Traditional meatloaf can be loaded with extra calories, carbohydrates, and sugar to overcompensate for lean and dry meat. This recipe from Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief and chef Dan Souza uses mushrooms and gelatin to achieve a meaty and moist texture in lieu of a milk and bread panade. It also features tomato paste instead of an entire bottle of ketchup, so you can make a no-fail meatloaf that's full of flavor.
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 6 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp plus 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb 85 percent lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1. For the meatloaf: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil to form 9 by 5-inch rectangle. Center foil on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in foil with skewer (about 1/2 inch apart). Spray foil with vegetable oil spray.
2. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add 3 tablespoons broth and garlic; cook, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mushroom mixture to large bowl to cool.
3. Whisk eggs, remaining ½ cup broth, and soy sauce together in bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over egg mixture and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.
4. Pulse bread in food processor until finely ground, 5 to 10 pulses. Add gelatin mixture, cooled mushroom mixture, parsley, mustard, pepper, and thyme to breadcrumbs and pulse until mushrooms are finely ground, about 10 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer bread-crumb mixture to large bowl. Add pork and beef and mix with hands to thoroughly combine.
5. Transfer meat mixture to foil rectangle and shape into 9 by 5-inch loaf using wet hands. Bake meatloaf until it registers 155 to 160 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on broiler.
6. For the glaze: While meatloaf cooks, bring all ingredients to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
7. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meatloaf; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 2 minutes. Remove meatloaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; return to broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes longer. Let meatloaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
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This recipe was recently featured in Your Food Deconstructed: Why Did We Stop Eating Meatloaf?.
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