Recipe: Meatier Meatloaf

Adapted from a recipe appearing in Cook's Illustrated, September 2012. Prepared for dinner on Sunday, September 16, 2012.  Makes 6-8 servings.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion
6 ounces white (button) mushrooms
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium is OK)
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
½ slice white sandwich bread
fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 85% lean ground chuck or ground beef

½ cup ketchup
¼ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon dried coriander


  1. Finely chop the onion.
  2. Trim the mushrooms and cut them into thin slices.
  3. Fold aluminum foil into a 9 by 5 inch rectangle and place it on a wire rack set on a baking sheet.
  4. Using a skewer, punch holes in the foil approximately ½ inch apart.
  5. Heat the oven to 350° with a rack in the middle position.
  6. Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until they start to turn brown, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add tomato paste and cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the tomato is browned.
  9. Add garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds until you can smell the garlic.
  10. Add 3 tablespoons of the broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits, about 1 minute.
  11. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl to cool.
  12. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, ½ cup broth, and the soy sauce. Sprinkle with the gelatin and set aside for at least 5 minutes so the gelatin can absorb the liquid. 
  13. Add the bread to a food processor and pulse to make fine crumbs.
  14. Add the gelatin mixture, cooled onion mixture, parsley, mustard, pepper, and thyme to the bread crumbs and pulse until combined.
  15. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and add the beef and pork.
  16. Using your hands, mix these ingredients together until well combined.
  17. Transfer the mixture to the prepared foil rectangle and shape into a loaf.
  18. Bake 75-90 minutes until the internal temperature of the loaf registers 155°.
  19. While the meat loaf bakes, prepare the glaze. 
  20. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes until thickened.
  21. When done, remove the meat loaf from the oven and turn on the broiler.
  22. Apply half of the glaze to the top of the meatloaf and place it under the broiler until it starts to bubble.
  23. Remove the meat loaf and apply the rest of the glaze, place it under the broiler, and cook until it starts to bubble.
  24. Cool for 20 minutes, slice and serve.
Peel and chop an onion, clean and slice mushrooms, mince (or press) garlic, measure broth and tomato paste.
Cook the onion and mushroom in oil until softened, add the tomato paste,  garlic, and broth in turn and cook.

Sprinkle gelatin on a mixture of egg, broth, and soy sauce. 

Process half a slice of white bread.
Add the onion mixture, gelatin mixture, parsley, mustard, pepper, and thyme to the bread crumbs and process. It doesn't look very appetizing.
Now the fun part, add the processed mixture to the beef and pork in a large bowl and mix them with your hands to combine.
Form a loaf on a 9x5 inch piece of pierced aluminum foil set on a baking rack on a baking sheet and then bake.
While the meat bakes, combine and cook the glaze ingredients. Spread the glaze on the loaf after it is done baking and cook the glaze under the broiler until it bubbles. Two layers of glaze are applied and cooked.

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