Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Meat loaf!

Two-fer Tuesday!

Meatloaf Loaf & Creamy Mushroom-Onion Meatloaf Gravy
I normally make my meatloaf as muffins, they bake so much faster, so if you are in a pinch use this recipe, form some meatballs and press them into muffin tins and cut your cooking time half! Meatloaf is quintessential American dinner for me, so you need some mashed potatoes, gravy and of course a green vegetable! There are so many variations of meatloaf that I will explore, think buffalo chicken, or Mexican enchilada, meatloaf is something that’s great to throw in the oven when you have laundry to do, or a hot bath waiting.
1.5 lbs ground beef, I prefer 85/15 for meatloaf
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp. coconut oil or whatever cooking oil you prefer
2 eggs
1/3 cup ketchup, plus another good squeeze ontop!
¼-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese or any shredded cheese you have works well
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
Dice carrots, onions and celery and sauté until they begin to soften about 6 minutes, stir intermittently and season with salt and pepper.  You can do this the night before or earlier in the day if you want as its easier to work with them cooled, but normally I forget and end up having to set them aside for a bit so I don’t burn my hands. 
In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef, eggs, ketchup, panko, and seasonings, as well as the cooled vegetables.  If touching raw meat freaks you out you can wear kitchen gloves that you can get on Amazon or at a kitchen supply store, these look more like doctor gloves than dish gloves remember!  Mush together your meatloaf and put it in your pan, flatten it out and add more ketchup to the top. 
Bake for 40 minutes, and then raise the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160.  Use a large spatula to take the meatloaf out of the pan and save the meatloaf juices in a measuring cup because it will make the best gravy!   
The meatloaf gravy recipe will be posted next! In addition if you opt to make the meatloaf into muffins you can top them with my super easy minimal mess mashed potatoes.
Creamy Mushroom Onion Meatloaf Gravy
This gravy is perfect to top your meatloaf and mashed potatoes!  If you do not have meatloaf drippings, or want to use this as a simple gravy for anything else simply replace the meatloaf drippings with more butter.  If your gravy gets too thick at any point add more broth or cream depending on the consistency you want, more cream will obviously make a creamier gravy and more broth will give you more of a brown gravy, if you want to add more color to your brown gravy keep a bottle of gravy master in your pantry, that is the secret to a rich dark brown gravy!  
2 tbsp. meatloaf pan drippings
1 cup sliced mushrooms; I prefer baby bella but button mushrooms work well too
1 medium onion sliced
1 clove garlic minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 can low sodium beef broth
¼ cup cream or half and half
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste 
Slice mushrooms and onions, mince garlic and set aside.  Add reserved meatloaf drippings and butter to a pan, add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, add mushrooms, sauté for two minutes or until mushrooms begin to soften.  Add flower and stir into mixture, stir for one minute and add beef broth.  Stir until the mixture begins to thicken, add the cream and Italian seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

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