Friday, February 7, 2014

Mushroom Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomato Glaze

The polar vortex has reached Eugene. Snow days, icy roads, and chilly temperatures call for staying put and cooking up comfort food. This meatloaf fits the bill, flavored with pungent mushrooms and fresh herbs, 

and topped with a homemade ketchup from sun dried tomatoes.

With cold winds howling outside, nothing could feel cozier than this classic American supper of meatloaf with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy

But polar vortex or not, the day after baking meatloaf I am always reminded that its best justification is in sandwiches, piled high with spicy greens, or layered like pâté into decadent tofu banh mi.

Mushroom Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomato Glaze

for the meatloaf
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
3/4 cup boiling water
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
1 egg
several springs of fresh oregano, thyme, and sage
1 cup bread crumbs
plenty of salt and black pepper

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder or to taste
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
pinch of salt

1. Place the dried mushrooms in the boiling water to soften for at least 15 minutes. Heat a small skillet over medium low heat. Melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook until glassy, then add the grated carrot, and cook for another few minutes until the aromatics are soft. Reserve. Once the mushrooms are softened, chop them very finely and reserve the mushroom-flavored water. 

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing its bottom and sides with olive oil. Put the ground meat in a large bowl and add a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to mix. Combine in the egg. Then mix in the shallots and mushrooms. Pluck the fresh herb leaves from their stems and tear them into the mixture. Add the breadcrumbs and gently mix to combine. Now pour in the reserved mushroom-flavored water and gently incorporate into the mixture. Dump the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan and gently pat down to even the top.

3. To prepare the glaze, combine the sun dried tomatoes and water in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and chili powder, vinegar, and salt and simmer another minute until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool and the tomatoes to continue to soften for another 10 minutes or so. In a mini mixer, food processor, or blender, process the ingredients into a paste. Reserve.

3. Bake the meatloaf for 20 minutes at 300 degrees, rotating halfway through. Remove the meatloaf and spread over the glaze. Check the internal temperature, which should be about 100 degrees at this point. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until the internal temperature is 140.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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