Recipe Lab: Amateur Gourmet’s Damon Wise ‘Umami Meatloaf’

100225-demian-amateur-gourmet-meatloaf-2Reading the Amateur Gourmet’s very entertaining food blog, I came across his post, ‘The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had’.  In it chef Damon Wise of Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant details the preparation for his ‘Umami Meatloaf’.  The video is fun and the recipe looked very good.  A day or two after that, and of pure coincidence, the boss texted me while I was at Fairway and said ‘pls get gr. meat for meatloaf’.  Uh oh.  Sometimes when the boss wants to make something, I end up making it.  Adding to my long ‘to do’ list.  Or… is it that I unconsciously nudge her out of the way and take over when it comes to cooking?  Hmmm… Some soul searching might be in order to get to the bottom of this.  Either way, I was immediately inspired to take over and try the recipe for the Amateur Gourmet’s meatloaf.

100225-demian-amateur-gourmet-meatloaf-1Ingredients and instructions are on the Amateur Gourmet’s blog so I will spare you a repeat.  But let me just say that this is seriously good meatloaf.  Probably, yes, the best I’ve ever had.  Chef Wise’s combination of soy sauce and dark soffrito add up to give a depth of flavor and complexity that you rarely find in a dish as typically pedestrian as this.  Not only that but the cooking time and internal temperature directions were spot on.  My meatloaf was done but nowhere near over cooked.  Usually meatloafs can be baked so long that they are grey throughout and somewhat dry.  A slab of over done meat only ketchup can salvage.  But this was done to somewhere between ‘medium’ and ‘medium-well’.  Still a touch of pink on the inside and super moist.  Perfect.

My only comment, though, would be that the glaze is not the prettiest thing to look at.  While it is delicious and packed with spicy flavor, the glaze leaves the full meatloaf visually unappealing.  To me anyway.  I think it hides the coloring and texture of the meat’s crust too much.  And looks a little… ‘gloopy’.  Maybe there could be a way to glaze the meatloaf with this flavor so that it bakes into the meat’s surface instead of coating it with a thick sauce.  But, really, a small issue considering how good this meatloaf is.  My appreciation goes out to Amateur Gourmet for posting it and to chef Wise for contributing his time and killer meatloaf recipe.  I will definitely be making this again soon.