One of the things I don’t mention often is our dining out habits. 4 days a week my P.S. (Perky Spouse) and I both work fairly long days and don’t have time to cook dinner. He has to be in bed by 7 pm as his day as a bread man starts at 3 am. We also have lunch on Wednesdays when we’re both off and on Sundays when we’re running household errands. That’s a lot of not cooking for a food blogger!
Then came the pandemic and panic. Eating meals in restaurants wasn’t a wise thing and so we had to adjust our habits. On Sundays my P.S. shopped and I made salads and casseroles and food to eat cold or reheat for quick meals during the week. We forced ourselves to think ahead and be practical. Like we used to do when we were younger and full of energy. Ha.
What I’m getting around to saying is that meatloaf is one of my favorite things to make and is easy to come home to and make a quick meal. Whether it’s a cold meatloaf sandwich with a salad or bowl of soup, or a hot meatloaf sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy, it’s always a meal that satisfies.
I use pretty much the same recipe for my meatloaf each time I make it. Now I wouldn’t tell you which recipe to use because everyone has their own ideal recipe and can sometimes get very defensive. I’ve posted a few other meatloaf recipes such as Treasure Meatloaf, a recipe from a youth director at my church and a zucchini and beef meatloaf that was a pretty good one as well. You could use my search function in the right sidebar if you’re interested in checking out more meatloaf recipes.
Just make whichever meatloaf you like ahead of time and you’ll be prepared for some quick meals. I let the meatloaf cool then store it in the fridge in a covered container. Sometimes we eat a meal that evening, but usually I make it ahead of time.
When I want to have gravy on hand to make a tasty hot meatloaf sandwich with mashed potatoes or stuffing, I prepare that ahead as well. I clean and slice up 16 ounces of white button mushrooms and sauté them in a drizzle of oil and some butter for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oil is to prevent the butter from burning.
Next I add about 3 cups of beef broth to the skillet, some garlic powder and some onion powder. About 1/2 teaspoon of each. I add about a cup of heavy creamy for a creamy gravy effect. let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes or so to meld the flavors.
I also add about a cup of heavy cream to make the gravy nice and creamy. You could add milk and extra butter if you don’t have cream on hand. You could also omit the milk and it’s still a great tasting gravy. I’ve also been successful in using almond milk to make the gravy lactose free.
To thicken the gravy I use my new favorite method: I melt 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter in a small glass bowl then stir in 3 or 4 tablespoons of flour. I use 3 for a smaller amount off gravy, 4 for larger amounts. I stir it into the bubbling gravy until incorporated. I let it gently bubble for 5-10 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.
I taste test to add more salt or pepper to taste. Then I either pour it over the meatloaf sandwich and whatever side I’ve chosen. (It could be real or instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, or rice) or I refrigerate the gravy for the next meal. It takes about an hour to make this mushroom gravy so having it made ahead is definitely a bonus on weeknights.
Other uses for meatloaf: I like a meatloaf sandwich cold with ketchup on a bun or bread. With a side of pasta salad, even faster than the hot version. Another favorite is to make a box of pasta, toss with a cream of something soup and diced up meatloaf. Add peas, corn or any favorite veg and dinner’s ready in about 20 minutes or less.
Meatloaf is the new go to food in my castle!
Mushroom Gravy/ Hot Meatloaf Sandwiches
Bring meatloaf back to life in a hot meatloaf sandwich with mushroom gravy!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces white button mushrooms (can also use baby bellas)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter; melted
- 3 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper to taste
To make the gravy, add oil and butter to a large nonstick skillet. Sauté mushrooms for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add broth, garlic powder, onion powder and heavy cream.. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
Melt butter in a small glass dish and stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Add to skillet, stirring well to incorporate. When gravy is thickened, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 more minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.
Taste test and add flour and pepper as desired. Use immediately or even better, refrigerate for a quick meal another day.
To use: Heat meatloaf slices in microwave. Place between slices of bread. Cut sandwich in half and place on plate on each side of mashed potatoes, rice or stuffing. Pour gravy over plate and enjoy.