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Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce

I love fall. When the leaves begin to turn luminous shades of sunlit gold and the air brushes your cheek with that fall kissed crispness that suggests fires in the fireplace and cozy evenings with candlelight, I feel invigorated. Swirling leaves, tossed on the sidewalk, drifting at curbside, adding crunch and texture as I walk is somehow always exciting. School is beginning and work is getting done. I think of too many classes I want to take, too many new things I want to try. My mind races.

And not just new things but old things seem more special too. Fall weather reminds me of comfort foods, those great home cooked dishes that made the menu week after week when I was a child and that I continued making for my own family over the years.

Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods. It has seen some changes over time but it has also endured. I remember my mom making meatloaf when I was a child. Hers was a light meatloaf, extended with bread crumbs, flecked with green pepper and onion and topped with a red stripe of catsup or Campbell's tomato soup.

When I started to make meatloaf on my own I tried several new recipes, mixed different kinds of ground meat to reduce fat or cut back on red meats, sometimes shaped them or rolled them in a bread crust, and omitted the tomato based topping.

This fall I am eager to see if I can improve the flavor of this old standby. I have gone back to red meat but decided to use lean ground buffalo instead of beef. I also added some mushrooms as a topping. Before long I had another version of this classic comfort food to offer as the centerpiece of a hearty home cooked meal.

Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce
(adapted from "Betty Crocker's Cookbook")

1 1/2 pounds ground buffalo (or other ground meat)
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 small red onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon greshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

8 ozs. fresh mushroooms, thickly sliced
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2- 3 Tablespoons dark beer (I used Black Butte Porter)

Place ground meat, bread crumbs, milk, egg, onion, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, sage and crushed garlic in a large bowl. Mix throughly. ( I use my hands here, freshly washed, rings off.)

Spread mixture in an ungreased meatloaf pan or, if you don't have one, use a plain 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf reads 165 degrees, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven. Let stand five to ten minutes before serving.

To make the Mushroom Sauce:

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot add garlic and mushrooms. Saute until garlic softens, approximately 3 minutes.

Add Worcestershire sauce and beer to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms are tender.

Transfer mushrooms to a small dish. Continue cooking the liquid until thickened and reduced. Pour over the mushrooms. Spoon over meatloaf slices and serve.

Leftovers? If you are lucky enough to have some there's no better way to eat them than on a Meatloaf Sandwich. Even better, try a Meatloaf Sandwich with some of those mushrooms.

I know. I know! You can put yours on whatever kind of bread you like but, for me, you can't beat a Meatloaf Sandwich, or a Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich for that matter, on plain soft white bread. Yum!


Anonymous said...

I am certain my husband would flip over this (I actually buy bison loaf for him from our local Planet Organic store). Looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, does that meatloaf look good! And meatloaf sandwiches are my favorite. That's what we're having for dinner.

pam said...

I can't believe I don't have a meatloaf pan!

grace said...

meatloaf is practically another word for comfort in my mind. :)
i love that yours is thick and solid enough to be used in a sandwich!

Anonymous said...

That looks like one hearty stick to your ribs fall dinner! Just the kind my husband loves me to make. Especially the mushroom sauce. Fall is here.

Theresa said...

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa:

I can't believe you used the Betty Crocker recipe. I learned how to cook with it. I love the fluffy meat loaf recipe. I still have the cook book. I will try your variations..

the southern hostess said...

Yum! There's nothing like a meatloaf sandwich.

Anonymous said...

I love making meatloaf just for the leftovers! This one looks delicious.

Ivy said...

The meatloaf looks smacky!
Meatloaf pan? how fancy smancy are you. :)

Michelle said...

Buffalo! Oh my...but it does sound interesting and I would love to try it. The meatloaf with the mushroom sauce looks amazing! And the sandwich is mouthwatering!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely delicious meal! Thanks for the recipe!