We were able to do that with coreboot in 2006, and PC BIOS could also have done it, if they had cared enough to implement it.
There was also Phoenix Trusted BIOS, and coreboot does verified boots since 2008, longer than UEFI Secure Boot. Again, they're followers, not leaders.
Sane solution? Boot into Linux (or Windows Embedded, if you're a Wintel-proponent), use its drivers, and once the real system is to be booted, kexec out of the running OS. Instead we got that UEFI crap forced upon us, where just as it gains popularity in the market, they have to start adding hacks (such as UEFI Secure Boot) to fix the biggest issues of an architecture they want to keep alive for the next 30 years or so.