Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hickory Smoked Portobello & Porcini Meatloaf

Meatloaf. If you think "mundane" when you hear the word, you may want to think about kicking up your meatloaf game. As you peruse recipes in this blog, you may discover that meatloaf is a favorite meal around here. Many Dinner Plan-it twists on this family classic have made the cut over the years: BBQ Cranberry Meatloaf, Turkey-With-All-The-Trimmings Meatloaf (still an all time favorite!), Old Fashioned Pineapple Maple Ham name just a few of the meatloaf recipes you'll find within these pages. 

Yet another one has been in the works - and in my smoker - being tweaked to perfection over the last couple of months and is ready to make the scene. The definition of umami dances on your palate with this combo of smoked portobello mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms, tender beef, and black fermented garlic via my Hickory Smoked Portobello & Porcini Meatloaf. Have you noticed mushrooms seem to make beef even beefier? Smoking the mushrooms first magnifies the flavors even more. Then you smoke the mushroom-y meatloaves for an ultimate meaty, beefy BOOM! 

Hickory Smoked Portobello & Porcini Meatloaf

Makes 4 medium-sized meatloaves

  • 1 lb smoked portobello mushrooms (smoked a day or two before making the meatloaf), finely minced in food processor
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 4 cloves black fermented garlic (I buy mine at Trader Joe's), finely minced
  • 3/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms, ground in a spice grinder (I get mine at Whole Foods) 
  • 1 T porcini salt (found at Gourmet Delights online)
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20 for flavor!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

In a large skillet, melt butter and canola oil over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic, and red bell pepper until soft, stirring frequently. When the veggies are soft, add minced smoked portobellos and ground dried porcinis. Combine well with the rest of the veggies, season with porcini salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.

When the veggies are room temp, put ground beef and beaten eggs into a large bowl, add cooled veggies. Mix lightly, but thoroughly, with veggies evenly distributed throughout the mix. Divide into four portions and make four meatloaves.

Preheat smoker to 225 degrees, using soaked hickory chips. Only you know your smoker and the type you have. I have an electric chest-type smoker. I smoke meatloaf about five hours. Your time and temp may vary. I also cut squares of parchment paper to place the meatloaves on in the smoker - makes taking them out a cinch.

Why 4 meatloaves at once? One to eat, one to share, two to freeze for later!

Notice there is no bread in the recipe? That makes it naturally gluten-free and paleo friendly!

NOTE: Don't have a smoker? Roast the portobellos in the oven, cool, and proceed as above. Bake the loaves in the oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done.