Rolled Meatloaf stuffed with mushrooms and Grana Padano cheese
Meatloaf is a fabulous dish. To share with the whole family. It is prepared in a short time, and can also be done in advance. The idea of stuffing it, will make it even softer and more appetising, in addition to surprising your guests.
Difficulty
Easy
Serves
4/6 people
Preparation time
1 hour
Ageing
Grana Padano Riserva
Francesca D'Orazio
Ingredients
300 g lean minced beef
150 g minced pork
90 g country style bread, crust removed 
soaked in a 200 ml milk and squeezed
2 eggs
50 g of grated Grana Padano Pod
50 g of Grana Padano Pod cut thin slices 
300 g of champignons mushrooms
10 g of porcini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
2 thyme sprigs 
Extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper

For the sauce:
250 ml of cream
50 g of grated Grana Padano
Preparation
Heat the oven to 180°C.
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, clean the champignons mushrooms and slice them thinly. 
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil with garlic clove, add the champignons mushrooms together with porcini, duly squeezed (keep the water, strained, aside).
Cook over high heat, season with salt and half of thyme leaves, freshly grind pepper. Leave them to cool, and chop cooked mushrooms coarsely.

Mix the minced meat in a bowl with soaked bread, eggs, grated Grana Padano cheese. Salt and pepper. When everything is well mixed, spread the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top, roll it using a rolling pin until it is about 1cm thick. 
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Arrange the cooked mushrooms, Grana Padano slices, and a few sprigs of thyme.
Roll it up, with the help of bottom parchment paper, and use it to wrap the meatloaf, twist the ends of the paper to seal it, as if you were wrapping a candy.
Wrap with aluminum foil, transfer to a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Let it cool. Remove the wraps.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan, browning the meatloaf, turning it several times, using wooden spoons.
For the sauce, heat the cream in a small saucepan, add Grana Padano cheese, mix well and then whisk.
As side dish: blanch small potatoes (500 g) and season them with olive oil, salt and rosemary. Cook in heated oven at 200 °C for 20 minutes.
Cut 600 g of Pumpkin into 1.5 cm slices, season with salt and olive oil, arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in a heated  oven at 200° C for 20 minutes.

Serve the meatloaf cut into slices with its sauce, adding roasted potatoes and pumpkin on the side.
 
About Mushrooms
End of summer and autumn are the mushroom seasons. Porcini, pleurotus, ovules, chanterelles, morels, champignons: grown or picked in the woods (refrain inexperienced, it is really easy to confuse an inedible mushroom and get intoxicated) Time to indulge ourselves!
Here are some tips for preparing and cooking the most common mushrooms.
  • Champignons, are found all year round as they are grown and are versatile mushrooms par excellence. They are easy to clean, cooked in a pan with garlic and extra virgin olive oil, they can be used easily with pasta or rice, as side dishes, but also with fried eggs.
  • Pleurotus or mumps, which are also grown, are excellent grilled or gratin. Mix breadcrumbs with grated Grana Padano, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and parsley, and fill the mushrooms. Bake in preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
  • Chanterelles are another specialty, not always available, but really excellent. They need longer cooking time. Cook some sliced onion, add white wine, leave to evaporate, then add chanterelles, and cook chanterelles for about 15 minutes, basting from time to time with vegetable broth. Salt to taste. They are really tasty! However, chanterelles are perfect to make preserves as well. 
  • Porcini, fresh, sliced, as well raw, are really fabulous! Grana Padano bites and a drizzle of oil, and you and bring a special dish to the table. Porcini is perfect for risotto, fresh pasta, polenta. Dipped into beaten eggs, then into breadcrumbs, and deep fried, are really delicious! As soon as the fresh porcini season is over, we can replace them with dried ones. Few pieces are just enough as they give a great taste even to the simplest champignons. Before using them, soak in lukewarm water, never too hot, for at least 20 minutes and then cook as usual, using their water as well, filtered.

 
Tips for the table
This month, we focus on how to compose an Italian menu, the courses sequence of a lunch or a dinner and we give you some simple rules for easing the preparation of a special event.
How many times, thinking of inviting relatives or friends, did we take pen and paper started planning what to prepare? It’s often tempting to cook a lot and serve many dishes because we want to please our guests with many recipes. Sometime, to surprise them, we adventure into demanding preparations, never experienced before, may be tried in a restaurant and we risk a poor result by all means!
Remember: entertaining at home should never be a competition, nor a proof of our skill. To be ready for a pleasant event it is better to sit down, think twice well in advance, and design the sequence of dishes while sipping a good coffee.
The first dish to write on the list is the main course (this meatloaf could be a great choice). On the side of each dish, you’ll write down the preparation time, and if it can be prepared in advance or not. Next step, prepare the detailed list of the ingredients.
Organize your timing and plan what to do while what is cooking on the stove takes an hour or more. Better writing in advance how to use this time in the best way, preparing for instance the side dish or, maybe, wash the salad?What to prepare as a “primo piatto” (first course)? For a dinner, better to opt for a soup; for lunch, pasta is also fine, but with a light sauce. Mushrooms are among the few ingredients that can be repeated in the (formal) menu. So fresh pasta with mushrooms may also be fine. Personally, when the main course is meatloaf, I rather prefer coupling with mashed potato (can be prepared in advance and reheated last minute), and add one or two side dishes. I would prefer to start with a mixed salad, with pears and Grana Padano bites, avoiding the repetition of the ingredients.
The first rule in composing a menu, in fact, is to avoid repetitions of ingredients, cooking, shapes, colors. 
For instance, if we plan a dish with tomato es. tagliatelle with meat sauce and then as a main course, meatballs with tomato sauce, in both cases we will have minced meat, tomato sauce, therefore the same color, ingredients, taste. There are too many duplications.
If we know that one of our guests is crazy about pasta alla carbonara, well, but then, follow with something light, and avoid to use again eggs in the dessert, like in a custard. Better choosing a fruity dessert. 
If we decide to welcome our guests with stuffed fried olives Ascoli style, we shouldn’t be tempted on frying calamari as well… they are delicious but…
Two  courses of fried food is too much, as well as a repetition. Exception is when we invite our friends to a special “Fritto Misto” Italian style dinner, or we want to celebrate the Carnival Italian style: semel in anno - once a year - it is allowed, but always remember that our task is to take care of the happiness of our guests and we certainly don’t want to be the cause of nocturnal digestion problems!
 
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