Why did meatloaf end up with such rep anyway? I actually LIKE it! It's the perfect comfort food, something you can get in almost every diner, maybe something you remember Mom making when you were little. I love the classic meatloaf with a drizzle of ketchup baked on the top, and once in a while I like to jazz it up a bit.
Meatloaf is easy to upgrade. Different meats, different toppings, different things tucked inside. We are big fans of mushrooms around here and I had some to use up so of course- mushroom stuffed meatloaf came to mind. Chopped up, tossed with some onion and garlic, it's a quick and easy stuffing with lots of flavor. A quick glance through the fridge and I also have half a package of bacon to use up so I grab that, chop it up, get it going in a pan....... and the rest is history.
Lakehouse Stuffed Meatloaf
2 lbs ground beef
8 oz package mushrooms
1 small onion
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup beef stock
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
half pound bacon
3 slices stale bread
salt and pepper or meat rub of choice
Clean the mushrooms by wiping with a damp paper towel. Trim the ends off the stems and chop the mushrooms. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Add to mushrooms and set aside.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and place in a skillet. Cook the bacon until browned and crispy, drain on paper towel and set aside. Drain off the fat. I don't like to cook mushrooms in bacon fat- they absorb too much of the fat and then everything is overwhelmingly bacon flavored. Add the cooking oil to the skillet and when hot, add the mushroom and onion mixture.
Cook over medium heat until onions are softened and mushrooms start to brown. Add the beef stock, raise heat to high and cook to evaporate the liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, crumble the ground beef. Crush up the stale bread into crumbs, season with salt and pepper of a good meat seasoning/rub (we like Feiny's Everything) and mix together with the eggs. Don't over mix but make sure the eggs and bread are fully incorporated.
Place a large sheet of waxed paper on the counter and pile the meat mixture in the center. Pat out into a rectangle about 10x15 or so, make sure you keep in mind the size of the baking pan you're going to use. Spread the mushroom mixture over the meat as evenly as possibly. Sprinkle the bacon over.
Grasp the long edge of the waxed paper and lift, rolling the meat over the mushrooms away from you and continue until you reach the other end. Seal as well as you can. Use the waxed paper to help transfer to an oil baking dish, and place the roll seam side down.
Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven, pour off any grease in the pan and cover loosely with foil; allow to rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Served with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy instead of the ketchup drizzle, this was such a tasty take on meatloaf. The bacon pieces stay quite crunchy during baking and it's easy to slice after that rest time. We had lots of leftovers too- and I love a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day.
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