Friday, 19 December 2008

This 80s girl loves her Meatloaf

So, having launched myself onto the internet today, it seemed only right and proper to report on my first Adventure.... Meatloaf!

Clearly not the most glamorous of dishes, this was a bit of a staple of my childhood (not that I remember having much of a liking for it - sorry, Mother!). Anyways, I had a look in the freezer this morning and saw a small mountain of frozen mince, so decided to get it out to defrost. I was actually planning on doing meatballs, initially, but though do like them I find them a bit unsatisfying - the cold weather and the credit crunch call for more substantial fare!

Sitting on the bus to work having a think about what to do with the mince, it struck me that it might be worth having a bash at meatballs' bigger and heartier sibling. Traditional staple though it is, I've never made one before, so did a bit of research online, before deciding on what to put in my own version. I decided to go for the more 'Italian' style, and also plumped for 3 eggs for my 2lbs of meat (internet recipes suggested anything between 1 and 4 - 3 seemed a reasonable guess!). I also made the (wise) decision that the best thing about food like this is the crispy bits, and thus poured my tomato sauce on after cooking, rather than beforehand.

In conclusion - yum! It certainly was filling, though this may be due in part to the roast root veg I served with it. But it is definitely a keeper of a recipe - the onions, garlic and parmesan really add to the mince, taking it to a whole new level. I am also looking forward to trying out some of the leftovers in sandwiches tomorrow!

Italian-ish meatloaf

450g pork mince
450g beef mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely grated
4 fat cloves garlic, minced
3 large eggs, whisked
100g fresh breadcrumbs
50g grated parmesan
Large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

To serve:
Freshly made tomato sauce of your choosing

1. Sweat the onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil on a low heat, until soft and melting together. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (not the tomato sauce though!). Season well with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

3. Using your hands (such fun!) squish all the ingredients together until they are all well mixed.

4. Transfer the mixture onto a greased baking tray, and use your hands to create a sort-of oblong 'loaf' shape. Smooth the top over.

5. Bake in an oven at 180 degrees C for about an hour and a quarter, or until brown and crispy on top.

6. Allow to sit for five minutes before slicing and serving, with the hot tomato sauce poured over the top.

Serves 6-8.