Meatloaf and mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy is the ultimate comfort food meal. But comfort food doesn’t have to be uninspired. Elevate your average meatloaf and mashed potatoes by pairing it with a savory gravy that’s fit for a fine dining menu -- but right at home atop a simple dish.
Amazing Mushroom Gravy
Put down the can of cream of mushroom soup and grab fresh mushrooms to flavor a mushroom gravy. Saute fresh mushrooms in bacon fat for about five minutes. Add a few dashes of sherry to help scrape up the browned bits, then sprinkle in flour until the mixture is dry and crumbly. Slowly whisk in a cup or two of beef or chicken broth. Simmer until thickened for a simple sherry-mushroom gravy. Mushrooms vary in flavor from earthy to smoky, so experiment with different kinds to achieve the flavor you want.
Savory Sausage Gravy
Sausage gravy is not just for biscuits. It adds a peppery, meaty boost to mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Add pork sausage to a pan, breaking it into crumbled chunks while it cooks. Add a quarter cup of flour per every pound of sausage, and stir and cook until dissolved. Add 2 cups of milk for every pound of sausage and whisk until thickened. Season with generous amounts of salt and pepper for a basic sausage gravy. Add a few pinches of bold seasonings, such as nutmeg or sage, to set your gravy apart, or add a few dashes of hot sauce for a fiery kick.
Creamy Onion Gravy
Extend the flavors of a traditional meatloaf with an irresistibly creamy onion gravy. Start by thinly slicing two large white onions and sauteing them in a drizzle of olive oil or a few pats of melted butter. Cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in two to three hearty spoonfuls of flour and continue cooking for two more minutes. Add a quart of chicken stock and whisk frequently until the gravy thickens. Add richness to the gravy by adding up to a cup of heavy cream and simmering for five more minutes. Puree the onion gravy in a blender until smooth and reheat on the stove top.
Tantalizing Tomato Gravy
Tomato gravy made from canned tomatoes and tomato paste or ketchup is a standard meatloaf accompaniment. Livening it up is as easy as adding a can of green chiles to create a tomato-chile sauce. Add jalapenos if you’d like a spicier kick, or toss in a few pinches of seasonings -- such as dried basil and oregano, minced garlic and Parmesan cheese -- for an Italian twist. Add a few dashes of apple cider vinegar to lend some tartness or a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for salty smokiness.