Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Meat loaf

My auntie had a pretty limited repertoire of dishes she'd actually cook (as opposed to buying from M&S), but she made a mean meat loaf - a legacy of her time living in the USA.

This is an amalgam of a few different recipes, notably a Jamie Oliver version and a Delia Smith one.

Serves 2, easily, with leftovers.

three or four Lincolnshire pork sausages
400g lean beef mince
five or six rashers of streaky bacon
a large egg
a medium onion
a garlic clove
8 cream crackers
a handful of sage leaves
a handful of thyme leaves
a teaspoon of English mustard
a tablespoon of tomato ketchup
a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
half a teaspoon of ground cumin
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Chop the onion finely, mince the garlic, and fry gently in the olive oil for five minutes or so until golden, seasoning with a little salt and the cumin. Set aside to cool a bit in a large bowl.
Put the kettle on to boil, finely chop the herbs and crush the cream crackers to small crumbs.
Split the sausages and discard the skins. Crumble the mince and sausage meat into the onion and garlic, followed by the cracker breadcrumbs, the herbs and the egg. Mix by hand for a while, then add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well, again by hand.

Press into a loaf tin - non-stick or else lined - and cover the top with overlapping bacon rashers. Finally cover with some oiled, greaseproof paper or with foil, almost sealing the top. Place the loaf tin in a roasting tin and add about an inch of hot water from the kettle.

Cook in the oven for 1¼ hours or until the juices run clear (the internal temperature should be over 170C), then rest in the tin for twenty to thirty minutes.

Serve with baked potatoes, chips, salad...

If you have pork mince instead of pre-seasoned sausages, just bump up the seasoning - a pinch or three of nutmeg, mace, allspice, ground ginger, white pepper, black pepper - that sort of thing, and maybe add few more breadcrumbs.