I’ve always been big on sharing. My grandma always used the phrase “we share and we care”. I find no exception to this when it comes to recipes. Sure, I understand some recipes are family secrets only to be passed down to family members, but that just isn’t how I roll. If I have a great recipe I want it to be accessible to anyone, not limited to guests at my dinner table. That is why I am going to share this top secret Morel meatloaf recipe with you.
Now, this meatloaf recipe is no joke. It is not a typical boring meatloaf. It calls for hard to unique ingredients and takes some time to make. It is a recipes you bring out for special occasions or when you want to impress someone. It’s been in our family for awhile, and slightly changes depending on who is cooking it. I am sharing my version of this recipe which has evolved from my mom’s version.
The star ingredient of this dish is the morel mushrooms. Every spring when ramps and mayflower start to bloom these little gems start to emerge. You have to know where to look because they like to grow in certain places. I high recommend foraging them for yourself because they are expensive to purchase. Do your own research on where and how to find them in your area. If you can’t get your hands on any morels for this recipe you can substitute with porcinis, shiitake or any edible wild mushrooms. I’ve also found adding a tablespoon of finely ground toasted walnuts or pecans helps compensate for the earthy flavor of the morel.
I recommend pairing this dish with mashed potatoes to house the delicious gravy. Trust me on this one, you’ll want something to soak up all the deliciousness. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. If you make it I would love to know what you thought of it. Tag me in photos on social media or comment below.
- 2 oz Dried Morel Mushrooms
- 1 lb Ground Venison Meat
- 1 whole loaf Fresh Italian Bread cut into cubes with crust removed
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 cups Reserved Morel Liquid*
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
- 1/3 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (the good stuff)
- 2 cloves Minced Garlic
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 - 2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
- 1 4oz can Organic Tomato Paste
- to taste Salt & Pepper
- Place the dried morel mushrooms in a bowl with 2 1/2 cups of warm water. Set aside for at least 30mins for the mushrooms to reconstitute.
- After the mushrooms have been reconstituted strain them but make sure you save the liquid. Give the mushrooms a good rinse to make sure they are clean and dirt free. Give them a rough chop then set aside.
- Next run the reserved morel liquid through a fine sieve or coffee filter twice.
- In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cubes of bread and mash until a creamy consistency forms. If needed add 1/4 cup warm water. This needs to be well mashed with no chunks remaining. Remove from heat.
- Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl and loosen with a fork. Add onion, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently add in the bread from previous step and a beaten egg yolk. Mix thoroughly by hand until well blended.
- Shape the meat into two firmly packed balls then place them on a flat surface and roll them into compact loafs. They should each be about 2 1/2″ thick. Make sure all air bubble are out and there are no cracks.
- Place breadcrumbs on cutting board or paper plate. Evenly roll each load in the breadcrumbs.
- In a large heavy bottom saute pan melt remaining butter and oil over medium heat. When foam from the butter subsides, add the meatloafs and brown on all side. About 3 minutes per side.
- Once the meat has browned add the wine and raise the heat to medium high. Boil the wine briskly until it has reduced by half. Make sure to turn the loaves once or twice during this step.
- After the wine has reduced turn the heat down to medium low. Add the mushrooms, tomato paste and reserved morel liquid to the pan. Cover the meatloaves and cook for 30mins. Flip the loaves and continue to cook for another 30mins.
- Flip the meatloaves one last time and cook uncovered for another 10mins. Sprinkle with fresh parsley along a side of mash potatoes and enjoy!