Sausage Meatloaf with Mushrooms Sherry and Parmigiano
Serves 8; Prep Time - 30 minutes; Cooking Time - 1 hour
Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, mushrooms and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the dry sherry, and simmer briskly, until almost dry, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.
In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion, mushroom mixture.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
Heat the remaining 1 tsp. of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Form 1 Tbs. of the meatloaf mixture into a small patty. When the oil is hot, cook the patty on both sides until cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings as needed. Repeat until you're satisfied with the flavor.
Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the baking pan and form into a 10x4-inch rectangular block (it becomes loaf-shaped as it cooks). Spread the tomato passata over the top and lightly down the sides of the meatloaf to glaze it.
Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 45 to 60 minutes.
Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter with a large spatula and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices. Serve with Sherry Mushroom Gravy
Sherry Mushroom Gravy
Combine the stock with 1 cup of the reserved mushroom water. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring to break apart the pieces, until just starting to crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have cooked through and start to brown on the bottom of the pan, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the sherry and stir to release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly until the mixture has browned and is slightly dry and crumbly, about 30 seconds.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and thin with water or broth if necessary. Transfer to a small saucepan, cover, and keep warm. Reheat the gravy if necessary before serving.