Growing up I rarely had the chance to eat classic dinner foods such as tuna noodle casserole and meatloaf. I absolutely love these dishes. My mom started making meatloaf after I had moved out of the house and it quickly became a favorite. I don’t know what magic she puts into her recipe, but I’ll never know because, like me, my mom just throws stuff together and doesn’t keep track. Well, tonight’s meatloaf was worth remembering.
I doubled the recipe so there’s plenty of leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches, which are almost better than fresh-out-of-the-oven.
Mini meatloaf with mushroom marsala sauce
- 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios or cashews (optional)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 slices of good white bread
- 2 Tbs. milk
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped pimiento olives (optional)
- 2 Tbs. dried parsley
- 1 Tbs. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
For the sauce:
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Marsala wine
- splash of beef broth
- up to 1 cup of reserved mushroom liquid (read recipe for details)
- 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl with hot water. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. In another small bowl, tear up the bread and add the milk. Let sit for a minute and mash up with a fork.
In a Kitchen Aid bowl add the meat, nuts, yolks, soaked bread, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion, garlic, cheese, olives, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Finely chop the mushrooms and add them to the mixture, reserving the mushroom liquid for the sauce. Use the paddle attachment on a low setting until well combined.
Pour the bread crumbs on a tray or pie plate. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Form four small loaves and dredge them in the bread crumbs. Brown the loaves in the pan two at a time.
Place the loaves in a casserole dish. Top each loaf with decorative olives if you’d like them to resemble a 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the loaf reads 140 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven, transfer loaves to a cutting board and let sit, covered, while you make the sauce.
The sauce: Reheat the pan that you used to brown the loaves. Pour any drippings from the casserole dish into the pan. When the pan is hot add the marsala and tomato paste and whisk until everything is well combined. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat. Add about 1/2 cup of the mushroom liquid and a splash of beef broth. Add more mushroom liquid if it’s too thick. Add parsley just before serving.
Slice loaves into thick slabs. Serve with egg noodles and green beans. Slather with delicious meat sauce.