Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wild Mushroom Meatloaf

I know - it's spring, and I should be writing about asparagus and ramps. Unfortunately, it's too early here for asparagus, and ramps don't even grow in Washington. Also, we've had a run of truly disheartening weather - mostly in the low 40s, mostly rain with the occasional burst of hail. We've been craving comfort food.

V has been working pretty much non-stop, but on the one night last week that he was actually home for dinner, I made Potato & Turnip Mash, Roasted Beets, and this Wild-Mushroom Meatloaf. It looks like the meatloaf recipe must have been cut from a magazine at some point, but I neglected to clip anything that would have identified which one. I'd guess that it's from about eight years ago, from where it is in my binder - it's been my go-to meatloaf recipe for years.

Wild-Mushroom Meatloaf

  • chopped fresh mushrooms (any kind) about 1/2 C
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil (or rendered bacon grease...)
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 1/4 C (or so) dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 1/4 C hot water
  • 1/4 C milk (any kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 6 slices bread (I usually use whole wheat sandwich bread), torn into rough pieces
  • 3/4 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ketchup, chili sauce, or barbeque sauce (optional)
Heat oven to 375F.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil or fat. Add the fresh mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook until golden brown. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated - turn up the heat a bit if necessary. After the liquid is gone, set the pan aside.

Meanwhile, drain the wild mushrooms through a sieve lined with paper towels. Reserve the soaking liquid. Lift out the mushrooms and chop. Add to cooked mushroom mixture.

In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, bread, and soaking liquid to form a paste. Stir until the bread bits are pretty well incorporated. Add beef, mushrooms, and about 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir to combine, but try not to overwork the beef, as that can make the meatloaf tough.

Put the mixture into a greased 9"x5" loaf pan and cover the top with sauce, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.
makes 4 generous servings