Kylie Jane Roberts wrote: “A friend suggested I e-mail you after raving for weeks about a dish I had at The Roi in Providence’s Jewelry District. The chef’s “famous” meatloaf is on the menu in two incarnations: as an entree served with mashed and vegetables, and as an open-face sandwich. Both are equally delicious.
“I have spent years trying to recreate my grandfather’s meatloaf. He passed unexpectedly in 2005 and, until I ate at Paul Shire’s new restaurant, I haven’t been able to savor what used to be my favorite meal. My grandfather kept his recipe, as most great chefs do, in his head and probably tweaked each batch a little differently. I still regret never getting the chance don an apron and cook with my grandfather, learning the recipe through experience and practice.
“Eating the Roi’s meatloaf brought back so many wonderful memories and emotions. I’m skeptical that the chef would share his recipe, with the dish being the house specialty — but I heard that it’s possible.
“I’d like to learn the recipe, so that one day I can pass it down to my grandchildren the way I’m sure my grandfather intended to pass it down to his. Thank you!”
Let’s start at the beginning.
This meatloaf is famous because it was a hit when chef Paul Shire started making it back in 1990 when he opened Downcity Diner in Providence. In addition to being the favorite of many, you could say it was the place’s signature dish.
Fast forward to Shire’s new restaurant, The Roi at 150 Chestnut St. . How could he not have it on the menu when memories are there?
Shire was happy to share his recipe and his secret: he bakes it at 300 degrees. When he bakes it at 350 degrees, it splits. He just won’t have that. The second secret is Shire makes it with quick oats instead of bread crumbs.
So you can enjoy at the restaurant, as an entrée or an open-faced sandwich. And you could do that while enjoying the music as The Roi is an entertainment venue, too. Or you can make the meatloaf at home — as long as you are willing to wait the hour it takes to cook. Learn more at Theroiprov.com.
Paul Shire’s Famous Meatloaf
- 31/2 pounds ground sirloin
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 41/2 ounces tomato juice
- 1 diced onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Jack Daniel’s Gravy (see below)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Form into a loaf in a baking pan. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for one hour. Yes, that is a low 300 degrees and a long one hour. Serve slices drizzled with Jack Daniel’s Gravy.
Jack Daniel’s Gravy
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, sweat the shallots in the oil until translucent. Add the Jack Daniel’s, and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the beef stock and thyme, and reduce by half. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons cold water and stir until you make a smooth paste called a slurry. Whisk in the slurry a little at a time until the gravy thickens. Variation: You can also use your favorite canned gravy with an added shot of Jack Daniel’s.
Questions on the recipe? Call the Roi at (401) 272-2161.