When you cook meatloaf/roll were connected to something bigger …. a tradition and a time line. A comfort food that has been enduring not only an answer to hunger but is served without undue fuss or expensive implements. It reigns supreme.
The reason meatloaf has stayed with us through so many generations is because it is a master of evolution. It can be personalized and adapted any number of ways, all the while requiring only basic skills.
In the 1955 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook, a recipe for ‘mushroom-stuffed meatloaves’ was featured. To enliven a simpler offering, there was an inexhaustible trend for garnishing, glazing, saucing and decorating.
Then in 1966, the Campbell’s Soup Company featured a recipe for a ‘rolled, stuffed meatloaf’ to promote their tomato soup (in place of traditional tomato sauce). The idea was that by rolling a vegetable into the meatloaf, you could save the work of creating a separate side dish. A new one dish meat and vegetable dinner …. and soup makes it great!
The fact that meatloaf takes on variations so easily shows how it dresses up just as well as it dresses down. This meal definitely does not lack in flavor.
Mushroom Beef Roll
In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic, soy sauce, salt & thyme. Cover & simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add heavy cream & cheese. Allow to cool.
In a bowl, combine beef with kalbi sauce; mix well.
On a piece of plastic wrap, press out meat in a rectangle about a 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle meat with green onions. Top with mushroom filling. Using the plastic wrap, roll from the short end in a jelly-roll style.
On a piece of parchment paper, spread crushed french onions in a rectangle shape. Place meat roll on top & roll to cover it with the crushed french fried onions.
Place parchment paper with meat roll on a baking sheet & bake for about 50 minutes.
There are many ways to make and eat a burger and onion rings. I think this version is about the most efficient there is. Burger meat stuffed with onion rings, cheese and bacon, then coated with french fried onions and baked!
I don’t use a lot of the purchased french fried onions but sometimes you just need to switch things up. Breadcrumbs are good ….. without them there would be no crispy, breaded, pan-fried fish or oven baked chicken tenders.
The history of the french fried onions is somewhat sketchy, but they are believed to have been created in the thirties by a company called Olney & Carpenter.
Fried onions became famous in the fifties as an ingredient in the classic ‘green bean casserole’. Several companies acquired the product through the years until French’s took it over in the eighties. The onion pieces do not resemble onion rings and are more like onion chips. They are crispy right out of the container and should remain crispy for several weeks if stored properly.
I found they added extra flavor and crunch to these ‘burgers’. I myself, am not much for burgers but I have to admit I did enjoy these.
Bacon Cheeseburger Onion Rings
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside. Season meat with salt & pepper. Divide into 4 equal portions; roll each into a ball & then flatten into patties.
Peel onion, cut off ends & slice into thick pieces. Place a large onion ring in the center of 2 patties.
Cut the cheddar cheese so that it is the same height as the onion rings & place the cheese pieces around the inner wall of the onion rings.
Put a smaller onion ring in the middle. Place a cooked slice of bacon inside the smaller onion rings, followed by an even smaller onion ring, followed by a cube of mozzarella cheese.
Cover the layered onion rings with 2 bacon strips each & wrap the ends under the onion rings.
Place the remaining 2 burger patties on top of each of the bacon wrapped onion rings. Seal the top & bottom layers of beef so that the center is fully covered.
Place flour on a plate & roll stuffed burgers in it to coat. Whisk egg & dip the floured burgers into the egg mixture.
Slightly crush french fried onions & dredge burgers in them. Place stuffed burgers on wire rack on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
- If you prefer, instead of making 2 large stuffed burgers, divide the meat into 8 portions & make 4 smaller ones.