Summer Comforts: Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Over the weekend, Hubby and I were discussing the end of summer and the rapid approach of autumn (my favorite season). He commented that the thing he was most looking forward to about the cooler weather was the hearty comfort foods.

In particular, he was really hungry for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.Pie

Pumpkin Pie? Sold!

I was planning on steaks for dinner (filet mignon, at that), but I popped them in the freezer in favor of meatloaf mix. Not normally a tradeoff I would make, but we cooked steak almost every weekend for months, and I was up for a change.

We usually do bigger Sunday dinners, and Hubby’s favorite part is that Sunday dinners always come with dessert. When I was on my baking hiatus, that was typically ice cream, but the homemade desserts are so much better.

I zipped up a pie after lunch, and popped it in the oven. Yum! (If you haven’t seen my pumpkin pie recipe, there is a thin layer of cheesecake hidden under the pumpkin. Heavenly!)2015-08-16 19.28.16

By the time dinner was done, my house smelled amazing! Meatloaf, Redskin Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Sautéed Carrots, and Corn.

I have to be honest, I was never a big fan of meatloaf, but I experimented with different versions over the years and have a couple of recipes I like. This one is my husband’s favorite. It has caramelized onions and mushrooms mixed right in with the meat making it extra moist, although it is really good without the mushrooms, too, if you prefer it without.

Meatloaf and Mushroom Gravy

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

1 lb Meatloaf Mix (usually  a mix of Ground Beef, Veal, and Pork)
½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Cup Standard Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
½ Cup Milk
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. Heinz 57 sauce or BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp. Stone Ground Mustard
2-3 Tbsp. Ketchup
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
10-12 oz. Mushrooms, Chopped, Sautéed, and Cooled
1 Large Onion, Diced, Sautéed, and Cooled
3 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Flour
2 Cups Chicken or Beef Stock
¾ Cup Red Wine or Beer
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil (to sauté)

Instructions

    1. Sauté Mushrooms and Onions in Olive Oil. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
    2. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
    3. Mix Meat, Breadcrumbs, Egg, Milk, approx. 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, Heinz 57 sauce, 1 tablespoon of Stone Ground mustard, Ketchup, and Italian Seasoning in a large bowl.
    4. Add in 2/3 of the mushrooms and onions, and mix.
      1. If the mixture is too wet (it won’t hold its shape), add more bread crumbs.
        **I almost always have to do this.
      2. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more milk.
      3. Optional: Make a small (approximately 1-inch) patty of the meat mixture, and cook it in a small skillet to taste seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.
    5. Form the Meat mixture into a loaf-shape and place on a baking sheet or place meat in a loaf pan. If desired, more ketchup can be spread on top to caramelize. Bake for 1 hour.
    6. Remove from oven. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is at least 165 degrees. Let meat rest on a platter while you make the gravy. (It will firm up a bit in this time, making it easier to cut).
    7. Add remaining mushrooms and onions and the butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    8. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Cook one minute.
    9. Add the wine or beer and stir. Cook until thickened (1-2 minutes).
    10. Add the stock and the remaining tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce and Stone Ground Mustard. Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, five minutes.
    11. Slice the meatloaf into 8-12 slices. Serve with gravy.
    12. Enjoy!

2015-08-16 19.28.00This was a hearty, yummy dinner that gave Hubby a night off from grilling (with enough leftovers to give us both a night off of cooking later in the week). 🙂 Not normal summer fare, but a nice change of pace.

Don’t forget desert! I served it with a bit (or a lot) of fresh whipped cream. Perfect end to a yummy Sunday dinner!

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Do you make Sunday Dinners? Have another tradition for a day of the week with a bigger, special meal? What is your favorite comfort meal? Please share! 🙂


Back to Baking

A little over six months ago, I did something I never thought I would do. I quit baking.

Nothing beats a fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie!

Nothing beats a fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie!

For anyone that has followed this blog, you know I have always loved to bake. It is my stress relief (at least it was). Sixteen months ago, I couldn’t imagine going two months without baking, going to the extent of packing my stand mixer in the car with us when we relocated to North Carolina.

Unfortunately, our waistlines quickly came to realize why my weekly baking habit just wouldn’t work down here. We knew very few people down here, so instead of sharing sweet treats with family and friends, we indulged ourselves. When we found our pants getting tight, we decided we needed to make a change. So, I quit. Cold turkey. A week before Christmas.

That’s right, I made no Christmas cookies. Not one. To be honest, we didn’t even miss them.

Gearing up for Christmas Cookie baking in the past.

Gearing up for Christmas Cookie baking in the past.

Luckily, we have made friends down here as we are settling in.  We have also had a lot more family visit in the last month or so. So, after six and a half months, I bought baking supplies today. I pulled my Kitchen Aid mixer out of the cabinet.

And tomorrow, I bake. 😉

After six months, I don’t feel the need to bake every week. But, I am looking forward to occasional treats. And, my new habit of walking five or six miles a day should help to keep the waistline in check, even if (when) I do occasionally overindulge.

Have you ever quit an activity you loved cold turkey? Did you go back? 

And does anyone have any suggestions on what I should bake? 😉 


Chicken, Corn, and Rice Chowder

It is freezing cold in NC, with a forecast low for this morning of 17 degrees.  Brrr. Maybe we should have moved further south? 😉

2014-10-28 14.27.14Days like today just cry out for soup. I made this one for lunch with a friend a friend a few weeks ago.  It is a great use for leftover chicken and rice, if you have some on hand.  I used white rice last time, but cooked brown or wild rice works, too.   Just be sure it is fully cooked before adding it to the soup. Read More


Comfort Food: Fresh from the Garden Spaghetti

I love comfort foodmacaroni and cheese, shepherd’s pie, pot roast, and, or course, spaghetti.

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Spaghetti is my go-to meal for a variety of occasions ranging from nights I just don’t want to cook to nights I am feeding a large crowd.  It is tasty, filling, inexpensive, and easy! Add a salad and maybe some garlic bread and dinner can be done in as little as 20 minutes! 🙂

Yup, 20 minutes, even if I am making the sauce from scratch! Read More


Favorites of Fall

Taken by C. P. Lesley (from WANA Commons)

I have mentioned a few times in the past few weeks that, while the beach may be my favorite place to be, fall is my favorite time of year.  It is this season that I am thankful to live in such a great area of the country.

We live in eastern PA, just south of the Pocono Mountains. This time of year, the sights of fall are all around–mums are in full bloom, pumpkins abound, and the trees are a vibrant mix of reds, yellows and oranges.  Beautiful.

Of course, the beauty of the season is only one of the terrific aspects of fall. I love to cook and bake, and the foods of fall are some of my favorites–apple and pumpkin recipes, soups, stews and chilis, and comfort food galore! Read More