A Personal Note from Rosemarie’s Kitchen: Before we get into this post, I want to apologize for not having some pictures to share. I had written the post earlier in the week, with the intention of photographing the entire process at the end of the week, while actually making this awesome easy supper from our Thanksgiving leftover stuffing. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Our Thanksgiving plans were abruptly canceled this year as my brother’s health continues to fail. His battle with cancer is fast approaching an end. Under the circumstances, “stealing” a photograph from an internet to use as a featured picture was the best I could do. I wanted to get this post out there, the day after Turkey Day – while we are scratching our heads as to what to do with all that leftover stuffing. Next year, I promise to revive this wonderful recipe, complete with pictures.
Every year, I make a big, huge batch of my stuffing (once upon a time, it REALLY was stuffing, as in stuffed into the bird, but now a days, that’s a big no-no, so technically I’m making dressing). There’s always stuffing left over. Most of the time, the stuffing ends up warmed in the microwave, along with some left over sliced turkey and whatever else – Thanksgiving Supper, round 2. Sometimes the turkey is turned into a wonderful soup or baked into a yummy casserole that might call for chicken. Inevitably, there’s some stuffing left all on its own, just sitting there in a Tupperware container, slowly pushed toward the back of the fridge. So sad, so forgotten.
A few years back, I had what I consider to be a brilliant idea – stuff the stuffing inside a meatloaf. Ever since, I look forward to this once-a-year supper. And it’s really so simple to make. Just be sure to have enough “stuffing” left over after your awesome Thanksgiving Feast. That’s easy enough to do, just set some aside in an airtight container, tucked away in the back of the fridge and hope those seeking a midnight snack don’t find it. (I suppose this recipe could be made using a boxed stuffing such as Stove Top, although I’ve never tried that).
The meatloaf recipe is my standard, go-to recipe for a basic meatloaf, with one small change – omitting the bread. The “stuffing” replaces the bread to help bind the loaf together. The gravy is made using pan drippings and chicken broth. Why chicken broth and not beef broth for a beef-based recipe? The chicken broth produces a lighter, less robust gravy that doesn’t compete with the flavor of the meat. More importantly, it doesn’t drown out the wonderful, savory “stuffing”. This gravy has flavor in its own right, with a hint of beefy goodness without overpowering everything else that is going on.
One final tip before cooking – line your baking pan with foil. It will make cleanup a snap, and you can lift up the foil to add the meat drippings to the gravy.
Stuffing-Stuffed Meatloaf with Gravy
Ingredients – Meatloaf
1 Envelope Dried Onion Soup Mix
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Ground Pork Sausage – Breakfast style such as Jimmy Dean
¾ cup Water
1/3 Cup Ketchup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Left Over Thanksgiving Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350-Degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
Divide meat loaf mixture in half. On a rimmed baking sheet, form half of the meat mixture into a large loaf, about 1/2 inch thick. Spoon stuffing on top of loaf, leaving about 1/4 inch-edge around loaf.
Top stuffing with remaining meat loaf mixture. Smooth outer edge to seal.
Place in a loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until done.
Remove from oven, tent to keep warm while making Roux-Based Gravy. Slice meat loaf, drizzle slices with gravy and serve.
Ingredients – Roux Based Gravy
4 Tablespoons Butter, divided
2 Tablespoons Flour
Meat Loaf Drippings
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Package Beef Flavor Booster
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a skillet, place 2 tablespoons of butter with flour. Stir to mix as butter melts to create a nice paste. Add meat loaf drippings, stir to combine. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring constantly.
Off heat, add flavor booster. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: Slice meatloaf, serve gravy on the side. This goes well with buttery corn or green beans for a basic, gimme comfort supper that the whole family will be sure to enjoy.
November 2015 Update: Life is getting back on track – and traditions of old are being dusted off once more. As promised, I’ve made my Stuffing-Stuffed Meatloaf once again – this time complete with pictures.
Happy Turkey-Day Leftovers everyone!