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Oh Crimini! Mushroom Meat Loaf

Crimini Mushroom Meat Loaf and Button Mushroom Meat Loaf

Crimini Mushroom Meat Loaf and Button Mushroom Meat Loaf

“Oh Crimini!”  Is it Crimini or Baby Portobello or Button or Portobello? Where have I been and maybe you too? News flash: white button mushrooms, when allowed to grow, become Crimini mushrooms, which if allowed to grow even further, become Portobello mushrooms. And what happens when you chop them up? They all look the same. So I made two meatloafs: one with the crimini mushroom and the other with the white button mushroom. Both of these recipes made with very lean beef and mushrooms replacing 1/2 the meat in the traditional format, are a much leaner version than the 1950’s man version.

The flavor is a bit more intense in the more aged mushroom, but depending on your taste buds, you may or may not tell the difference. My husband Dave, a meatloaf connoisseur,  insists the crimini mushroom meat loaf is more flavorful, in a good way, than the white button mushroom meat loaf. I can not tell much of a difference, but then, I am not a real mushroom fan. It’s one of the very few foods I don’t like. It all relates to getting sick once…….

Oh Crimini!… For Crimini’s Sake!… In memory of these expressions my Dad, Ray Sanders, and his sister Lois Zuro often used, I could not help but compare 🙂

For more on the origins of “for criminy’s sake”  or for Christ’s sake, see below:

Further info about the Agaricus bisporus strain of mushroom, see below:

1 pound crimini or white button mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

6 large cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons sherry or Marsala wine

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound 90% lean ground sirloin beef

1 jumbo or 2 large eggs

Oil or cooking spray for pan preparation

2 Tablespoons hot sauce or ketchup

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil lightly.
  • Place half of mushrooms in food processor to mince. Repeat with the remaining half. Do not process all at once.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and swirl to coat.
  • Saute onions until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1/2 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add mushrooms and cook and stir several minutes until liquid evaporates and mushrooms slightly brown.
  • Add sherry and thyme and cook 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl combine panko, salt, pepper, beef, egg and mushroom mixture. Combine thoroughly. I use my clean hands.
  • Shape the meat loaf into an oval on the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Brush top with hot sauce or ketchup.
  • Bake another 10-15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees.
  • Slice into 1 inch slices. Serves 6-8.
  • Thank you Cooking Light Magazine for this inspiration.