This all-beef meatloaf starts by sautéing mushrooms and onions, then deglazing the pan with red wine for a punch of concentrated flavor. The addition of fresh thyme and rosemary, plus fontina cheese, adds even more savoriness. It’s all formed into a loaf and baked on a sheet pan to let some of the grease drain off. It’s delicious as is, but we recommend using our easy Mushroom Gravy recipe to kick it up a notch. After about an hour, it’s ready to serve with a vinaigrette-dressed salad and a glass of red wine.
This recipe was featured as part of our meatloaf recipe slideshow.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 2 hrs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, cut into medium dice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 large eggs
- 12 soda crackers (such as saltines), crushed into oat-sized pieces (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 2 pounds ground beef (15 to 20 percent fat content)
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese (about 3 ounces)
- Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the onions, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are slightly browned and any liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Increase the heat to high, add the wine, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the thyme and rosemary. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl and set it aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the eggs in a small bowl and whisk to break them up. Add the cracker crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, measured pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and stir to combine; set aside until the sautéed vegetables have cooled.
- Add the meat to the cooled vegetables, breaking it up with your hands. Add the egg-cracker mixture and the cheese. Using clean hands, mix everything until evenly combined (don’t squeeze or overwork the mixture).
- Transfer the mixture to the center of the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, form it into a 9-by-5-inch loaf. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F to 165°F, about 50 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let sit 10 minutes before slicing the meatloaf.