Chef Andrew Bilyk, University of Guelph
Chef Andrew Bilyk adds healthy grains to his Heaven Can Wait Meat Loaf, ensuring a balanced meal that’s complete with the addition of a veggie side. He advises, “this meat loaf needs to be mixed well and pressed down firmly to remove air pockets.”
This recipe was adapted from Chef Bilyk’s original and modified to cook at home.
½ cup (125 mL) quinoa
2 tbsp (30 mL) canola or sunflower oil, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) salt, divided
¾ cup (175 mL) finely chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (225 g) mushrooms, finely chopped
1½ tsp (7 mL) fresh ground pepper, divided
½ cup (125 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats
1 lb (500 g) Medium or Regular Ground Beef
Mushroom and Onion Gravy
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, divided
8 oz (225 g) mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup (175 mL) sliced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups (500 mL) beef broth, warmed
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
- Meat Loaf: Bring ⅔ cup (150 mL) water, 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add remaining oil and swirl to coat pan. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and season lightly with some of the remaining salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes or until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
- Beat eggs with a fork in a large bowl. Stir in remaining salt and pepper, oats and cooled quinoa and mushroom mixture. Gently mix in beef with a fork (careful not to over-mix).
- Pack meat mixture firmly into a parchment paper-lined 9 x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan.
- Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven for about 1 hour or until digital instant-read thermometer inserted in the centre reads 160°F (71°C).
- Mushroom and Onion Gravy: Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Cook mushrooms and onions, stirring, for about 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is evaporated and onions are caramelized. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Melt remaining butter over medium heat in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until rich brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Gradually whisk in warm broth; reduce heat and boil gently, whisking often, for about 15 minutes or until thick. Stir in mushroom mixture. Remove from heat and discard thyme stems.
- Tent meat loaf with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with Mushroom and Onion Gravy.