Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Tis (now) The Bleak Midwinter

One recipe today - this inspired by the meat-loaf that our mother's used to make. Apparently meat-loaf is having a revival, and although originally made with minced beef, we can make it with other minced meats: pork, turkey, chicken, lamb... often a mixture of more than one meat. Minced pork and beef go well together, as do pork and turkey/chicken. Myself like to add a bit more flavour by adding grated apple when using pork, maybe a spoon of mustard or horseradish with beef, cranberry sauce with turkey. Redcurrant jelly with lamb.
So stick to the recipe as given, or make up your own version according to your tastes (depending upon the meat you may wish to omit the cheese). The meat-loaf eats well hot or cold, so after cooking and cooling - as it freezes well - make two while you are at it.

Design your own Meat Loaf: gives 8 - 10 slices
2 slices brown or white bread
1 lb (500g) pork or beef mince (or - see above)
1 onion
1 tblsp chopped fresh marjoram
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
4 tblsp grated hard cheese
1 egg, beaten
8 rashers streaky bacon
salt and pepper
Blitz the bread in a processor to make crumbs, then put into a bowl with the minced meat. Put the onion in the processor with two rashers of the bacon and the herbs and give a few pulses until these are finely chopped, then add to the meat/crumbs, along with the egg and cheese. Using clean hands, mix everything well together with seasoning to taste.
Line a loaf tin with the remaining bacon, leaving the ends overlapping the sides. Pack the meat mixture into the tin, pressing down firmly, then fold the bacon overlaps over the top.
Place the loaf tin into a roasting tin, pouring hot water round to come halfway up the loaf tin. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for an hour. When cooked you will see the loaf has shrunk away from the sides of the tin.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then tip away any excess liquid, turn the meatloaf out onto a serving plate, and cut into slices. Good served hot or cold, with salad or what you will.