May I please just say...OMG SO GOOD!!! There are not words to describe the utter nomminess that these meatloaves contained. Seriously. Maybe it was just because I was really hungry and had already put away a hefty glass of wine, but I'm pretty sure these were the best damn meatloaves I've ever eaten, let alone made!
I used a mix of ground turkey, pork and beef - about half a pound or so of each, along with 3 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder, a little salt, a good teaspoon or so of coarsely ground black pepper, a tablespoon of dried thyme, and one egg. You'll notice there's no bread crumbs. This is where the mushrooms come in! I chopped up about a cup of button mushrooms and mixed those in rather than the breadcrumbs. Wasn't quite sure how this would work, but I was willing to give it a chance!
The meat mixture was packed into four mini-loaves and seared both sides in a non-stick frying pan. Just to gild the meaty lily, I had a lone slice of bacon hanging out in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I cut it into four equal pieces and laid one on top of each mini-loaf, then placed on a foil-lined baking sheet and popped into a 500 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Searing the outside makes it nice and crisp, and then cooking it quickly in a super-hot oven preserves the crispness and doesn't allow the loaves to dry out as they might in a longer cook in a slower oven. When the loaves hit about 140, I pulled them out and let them sit for 5-7 minutes while I steamed some broccoli for a side-dish.
The mushrooms worked perfectly. They kept the loaves juicy, and unlike breadcrumbs, actually contributed to the flavor. The bacon was impossibly crisp on the edges and melting in the middle, and the juices from it sort of basted the meat loaves as it rendered. I am not lying when I tell you that I could eat one of these a day for a week and be a very happy woman!