Monday, November 21, 2011

Mushroom Crusted Meatloaf with Red Wine Reduction & Cauliflower Puree

I had a jar of finely ground dried wild mushrooms in my freezer and I have only used them once.  I also had a pound of ground beef that I needed to use up asap so I decided to experiment with a dried mushroom crusted meatloaf.  I cannot say enough good things about this dish.  It is packed with flavor from the meatloaf spices, the mushroom crust, and the rich elegant red wine reduction sauce.  I paired this with a cauliflower puree that I swear tastes exactly like mashed potatoes.  In fact, Anthony thinks he ate his meatloaf with potatoes (a few days ago he told me he would NEVER eat cauliflower again so I decided not to tell him).  The secret to this elegant meal is in both the ingredients and cooking method used.  I highly encourage you to try this.  I promise you it's worth the extra effort!

Simple elegance for an everyday meal
Meatloaf Ingredients:
2 slices bacon (preservative and nitrate free)
2oz dried wild mushrooms, ground in a coffee grinder so that they are similar to a course flour
1lb ground beef
1/4c finely diced yellow onion
1tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1tsp minced garlic
1 lightly beaten egg
1/4tsp poultry seasoning
1c red wine (use one that you like to drink)
1c beef stock (gluten & msg free; I use Rachael Ray brand)
2c chopped portabello mushrooms
1tbs butter

Cauliflower Puree Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, washed, stalk removed and the rest cut into pieces
4c chicken stock (gluten & msg free; again I use Rachael Ray brand for all of my stocks)
1tbs butter

1. First, let me clarify on the dried mushrooms:  I recommend that you use a coffee grinder to grind your wild mushrooms into a fine powder, place them in a jar and store them in the fridge or freezer.  They make amazing crusted pan fried steaks as well!  Short of that, you could probably processes them in a food processor until they are as fine as possible.
2. Preheat your oven to 375F.  Cook your bacon in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Remove from pan and reserve fat (unless there is more than a tablespoon and in that case pour some out into a jar).
3. Meanwhile, place your cauliflower in a large stock pot and pour stock over it.  Turn the heat to high and boil for about 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed (This is key otherwise you will have cauliflower soup!).
4. While your bacon and cauliflower is cooking, put together your meatloaf.  Mix your ground beef with a beaten egg, the diced onions, salt, pepper, garlic, and poultry seasoning.  When the bacon is done, crumble it and mix it in with the meat too.  Shape your meat into a salami like loaf.
5. Spread about 1/4c dried mushroom powder onto a cutting board.  Roll your raw meatloaf in the mushrooms until evenly coated on all sides.
6. Place your meatloaf into the saute pan with the bacon fat and cook on high, turning every few minutes until browned on all sides.  Carefully remove the meatloaf and place it into a foil lined loaf pan.  Place it in the oven until done (mine took about 30 minutes; check with a meat thermometer and you want the center to be at least 160).
7. While your meat is cooking, finish up.  Add the wine to the saute pan and reduce by half.  Then add the beef stock and the chopped mushrooms and reduce by half again.  Turn off heat, add butter, and salt as needed.
8. To make your cauliflower puree (make sure your stock is absorbed!), place an immersion blender in the stock pot and puree the cauliflower until smooth (alternatively use a food processor or blender).  Add 1tbs of butter and stir until melted.  Viola!  Fake mashed potatoes!
9. To serve, place cooked meatloaf on a cutting board and slice in 1" thick rounds.  Place a portion of the cauliflower puree on your plate, add a slice or two of the meatloaf, and cover in the red wine reduction and chopped mushrooms.  Serve and enjoy!

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