The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had

It’s hard to get excited about meatloaf. That is, unless you’re standing in the kitchen at Craft in New York and Chef Damon Wise (Tom Colicchio’s right-hand man) is mixing together ground beef, pork, crisp shitakes (that taste like bacon), golden soffrito, soy sauce, fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese. The resulting meatloaf–which Chef Wise called “Umami Meatloaf”–was, without question, the best I’ve ever had. And then, as you’ll see in the following Food2 video, I went and recreated it at home. All the proportions and ingredients and steps are listed in the video, but, just in case, I’ll share them after the jump. And now, without further pause, here’s one killer meatloaf:

Damon’s Favorite Meatloaf

by Chef Damon Wise

serves 6

1 ¾ lbs ground beef

¾ lbs ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup dark soffrito [Note: cook red onions, carrots and celery in lots of olive oil on low heat until it’s all a deep, golden brown: 45 minutes to 1 hour. Whatever you don’t use, you can keep in olive oil and use in soups, dressings, sandwiches, etc.]

½ cup toasted bread crumbs, soaked in milk

1 ½ shiitake mushrooms, sautéed

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

2 t soy sauce or tamari

2 T dry mustard

2 t fresh oregano, chopped

2 large eggs


2 cup ketchup

¼ cup soy sauce

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T honey

2 T smoked paprika

1 tsp cayenne

350° for 45 minutes ( 160° internally )

2 thoughts on “The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had”

  1. I am always up for something different. The recipe is intriguing. There’s not a lot of bread crumbs and they are toasted, but for a non-mushy meatloaf texture I prefer just straight saltines. Two eggs is a lot but I’m OK with two if they’re small.
    I like mushrooms in meatloaf (and onions, garlic, peppers)
    Where this goes off the rails for me is that you call for only ketchup (no other tomato product) and only for the glaze! I like tomato sauce or tomato puree (Muir Glen Organic, fire roasted, crushed tomatoes, chopped fine would be my preference) in my meatloaf. Your sweet glaze on top might be great, but ketchup is very sweet and that is not what I am looking for in my meatloaf! Ketchup’s also very salty.
    It’s like BBQ sauce. Some want sweet, some want sour, some want just savory~spicy and there’s everything in-between. Unless I’m expecting it in a specific, classical dish, I don’t want the surprise of sweet sauced meat.

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