This recipe is an ode to the brilliant, resilient and delicious Smollett family. (Check out their cookbook – it's off the hook!) They (Mom Janet and kids Jojo, Jocqui, Jake, Jussie, Jazz and Jurnee) thought that everyone made their meatloaf this way (no breadcrumbs, cover the loaf with mashed potatoes instead) because their brilliant mom did. We ALL just got schooled! Thank you, Smollett family!

P.S. I Googled this and even my staff at Rachael Ray Every Day did this in 2013! What? Okay, here’s my first try…

And here's a suggestion for a side dish:
Serve with 2 bundles of roasted broccolini dressed with olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Roast along with meatloaf on a separate rack until tender and crisp at tops, include a halved lemon. Top the broccolini with juice of roasted lemon.


For the Meatloaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ pound hen of the woods, crimini or white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery from the heart, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup white wine, dry sherry or chicken stock
  • 2 pounds ground beef (80% lean), or ground turkey, white and dark meat blend
  • About ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 round tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼-1/3 cup chopped cornichons or pickle relish
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley tops (a fat handful), finely chopped
For the Everything Mashed Potatoes
  • ¼ pound meaty, smoky bacon (6 strips)
  • 1½-2 pounds baby potatoes or peeled and diced Russet potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 scallions, whites and greens finely chopped, or a small bundle chives, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with ¼ cup milk
  • 6 ounces (about 1½ cups) shredded gruyere or white cheddar cheese


Serves: 4-6


For the potatoes, preheat oven to 375˚F. Roast bacon on slotted pan or wire rack-lined baking sheet until very crisp and well browned, cool to handle and crumble or finely chop into bacon bits. Turn oven temperature to 400˚F.

For the meatloaf, heat olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and brown, then add shallots or onion, celery, carrot and garlic and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook to soften 5-6 minutes, stir in tomato paste 1 minute, then add wine or sherry or stock and let it absorb. Remove from heat and cool.

Place beef or turkey in large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled mixture, Worcestershire, Dijon, soy sauce, egg, cornichons or relish, and parsley, mix to combine and form a loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 3½ to 4 inches high. Roast 45 minutes on center rack.

While meatloaf is in oven, place potatoes in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook to tender when poked with a fork. Drain and return to hot pot, mash with bacon bits, butter, sour cream, scallions, egg and milk, cheese, and adjust salt. Mixture should be thick but spreadable. Remove the meatloaf and spread evenly with mashed potatoes, then return to oven and brown 15-20 minutes.