strain the water through a coffee filter placed in a strainer and reserve 3/4 cup of this liquid.
Next process the crackers in a food processor for 30 seconds until they are finely ground, then empty into a large bowl. Add half the white mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. *Note for next time, I would actually cook and caramelize these mushrooms prior to mincing them in the food processor, as I think the flavor would be more pronounced and YUMMY.
Add one tbs of oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Mince the onion and carrots and toss into the pan, sauteing until the onions are browned. Add the mushrooms from the food processor and add 1/4 tsp salt to the skillet and continue cooking for about 10 minutes more until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown. Mince the garlic and add to the pan, cooking for just a minute. Empty this mixture into a bowl with the saltines and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Then add the ground pork, 2 eggs, 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 cup of the reserved porcini liquid to the bowl with the cooled onions and saltines. Mix this all together until mostly combined, then add beef and knead until thoroughly combined.
Place the meat onto a sheet pan and form into a loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees.
While the meatloaf bakes, thinly slice the remaining white mushrooms. Add 2 tbs to a skillet (you can reuse the one you just used for the onions) and heat to medium. Add the white mushrooms and the minced porcini mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Mince the thyme, and add to the sauce with 1/4 tsp salt and cook for just a minute. Add the 1/4 cup flour and cook for two minutes, whisking frequently. Then add the chicken broth slowly, continuing to whisk. Add the 1/2 cup reserved porcini liquid and 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Bring this sauce up to a boil, then reduce the burner to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, occasionally whisking. Taste for seasoning, and remove from heat.
Slice up that meatloaf and douse in mushroom gravy y’all (or ketchup, or both)! Enjoy!