Monday, 9 December 2013

Meatloaf: Two Ways

Meatloaf is something I don’t see around very much, well at all really, and I can’t understand why because it’s amazing. Do you like sausages? Do you like burgers? Do you like MEAT? If the answer to any of these questions is no then you may want to stop reading now and go and look at some vegetarian recipes, I shall weep on your behalf. For all those wonderful YES people, follow me into the cave of wonders where I shall show you not one but two meatloaf recipes.

A common misunderstanding for food such as the meatloaf is that it is difficult to make and requires too many ingredients. I can safely say that meatloaf is near-on fail-safe and the prep time is mere minutes. You will have to get sticky hands but if you don’t like messy cooking you might as well go and join the vegetarian party. Unless they are cooking cous cous, that stuff gets everywhere.

This meatloaf is particularly porky with a twist of turkey. Yes, turkey and pork – magical combination. If you don’t want turkey, add beef. Easy peasy. You’ll see that I’ve not been consistent with the two versions: breadcrumbs in one, tomato paste in the other, I’m not going crazy, I have specifically decided to experiment and you can too. Don’t be afraid to waver from my instructions, add more herbs, add some crushed Jacobs crackers (Jamie Oliver loves doing that), add extra chilli – whatever you do it is bound to taste amazing, as all meat generally does. I’m just sorry that I didn’t include any bacon.

Note on herbs: I have used dried herbs here; I was cooking home alone for supper and the herb garden was blanketed by darkness. Not only was it impractical as I couldn’t see the herbs, but the child in me was a scardy cat and found safetly in delightfully stocked corner cupboard. Dried herbs are fine but if you can use fresh ones, please do as they are far more flavoursome.

I combine all the meat before splitting it in two to create the different versions – if you would like to create one delicious monster loaf then just continue with one recipe without splitting and double the amounts of herbs etc. The Garlic and Herb is your more standard Meatloaf where the Tomato and Chili is a bit different, and really took the biscuit for me.

Timing: Prep 15-20 mins prep and about 1 hour cooking

Quantities: Makes enough for a meal for 5 hungry people or 6 less hungry. Wrapped well it lasts a few days so don’t worry if you’re making it for yourself and have extra.

Kitchen stuff: 
Loaf tin – size here doesn’t matter so much but if you are using my quantities and doing a bit one – 9 x 5 is good, or two minis.
Kitchen foil
Big mixing bowl
2 smaller bows if you’re splitting your recipe

500g Turkey Mince (always use thigh over breast with turkey mince)
500g sausage meat
500g pork mince
Herbs – all sorts, parsley, chives, thyme, herbs de provence, italian herbs
1 egg, whisked
Salt and Pepper (lots)
1 small garlic clove, pureed
Any extra flavour mills – I used ‘Meat Supreme’. It did make my meat supreme.

Tomato and Chili quantities for small loaf)
You can adjust the spicy-ness depending on how brave you are
Ground chili flakes
1 small red chili, chopped
1-2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp sundried tomato oil
1 ½ Tbsp tomato puree

Garlic and Herbs (quantities for small loaf)
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (preferably old stale bread wizzed in magimix but I used Panko)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or pureed
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp grainy mustard
More herbs!

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C

1. MEATY HANDS: Mix all the meats, whisked egg, herbs, meaty flavours and one garlic clove in a big bowl with your hands. Yum.

2. SEASON THAT MEAT: If you are making two separate loaves, split the meatyness in two and add the tomato and chili to one, and the garlic and herbs to the other. If you are making one big meaty monster, double the seasoning quantities of your chosen flavour and go wild.  

3. SHAKE AND BAKE: Put your mixed meat into the loaf tin(s) and shove them in the middle of your hot oven.

Small loaves: Total baking time - 1 hour with 10 mins resting time
How I did it: Bake for 25 minutes. Check your loaves, at this point you may need to gently place a layer of kitchen foil on the top of your loaf if it is looking a little brown to stop the top burning. 
Your meat will produce a lot of juice, after a further 20 minutes I then drained the juices into a ramkin dish, keep these for stock and gravy later if you make that kind of thing – or let it cool before throwing away. 
Bake for a further 15 minutes then let rest for 10 before eating. Your loaf is done when the juices run clear (not bloody) and it’s firm to the touch. If in doubt, slice it open.

Big loaves: Total Baking time – 1 hour 30 mins with 10 mins resting time
You will need to add a layer of kitchen foil as above so keep an eye on your loaf, checking the brownness every half an hour or so.
Now revel in the meatyness. 

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