This might push me wholeheartedly into the category of ‘freak’, but I love winter. And cold weather. When else does a steaming bowl of stew or hearty braise feel so at home on my fork? Never. It’s the perfect time of year to fill my belly (and my family’s) with comfort food of every kind. Noah looked at me yesterday and said, “Mom, we don’t have enough stew anymore.” I couldn’t agree more, buddy.
The hubs wanted healthy, healthy, healthy after the new year. I’ve played along for a few weeks and I’m over it. I want comfort, comfort, comfort. Luckily, my kitchen; my rules. I’ll bring healthy back when we are a little closer to bathing suit season. Or when the sun comes back around. Whichever comes last.
I’ll make stew this weekend when it can slowly simmer to meld together into comfort perfection. Tonight, I’m going to make meatloaf. It is surprisingly easy if you plan ahead. Just make sure to have your ground beef thawed (I keep a few pounds in the freezer for emergencies) and a few pantry staples at the ready. To make it extra luxurious as the wind whips and the snowflakes threaten, add my braised mushrooms in cream sauce. They are the perfect topper for meatloaf alongside some buttery mashed potatoes. It’s a weeknight meal that is fit for company.
This meatloaf comes together in just minutes.
Meatloaf with Mushroom Cream SauceCourse: DinnerCuisine: American, ComfortDifficulty: Easy
Not your momma’s meatloaf, there is NO ketchup to be found here; just rich, unctuous meatiness perfect for a weeknight but delicious enough for company!
1 medium onion, small dice
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3/4 oz fresh bread crumbs (generous 3/4 cup packed) from about 3-4 slices
4-1/2 oz (9 tbsp) milk
1-1/2 lb lean ground beef (80/20)
3/8 oz (3 tsp) salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In small saute pan, melt butter over medium heat, add onions and cook over medium until soft, about 10 minutes. Throw the whole pan in the fridge to cool a little before adding to remaining ingredients.
- In large bowl, mix fresh bread crumbs with milk. Mash gently together with your finger tips.
- Add ground beef, eggs, salt, pepper and cooled onions to bowl with bread-milk mixture. GENTLY mix by hand just to incorporate. If you over mix the beef, it will cause your loaf to be tough.
- Place mixture in 8×4″ loaf pan, making a slight well down the center. This will prevent your finished product from having a big, dome-shaped top.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until cooked through, bubbly and dark golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and tent with foil until ready to slice and serve.
- Serve this meatloaf with mushroom cream sauce to make it extra yum-mazing!
- I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, in the big red box. If you can, purchase it at Amazon or Walmart. If not, I recommend weighing your salt to get accurate results. The volume of salt can vary by as much as 75% by weight so it can make a HUGE difference to your recipe.
- I always use unsalted butter in my recipes so I can control how much goes in. If you choose to use salted butter, cut back considerably on the salt amount listed.