My father pulled this Tuscan meat loaf recipe from the New York Times magazine a few months ago and we gave it a try the other night. It was excellent, as tasty as a meatloaf can be. It does however produce twice as much sauce as one can reasonably use with the meatloaf. We had ours the next day with pasta. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it is made entirely on the stove top. Most meat loaf recipes are made in the oven, but as the warmer months approach it’s nice to have a stovetop alternative.
Tuscan Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce Recipe
- 2 oz dried wild mushrooms
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp milk
- One 2-in square of white bread, crust removed
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped prosciutto or unsmoked ham
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lightly beaten egg yolk
- 1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
1 Soak the mushrooms in two cups of lukewarm water for half an hour or more.
2 In a bowl, break up the beef with a fork. In a small bowl, combine the milk and bread, and mash until creamy. Add the milk and bread to the meat, along with the onion, salt, pepper, prosciutto, cheese, and garlic. Mix thoroughly by hand. Mix in the lightly beaten egg yolk. Shape meat into a firm, round ball; then roll this into a salami-like loaf about two and a half inches thick. Tap with your palm to drive out any air bubbles. Roll the loaf in the bread crumbs until evenly coated.
3 Drain the mushrooms (reserving the soaking water) and rinse them several times in clean, cold water. Chop the mushrooms roughly and set aside. Strain the soaking water through a fine sieve lined with paper towels. Whisk in the tomato paste and set aside.
4 Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or heavy casserole pan just big enough for the meat. Brown the meat on all sides in the pan over medium heat after the butter foam subsides. Add the wine. Increase heat to medium high. Boil wine briskly until reduced one half, turning meat carefully once or twice. Turn heat to medium low and add chopped mushrooms. Add the tomato paste mushroom water to the meat and mushrooms. Cover and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meat once or twice.
5 Carefully remove meat to a cutting board. Allow it to cool slightly and settle. Cut into slanted slices about 3/8 of an inch thick. If the sauce seems thin, concentrate it by boiling rapidly for a few minutes. Pour a little sauce on a warm serving platter, arrange the meat slices, then cover the remainder of the sauce.
Yield: Serves 4.