I have to admit I was a bit nervous about this one. How do you make meatloaf with mashed potatoes & gravy super delicious without bacon, hamburger meat, butter or cheese? Well, it took a few tries but I do believe we have found success. First let’s start with the meatloaf:
Ok, I love making meatloaf. You get to put all these delicious ingredients into a bowl and mix it with your hands then pat it into a big pan and bake it. Making meatloaf is the closest thing to being a kid and making mud pies-but it comes out salty, savory and delicious. So today Idid essentially the same thing: into a big bowl I threw 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup uncooked polenta, 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, a big squirt of ketchup, 1/4 cup worcestershire, a big tablespoon of dijon mustard and a handful of fresh sage. Oh, and salt and pepper.
Then I chopped fine: 2 stalks celery, 1 onion, 8-10 mushrooms, 2 carrots and 3 cloves garlic. I let all this cook together in a few tablespoons olive oil for about 15-25 minutes until it was good and cooked down. Added this veggie mix to the quinoa mix and mixed away. Patted the whole bowl into the traditional meatloaf pan (greased), smeared my favorite barbecue sauce on the top and baked it for 40 minutes at 400. The anticipation was killing me at this point.
On to the gravy. In preparation for the gravy I set aside 1/4 cup each chopped onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and bit of garlic. Sauteed these all in 3 tablespoons olive oil for like 10 minutes. Then I turned the heat to med-high and added a tablespoon of cornstarch and fried it with the veggies, stirring constantly for a minute. Then I added about 3/4 cup red wine. Slowly. I really wanted to drink it, but it was only 11:00 am and Bill might have noticed the stained teeth. As the gravy thickened I added about 3/4 cup water to adjust the thickness. (Add all liquids to gravy slowly!!) Then I threw in a small handful fresh chopped sage from the garden. RED WINE SAGE GRAVY RULES MY WORLD NOW. Need I say more?
And finally, the mashed potatoes. Red potatoes, skin on, of course. They are delicious and deliver maximum nutrition and creaminess in the potato world. I boiled 5 whole reds. To the steaming, cracked jackets of potato perfection I poured on a mixture of fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano and garlic that I put in the food processor with 1/4 cup olive oil. This garlicky, herbacious, oily mixture not only took the place of fatty butter and milk, but far exceeded it’s purpose by catapulting the potatoes into another world of delicous health food. Just ask Dawndra.
So now, drumroll…… meatloaf. As I pulled it out of the oven I was truely surprised at how meatloafesque it looked. It had pulled away from the sides a bit and a nice sheen of olive oil banked its crispy looking edges. The barbecue sauce was cooked to perfection on the top and the smell of sage and what seemed to be meatloaf permeated the air. Was this magic?? I mean, there is no meat in there! So we sliced it, laid it on some of the mashers, spooned some gravy over the top and I gotta say we couldn’t get the pictures taken fast enough so we could dive in. My god people you must try this! The whole thing has practically no fat, is loaded with vegetables and grains and tastes like (dare I say better?) meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy!! Ahhhh!! Just loooook at this!! Ok, sorry. Take a look, though, for real yo. I’m thinking a good IPA would be fab with this. Pliny anyone? Make it two, one for me and you.