A staple of old-fashioned, home-cooked American comfort food, meatloaf is a loaf-shaped baked dish made from ground meat. Endlessly versatile, it can be made from any type or combination of meat, seasoned in any way and complemented with an infinite variety of add-ins.
IngredientsNonstick cooking spray 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup chopped celery (medium dice) 1 cup chopped onion (medium dice) 2 pounds ground beef 1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) 1 tablespoon fresh thyme 10 leaves fresh basil, cut in slivers 1-1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce (canned or homemade) 3 eggs, beaten Salt and pepper to taste Mushroom gravy 1/4 pound (1/2 stick) butter 1 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/3 cup flour 1 quart cold beef, chicken or vegetable stock or broth 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat and saute the celery and onions until translucent.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to chill in the refrigerator.
- Make sure all the ingredients are cold, and lightly combine them in a large mixing bowl. Do not over mix.
- Form the mixture into a freeform loaf and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- Slice immediately and serve, with mushroom gravy if desired.
- Leftovers may be chilled and reheated or served cold.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over medium-high heat.
- When the butter starts to sizzle, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring for 10 minutes or until the mushroom juices have evaporated, and they’ve begun to brown.
- Stir in the flour, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Whisk in 1 cup of the cold broth.
- Once incorporated, pour in the rest of the broth, and add the thyme.
- Bring back to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve hot.
- Makes 3 to 4 cups.
Note: For thicker gravy, turn the heat up to medium, and cook down to the desired thickness. For thinner gravy, simply add more broth.