Meatloaf

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If anyone was to hear “Bat out of Hell” or “I’d Do Anything for Love” belting out of my flat in the evening (or late afternoon) – there’s probably a good chance I’m preparing a meatloaf (as opposed to Meat Loaf – the singer). Yes, I’m a Meat Loaf fan, but I’m also a fan of meatloaf for dinner.

Meatloaf (with added veg in the mix) wrapped in bacon with syn free red onion “gravy”. (The gravy wasn’t really as dark as it looks though probably a little over reduced on this occasion).

You’re going to get “Nowhere fast” with this recipe.  It takes time to prepare and time to cook and if you start preparing it too late – it could be eaten at “Midnight at the Lost and Found”; just don’t be eating it “By the Dashboard Light”.

Thrifty?

Is this a “thrifty” dish though – after all mince is expensive. I’d say yes.  I typically only use pork mince and you can get the 5% fat pork mince for less than £2 in Aldi. Or you could use any other type of 5% (or less) fat mince you find with the yellow ticket on it to same effect – beef mince, or turkey mince. Got a mincing machine?  Even better – make your own including that elusive 5% (or less) fat lamb mince (You could easily turn this into the Slimming World fake donner kebab or use the seasoning from JD Seasonings to make a “Dead Ringer” for that fatty Friday night post-drink favourite).

After that – at it’s cheapest – it’s just eggs (4 or 5) and mushrooms. Want to go a bit more fancy? Then swap the eggs for vegetables. Even fancier than that?  Wrap it in bacon.

I always make mine in a loaf tin, but you could make it free form directly onto the baking tray if you like.

That’s a rather tender subject. Another slice anyone?

I get at least two, usually three, servings from this, the total cost all depends on which style I do it in at the time. First serving I usually have with some kind of mash (either mashed potato or carrot & swede mash) and maybe a red onion gravy (see bottom of page for recipe). The second is served cold with salad, and the third serving I slice and fry and have with chips and roasted mushrooms/pepper/onion.

Ingredients

  1. 500g pack of 5% (or less) pork mince.  (Can be substituted for other types of meat to)
  2. 1 or 2 eggs – beaten
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Herbs
  5. Garlic (optional)
  6. Tomato Puree
  7. Pepper
  8. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  9. Tabasco (optional)
  10. Chilli flakes (optional)
  11. Bacon (optional) (you will need at least 10 rashers – fat removed of course)
  12. Fry-light

Then either 500g of mixed veg (I like using Waitrose Soffritto mix but have used general fine cut mixed veg before), or 3 hard boiled eggs (shelled).

I have also in the past been known to use dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in boiling water for 30mins and cut up to be smaller. Unfortunately I’m no longer able to get this in a “loose form” (i.e. weighed out to my specification from a large jar) and the pre-packed ones from the supermarkets just seem over priced and so have stopped using them.

Method 1 – made with vegetables added into the mix.

  1. Put on any Meat Loaf album (optional)
  2. Fry off the mixed vegetables and mushrooms  in a pan with fry-light till softened. Added herbs/spices if using. Allow to cool
  3. In a large mixing bowl, put the mince, added the cooked off vegetables, a small squirt of tomato puree, and any of the other optional ingredients, plus salt/pepper to taste.
  4. It’s a dirty job, but get your hands in there and mix/squeeze it all together till you get an even mix.
  5. Add the beaten eggs in stages, mixing well.  You want a mix that isn’t too wet but with enough egg to hold it all together.
  6. “If you really want to” make a bacon wrapped meatloaf – line a 2lb loaf tin (sprayed with fry-light first) with bacon, leaving enough hanging over to fold over the top. Tip the meat/vegetable mix into the tin; pressing down into the corners. Fold bacon over the top.
  7. Put foil over the top of the loaf tin for cooking.

If prepared in advance, then I find it really does help to refrigerate the mix as it is now. If possible, put a plate on top of the loaf tin and weigh it down with some other tins too.

Method 2 –  Meat and Egg loaf

A bit like the pork and egg pies – but without the fat, jelly and pastry that adds to our waist lines. Again – can be bacon wrapped or not – that’s up to you.

  1. Put on any Meat Loaf album (optional)
  2. Hard boil 3 eggs. Allow to cool before peeling off the shell.
  3. Fry off the mushrooms in fry-light and allow to cool
  4. In a large mixing bowl, put the mince, added the cooked off mushrooms, a small squirt of tomato puree, and any of the other optional ingredients, plus salt/pepper to taste and any other herbs/spices being used.
  5. It’s a dirty job, but get your hands in there and mix/squeeze it all together till you get an even mix.
  6. Add the beaten eggs in stages, mixing well.  You want a mix that isn’t too wet but with enough egg to hold it all together.
  7. “If you really want to” make a bacon wrapped meatloaf – line a 2lb loaf tin (sprayed with fry-light first) with bacon, leaving enough hanging over to fold over the top.
  8. Put enough of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of the loaf tin by about half an inch.
  9. Place the hard boiled eggs into the loaf tin so that they’re not touching the sides/ends of the tin.
  10. Pack the rest of the meat around and over the eggs.
  11. Put foil over the top of the loaf tin for cooking.

To cook

Put loaf tin onto a baking tray with a large lip.

Place in a preheated oven at 200c for about 45 minutes.

Take foil off the top, and drain (be careful – it’s HOT). Put back in oven for about 20minutes.

Drain again (it’s still going to be HOT – so be careful).

Put another baking tray (cooking side down) over the top of the tin and turn over carefully so that (hopefully) the meatloaf falls out of the tin.

Put back in oven for 10 minutes to brown off a little more.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5/10minutes before serving.

Red Onion “Gravy”

  1. Soften two smallish red onions in a frying pan with Fry-light.
  2. Once onions have softened – add boiling water, two beef stock pots and a splash of balsamic vinegar and leave on a low heat to simmer and reduce.
  3. Taste and adjust as necessary (more water or more balsamic, possibly a grind or two of pepper).

 

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