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Jim Coleman Recipes

California Meatloaf


  • ½ pound, eggplants, if possible Japanese
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • ½ pound mushrooms, minced
  • 2 pounds medium ground lamb, or pork or meat combination
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Ingredients for Mushroom Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup port
  • 1 cup brown veal stock (or beef broth)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 450° degrees. Oil a 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

Prepare the meat loaf: Trim the ends and cut a thin slice, lengthwise, from both sides of each eggplant. Cut into lengthwise slices, each about ¼-inch thick.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, and over medium high heat, lightly brown the eggplant slices on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. As the slices brown, remove to a baking pan. When all the slices have been browned, place in the oven and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain on paper towels, cool and season lightly with salt and pepper. Lower the oven temperature to 400° degrees.

In a smaller skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sauté the shallots until tender, add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes.

Using the slices (best) of eggplant, line the bottom and the long sides of the prepared loaf pan. Chop the remaining (if there is some) eggplant.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped eggplant and the mushrooms with the ground meat. Stir in the eggs, garlic, cumin to taste, thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Fill the loaf pan with the meat mixture, patting down to level, and fold over the ends of the eggplant as necessary.

Place the loaf pan in a large baking pan and fill the large pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour to 10 minutes, removing the foil after 35 minutes.

Prepare the mushroom sauce: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the port and reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce just until the sauce thickens slightly. Whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Remove the meat loaf from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Carefully pour the juices out of the pan, then invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 8 slices.

©2008 WHYY