FOOD: Infuse your dishes with fall flavors |

FOOD: Infuse your dishes with fall flavors

Lee Mathis
Free Press Food Columnist
Lee Mathis
Staff Photo |

Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze

2 slices of white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

1/2 cup milk

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped sage

1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne pepper

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium white onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

Vegetable oil, for brushing

1 1/4 cups dry red wine

1/4 cup sugar

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 teaspoon unsulfured molasses

Pinch of ground allspice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the bread pieces with the milk and mash to a paste. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, chopped parsley, sage, thyme, salt, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne and stir until smooth. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and dry bread crumbs and stir until thoroughly combined.

2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Let cool, then transfer to the bowl. Add the lamb, pork and veal and knead until evenly combined.

3. Brush a medium oval baking dish with oil. Transfer the meat loaf mixture to the dish and pat it into a 4-by-12-inch oval loaf. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until firm but not quite cooked through.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the red wine with the sugar, chopped tomato, molasses and allspice and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until the glaze is thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.

5. Brush half of the glaze over the meat loaf. Continue baking for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 150 degrees F; brush once more with the remaining glaze during baking. Let the meat loaf rest for 15 minutes, then thickly slice and serve.

Serves 6.


As many of you know, I am spending about half my time on the road, between here and Virginia. Yes, it is a 2,000 mile drive, each way, but at least for me, it beats flying!

Yes, I will fly, if I have to, but I would much rather spend a few days driving across the country and once you are outside the cities, it is still a great-looking country! The plains of eastern Colorado and Kansas morph into the Missouri hills, onto the green and bluegrass pastures of Kentucky and once I come into the Shenandoah valleys, coming down the hills from West Virginia, I know that the drive is almost over.

This next trip, I cannot wait as many of the hills and dales that I will be driving over and through will be starting their color change and that alone can be worth the trip.

One of the great things about driving is that you can stop when and where you want to, and I do. Some highlights from this last drive were TacoPunk in Louisville, Ky., (Bar-beer-Coa Tacos: Smoky grass-fed beef braised in Goose Island beer with grilled onions and peppers); Cox Brothers BBQ in Junction City, Kan., (yes, I know it is a chain, albeit a small one, but you gotta check out their SmokeStack, Brisket & Pork Burnt Ends double-smoked in BBQ Sauce); and Peter Chang’s in Richmond, where the food was excellent, but I ordered the entree with a “three-pepper” heat index, their hottest, and asked for more hot sauce. My sister thinks that I am nuts and/or I have cooked with way too many hot peppers! Like one has to choose?

Fall also brings in the fall harvest, what with all its food, fairs and festivals! Speaking of which, the 22nd annual Colorado Mountain Winefest starts Thursday Sept. 19 with Food & Wine Pairings, Chocolate & Wine Tastings and with the Festival in The Park on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Riverbend Park in Palisade. Check out their website ( or give them a call at 970-464-0111. Then, the next weekend, we have the three-day Fruita Fall Festival.

The last Downtown Grand Junction Farmer’s Market is also next week, on Thursday, from 4-8 p.m.! Stop by and say hello (and goodbye for the season!)


This one comes from our friends at Food & Wine and highlights their fall flavors with recipes geared toward fall dining. This is a great page with recipes on cooking with wine, warming drinks, chili and stew recipes and a lot more. Our “Recipe of The Week” is also from — Meat Loaf with Red Wine Glaze.

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at, on the web at, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

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