Not Meatloaf the singer. He’s a bit large to smoosh between two slices of Sedrick’s sourdough bread, slathered with French mustard, and enjoyed as one of the best sandwiches ever. Meatloaf is a magical cold leftover in sandwiches. As matter of fact, and this is fact, my mother’s meatloaf was only edible the day after it was cooked, used in a sandwich with her delicious homemade bread. My mother was a baker at our local high school. She couldn’t cook, but she was a brilliant baker. Unfortunately, she never taught me to bake because she only knew how to bake for 1,560 starving students. She didn’t teach me to cook either. I taught myself that, and now I’m learning to bake thanks to the help of friends Zeb Bakes and Carl Legge who are generous with their time and knowledge.
So here’s my meatloaf recipe, that’s guaranteed to be just as delicious on day one as it is on day two or day three. Ours often doesn’t see day three’s light of day. Adjustments in ingredients are easily done. It can be made with all minced beef rather than half beef and half pork, or it can be half beef and half minced veal, or all minced pork. If you don’t care for garlic, add more onions, or reduce the onions and add a big handful of chopped chives. If you don’t have any oregano, try thyme — it works well also. To make it look spectacular for dinner guests, top the meatloaf with streaky bacon so that it’s crispy and golden when you serve it.
A few notes. I line my loaf pan with baking parchment so that the meatloaf is easier to remove without breaking apart. Be sure to allow the meatloaf to rest for 10-15 minutes (covered with foil) *in the pan* so that the juices can redistribute. Drain the fat from the loaf pan immediately before removing the meatloaf – just tip carefully, holding the meatloaf in place with a spatula knife, and drain.
And I think this qualifies as both the Letter M for Meatloaf and the Letter N for Never Say No.
Never Say No Meatloaf
2 slices of stale bread, processed into breadcrumbs
250g minced pork
250g minced beef (lean)
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large handful of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, thoroughly beaten
pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 5 about 20-minutes before you’re ready to cook the meatloaf. Don’t put it into a cold oven.
Coat with margarine and line with baking paper: a loaf pan large enough to hold 1/2 kilo/1 lb of meat.
Blitz the bread in a food processor to make crumbs, and then pour them into a large bowl containing the pork and beef that you’ve crumbled in small-ish bits. Add the finely chopped onion and garlic, parsley and oregano, salt and pepper, and the parmesan cheese. Toss lightly with a fork or your fingers but don’t compress or squeeze it together. You want to aerate the mixture so that it’s light and airy. Now add the beaten egg, and mix thoroughly through the meat.
By large spoonfuls, place the mixture into the pan and pressing down lightly with the back of the spoon after each spoonful. When finished, press down lightly to level the top. Flip the ends of the baking paper over each other to protect the meat, and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour.
Bake for 1 hour (up to 90-minutes) until the meatloaf comes away from the edge of the pan. Cool for 10-15 minutes, drain off excess fats and liquids, and serve.
Leftovers should be thoroughly cooled before placing in the fridge.
Adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe March 2007
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