Friday, February 24, 2012

Grilled meatloaf with tomato mushroom gravy

 Let's face it: Meatloaf can be boring. But it doesn't have to be if we use a little creativity to jazz it up a bit! I really appreciate the rich flavor of a mixed beef and pork meatloaf, and the interesting blend of seasonings in this recipe also bring some excitement.You might wonder "What? Cocoa powder in meatloaf?". Trust me...the flavor  is rich and inviting, so give it a try! Frying the sliced meatloaf in hot bacon grease (or butter if you prefer) gives each slice a delightfully crispy outer surface. So "goodbye boring dinner...hello fantastic meatloaf!".

Meatloaf ingredients:
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 pound finely ground pork
2 eggs
2 slices bread, toasted and crumbled into coarse crumbs
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
3 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
1 t. ginger powder

Using your hands, mix the meat, eggs, and bread crumbs very well. Mix the spices together and mix through the meat mixture. Press into a 9 inch loaf pan and cover with saran wrap, then foil over the top.  Bake in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for 2 hours.

Sauce ingredients:
8 ounces tomato juice
4 green onions, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1” pieces
½ cup shredded carrot
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
1 T. butter
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped white mushrooms
¾ cup chopped sweet yellow onion
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. spicy deli mustard
2/3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Juices from the baked meatloaf

Simmer tomato juice, green onions, carrots, salt and pepper until the mixture thickens and reduces by half. It should be the consistency of thick tomato sauce.

Saute’ the mushrooms and onion in the butter. Set aside.

Mix together the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and mustard in a skillet over medium heat.

Mix the cornstarch into the chicken broth and add to the hot tomato sauce mixture. Stir in the juices from the cooked meatloaf pan. Let the tomato mushroom gravy heat til bubbly and thick, about ten minutes

Remove the meatloaf from its pan and chill it. Wrapping it in a plastic bag full of ice cubes will cool it quick enough to be ready to slice. Slice the meatloaf in ½ inch thick slices. Heat a skillet with ½ t. bacon grease (butter works great too, bacon grease just adds flavor). Saute’ the meatloaf on both sides until it has a crispy finish on the outsides. Cool on a rack or towel.

Lay the meatloaf slices in a pan and pour the tomato mushroom gravy over the top. Add another layer of meatloaf, add gravy, until all the meatloaf is in the pan. Cover with a lid or foil and keep warm in a 180 degree oven until serving.

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