Paradise by the Fridgedoor Light (Meatloaf)

I’ve never made meatloaf before. Actually, I’m not even sure I’ve eaten meatloaf before. It just never appealed. But, in the interest of doing new and different things, this was a perfectly worthwhile experiment. I don’t believe there is a hard and fast recipe for this – most recipes I read before embarking on this project had plenty of ‘optionals’ and ‘preferables’  in them. After all, this is essentially a store cupboard dish. So, I’ve gone along and done what I wanted, mainly gaining inspiration from Momma Cherri’s Soul in a Bowl Cookbook. I guess the only real solid suggestion that I have, is that you could replace up to 25% of the beef for something like pork or veal mince. Oh, and that a slice of leftover Meatloaf would be delicious in a white bread sandwich with relish of your choice the next morning. This is enough to  serve four with buttery mashed potatoes, a green veg and some gravy.

Meatloaf cooked

  • 500g minced beef (Not economy, but not extra lean either)
  • 1/2 stick of celery
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • three of pieces of stale white bread
  • 1 FREE RANGE egg
  • tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • tbsp mustard – I used dijon- probably anything apart from wholegrain would do. No, even wholegrain would do.
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon

Preheat the oven to Gas 4.

In the original recipe, Ms Jones suggests we roughly chop the veg, the onion and the garlic and put in a in a bowl, and using a handblender, chop the veg finely. I did this. Next time I would use a food processor with a lid or I would do it by hand, as  I didn’t find the suggested process any better than doing it those ways. But anyway, chop all the veg as finely as you can and put in a large bowl. Next, crumble in your bread, add your eggs, worcestershire sauce, mustard, seasonings and herbs and then your minced beef. Then roll up your sleeves and mix the lot with your hands until very thoroughly combined. The mixtures hould be fairly wet.  I must admit, reader, at this point I wasn’t completely convinced by the look of this. It looked pale and a bit.. unattractive. Battle on!

Get a 2 lb loaf tin and line it with the slices of bacon, leaving some hanging over the edges. Fill with your mince mixture and overlap the bacon pieces on the top, although, frankly, my bacon shrank  away, so don’t spend too much effort making it purty. Alternatively, you can get 4 slices of bacon and make two X shapes with them on a baking tray. Make two ‘loaf’ type shapes of mixture on top of these and overlap with the bacon. It will probably ooze a bit. Not the end of the world, by any means. Put in the oven and leave it to cook for about an hour for the big loaf or about 40 minutes for the two freeform ones.

meatloaf uncooked

To be honest, this was still a bit paler than I expected even when I cooked it, and was a bit sloppier than I thought it would be – I’ve addressed the quantities in the recipe in an attempt to address this. It was very tasty though.

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