Meatloaf with brown gravy

Meatloaf with brown gravy.
Meatloaf with brown gravy

Most families have their own favorite meatloaf recipe. I have been working on a meatloaf recipe for a while now. I’ve wanted a change from the one I’d always used. I want a moist flavorful bite and it would have to have gravy instead of the ketchup and brown sugar mixture I used to put on top. I took out the milk and bread crumbs so I needed to replace the liquid and the binder. I decided to try oatmeal as the binder, beef stock, and some tomato sauce as the liquid. In olive oil I saute chopped shallots, and fresh minced garlic. Then I add fresh thyme leaves to release their flavor. I also add freshly chopped flat leaf parsley in the mixing stage. With a small amount of the juices from the cooked meatloaf I make delicious brown gravy. This meatloaf is pure comfort food. I serve it with mash potatoes, and fresh green beans. The perfect dinner for hungry guests.

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Meat Loaf with brown gravy

2/3 lb. ground pork

2/3 lb. ground veal

1 lb. ground beef

2-4 large shallots, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

3-4 thyme sprigs

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup tomato sauce

½ cup beef stock

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and Pepper

Gravy:

1 tablespoon fat from baked meatloaf

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Chop the shallot, mince the garlic, and remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Run your knife through the thyme. Add the shallot to the skillet cook 3 minutes. Then add the thyme and garlic cook 1-2 minutes. You don’t want to burn the garlic. Set aside. In a large bowl gently break apart your meat. Add the shallot mixture, eggs, tomato sauce, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, oats, salt and pepper, and fresh parsley. Gently mix just to incorporate the ingredients. In a 9×13” Pyrex glass dish.  Turn the meat mixture out into the center and shape the meat in a loaf. Bake 50 minutes or till your meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Remove the meat loaf from the baking dish to a plate and cover it with foil. Scrape the fat and bits in the baking dish; remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Place the baking dish over a burner on medium low. Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to the fat whisk in the flour this will make a roux. Cook till smooth and bubbly about 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium high whisk in the flour scraping up all the bites from the bottom of the pan bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low and let simmer, stir with whisk cook about 5 minutes more. Strain the gravy and sever over or on the side of the meatloaf.

If you are a fan of mushrooms, sauté 1 1/2 cups of Baby Bella mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Cook about 8 minutes stirring once. add to the gravy and serve over the meatloaf.

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Beef and Guinness Pot Pie

DSCF2305I remember when my Grandmother lived with us for a time; she and Mom prepared what they called steak pie. It was chunks of beef, onion and a little gravy. The crust was plain and something was in the middle of the pie as a vent. I really can’t remember what it was but I’m thinking it was a shot glass. Is that possible? I don’t remember if I even liked the pie. I suppose I was just too young. I just remember Mom and Grandma in the kitchen together and preparing this meal. I have no way of knowing the recipe that was used Mom had no recipe box that I’ve ever known. But I remember the pie being served and want to bring it to my family table and remember these two special ladies whom I miss and love very deeply. I love pot pie and thought this was a great way of recreating Grandmas pie. To make the gravy extra rich and special I’ll add Guinness Stout Beer. I took all the flavors I love from my beef stew, deleted a few ingredients, added just a few new ingredients, to change up the taste and it’s now Beef and Guinness Pot Pie. The Guinness gives the gravy such a depth of flavor here. Out of the oven this pie is rich and delicious with a flaky crust. I have a feeling Mom and Grandma would just love it.

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Beef and Guinness Pot Pie

2lbs. chuck stewing beef, cut in 2” pieces

3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Pepper

2 large onions, cut in half then cut in half again, then cut into thick slices

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups carrots cut into 2” chunks

5 thyme sprigs, leaves removed

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 ½ cups beef stock

1 cup Guinness stout beer

1 short crust pastry or puff pastry

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Coat the meat with flour. You could use a zip lock bag for this.

In a heavy bottomed pot heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil Brown the meat in batches. You will need to add a little more oil for each batch up to 2 tablespoons total. Remove each batch to a plate. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil cook the onion 5 minutes. Add the garlic cook 1-2 minutes more. Add the meat back to the pot. Add Worcestershire sauce, sugar, 2 bay leaves, thyme leaves. Give this a good stir. Add the Guinness stout beer and beef broth; add just a pinch more salt and pepper. Give a good stir. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 ½ hours till beef is tender. Remove the lid and simmer 1 hour to let the gravy thicken. Store this filling for your pie overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the flavors to develop. Next day reheat the beef mixture. Prepare your short crust or puff pastry. Fill a 9 inch pie pan with the beef mixture. Top with the crust. Make a few cuts in the crust to vent. Bake in a 400 degree oven 20-30 minutes till golden.

Note: You could also add mushrooms. Cook them 5-8 minutes remove to a plate, and then cook the onion and garlic.

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Special Cottage Pie

sp9 In 1998 our family moved from Washington State to England. We lived there for about eighteen months. Shortly after we arrived a lovely British family we had met invited our family for dinner. It was the first home cooked meal we’d had since arriving. The menu was shepherd’s pie made with lamb, and bread and butter pudding for dessert. The meal was delicious and their hospitality was a blessing to us. I found as we traveled about England, Scotland, and Ireland they all had this on the menu but they called it Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie and made it with a beef or lamb mixture and topped with potatoes that were toasted under a broiler. I have always made  mine with beef. I like to top mine with cheddar cheese and then put in back in the oven to get all melted. The ingredients are simple but very delicious. A comforting meal on a cold winter day.  I call it special cottage pie and this is my version.

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Special cottage pie

For the filling

2lb. ground beef

3 large shallots, chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon ground allspice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons tomato paste

4 small carrots sliced (boiled)

2 1/4 cups beef stock

For the topping

10 small Yukon gold potatoes

½ up ¾ cup whole milk  

1/2  – 1 stick butter

2 tablespoons sour cream

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh chives (optional)

Grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Prepare filling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Brown the ground meat and reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat. Set Add the meat aside add reserved fat back  to the pan over medium heat add the shallot, garlic, and bay leaf cook for 1 minute. Add the meat back to the pan add the allspice, cinnamon, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of flour, carrots, and the tomato paste. Stir mixture together and cook 2 minutes. Add the beef stock slowly while stir to get a nice juicy consistency. You don’t want it to be to soupy looking. Cook about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Fill a pie plate with the mixture or individual oven ware.

For the topping

Boil the potatoes, drain, mash potatoes using electric mixer. Add butter, sour cream, salt and pepper, and milk. Whip till light and fluffy add the chives at last mixing. When mixing mash potatoes always mix the potatoes till they look smooth before adding milk this will reduce any lumps. Unless in fact you like lumps then mix less before adding milk. Top the meat mixture with the potatoes, I use a pastry bag to do this but you can just heap them on top. Bake 15-20 minutes till top browns add cheese at the last few minutes.

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