Now don't go running to the food calender 'cause as far as I know, it is not, I just made that up. So did my Momma from time to time just to evoke a smile on our faces, she knew how much we loved her meatloaf. We observed this holiday about two or three times a month, especially during the winter and never tired of her flavorful version with her saucy, mushroom gravy.
Every kitchen has a knack of making a good meatloaf. What sets hers apart from others I guess it that each slice of loaf reminds me of hamburger steak. Chocked full of savory vegetables, seasoned with just enough spice to bring about a harmonious balance of flavor and then, she would smother it with a rich, mushroom sauce. Nothing fancy, just Momma's cooking.
Momma did not believe in adding filler to her loaf - no crackers, breadcrumbs, not even an egg for binding - it does not need it. And instead of covering with a layer of tomato sauce or as some do, from a bottle of ketchup, she liked her tomatoes mixed in with the meat along with onions, mushrooms and green peppers. And there is the sauce... oh my goodness. Made from ingredients from the pantry along with fresh mushrooms and onions, to this day I cannot taste the difference from that of slaving away over a roast-dripping pan-gravy. Rich and creamy, quick and easy... that may best describe her sauce but her meatloaf is a whole other verse. Enjoy!
serves about 6 folks
|serving for 3|
1 pound ground sirloin beef
1 -14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 -1 oz package onion soup mix
1 cup small diced onion
1 cup small diced fresh mushrooms
1 cup small diced green pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke
4 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients well using a large spoon or spatula in distributing the seasonings and vegetables evenly. Divide mixture in half, thirds or even fourths depending on size desired. Form each into either oblong or round loaves. I like to place the loaves directly on a large, shallow roasting pan but Momma placed hers on a rack. You can also use loaf pans but you will need to drain off some liquid during cooking.
Cook for 45 minutes to an hour (for 2 loaves) or until nice and brown. Remove and let set for a few minutes before slicing. Serve with the Mushroom Sauce below.
Note: I sometimes will place a cooked loaf in a deep pan with a good topping of sauce and slow cook a half hour in a low oven as I did tonight.
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thin sliced mushrooms or 8 ounces
1 cup diced white onion or 1 medium
1 tablespoon AP flour
2 1/2 cups water, divided
2 -1.2 oz brown gravy mix, I use Knorr Classic
salt and pepper to taste
dash or Worcestershire
In a large skillet, melt butter and saute mushrooms over medium high heat for about 5 minutes being careful not to scorch but hot enough to cook off the natural liquid. Add onions and cook until translucent. Reduce heat and stir in the flour cooking for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a low simmer stirring until thickened.
In a bowl, combine gravy mix with the 2 cups of water whisking well. Slowly stir mix into the skillet. Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire to taste. Simmer on low heat stirring often until thickened.
Notes: This will make ample sauce for the meatloaves or it is great with many types of meat and especially with mashed potatoes and rice.
I sometimes will use half beef broth and water making the 2 1/2 cups for an even extra rich sauce.