Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kirby’s Grandmother’s Meatloaf with Wild Mushroom Demiglace

I like meatloaf. I always have. As a kid, meatloaf night seemed like putting one over on mom because I always topped my slice with mustard and pickles and told myself I was getting away with having a hamburger for dinner. Like most kids back then, hamburgers were my favorite food; my dream meal was a hamburger, red Jell-O, and chocolate milk. I cringe at the thought today, but still love a good burger – cheeseburgers now -- and I still enjoy meatloaf. But unlike the tomato-topped loaf served to me as a kid, I’m now in search of the perfect meatloaf, the one with the most sophisticated combination of tastes, a firm texture, and topped with a sauce of complex and exotic flavors, a “company worthy” meatloaf that people feel privileged to consume. A meatloaf so good that even non-meatloaf lovers clamor for the recipe.  (Okay, maybe not clamor, but request with zeal.) I have found such a recipe, and by a rather circuitous course. Not only are the ingredients unique, but the method of cooking is as well (we’ll talk about this one later), but despite having found the meatloaf to end all meatloaves, I still search for something to exceed this level of perfection. I’ve come close, but so far my recipe is the winner. I do enjoy the hunt though, and even today while trying a recipe from a well-regarded local restaurant and thoroughly enjoying it, I can smile smugly knowing mine is still better.

Last night’s dinner was thick slices of Kirby’s Grandmother’s Meatloaf with Wild Mushroom Demi Glace from the Eleven Eleven Mississippi Restaurant in St. Louis, MO. It was relatively easy to prepare, but did call for a number of ingredients we don’t normally stock, including Veal Demi-Glace that I ended up getting as a gift for my birthday last week. It may sound lame, but this little jar goes for a whopping $30 at Williams-Sonoma, so was a thoughtful gift indeed for a foodie like me. From what I hear from people who’ve actually made their own veal stock, it’s well worth every penny.

The recipe for this dish came from one of my favorite cookbooks called More Special Requests, a publication of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and volume two of a compilation of the most requested area restaurant recipes. It’s a wonderful cookbook. A beautiful color picture accompanies each recipe, and I find this a must in a really good cookbook. Directions are clear and concise, so it’s easy to create restaurant quality food at home. I’ve been slowly working my way through this book as well as the original, simply entitled Special Requests, ever since I received the duo in the mail a couple of months ago. As a third volume, I’m told, is in the works, so buying these two now is a great deal because if you buy the second edition, you get the first one free. To purchase both, go to the online Post-Dispatch Store, and your cookbooks will soon be winging their way to you. I assure you, you will not regret it.

I like to assemble all needed ingredients before I start. I find this speeds up the cooking/baking process and will ensure I don’t forget anything. (This brings to mind the birthday cake incident of 2002, something I’ll share with you later.)

I cut the recipe in half since there’s just the two of us and not only did we have ample portions this evening, we’ll have meatloaf sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, and will freeze the remainder and extra demi-glace for a nice winter meal at some point in the future. I did not, however, shorten the cooking time, so if you make this, do let it go the full 90 minutes to assure doneness.

The amount of bacon seemed a bit hefty, but surprisingly there wasn’t a lot of excess grease after the meat had cooked, just a very flavorful, very moist loaf.

If you can’t read the recipe from the picture below and would like to have it to try this out for yourself, please email me and I’ll send it to you.
Bon Appetit!

You can also find this recipe and many more at Cookbook Sundays.


Dee said...

Mmm, how can this be anything but great with wildmushrooms & bacon? I'm there!! Looks delicious.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I know, doesn't bacon just make all things better?

Anonymous said...

Pattie, I'm on the quest for the perfect meatloaf too. I had a favourite recipe for years, but then found a better one which I've been using, but there's always room for improvement. I love that yours is wrapped in all that wonderful bacon. Mmmmm.... Thank you so much for sharing this with Cookbook Sundays!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

Meatloaf was never my favorite, I think it was the dehydrated onion soup, so salty. Now that I have the floor in the kitchen, meatloaf is a new dish to explore and have fun with. Yours looks great, thanks, can't wait to try it!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

OMG - that is seriously good looking meat loaf - I love the idea of wrapping it in bacon - not only would that keep things moist but will add plenty of flavour I'm sure :-)