One day, for old time's sake, I decided to make a meatloaf. I threw a bit of this, and a bit of that, into a bowl, mixed it together with my hands, smooshed it together into a loaf tin and baked. It was a smashing success. It's one of those meals my daughter will often request (along with duck confit - eclectic tastes my gal) and is cheap, simple and delish. Here's how I make it:
500-750g beef mince
1 onion, grated or very finely diced
1 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
250g bacon, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 slices of bread, grated
1 tablespoon of dried, mixed herbs
a good sploodge of tomato sauce
a dash of worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg
Simply add all the ingredients to a large bowl and smoosh them all together with your hands. Seriously! Wussy stirring with a wooden spoon won't combine it in quite the same manner.
Grease a loaf tin lightly with olive oil. Pack the mix into the loaf tin and cook in a 180 degree celcius, preheated oven for around 30 minutes - or until golden brown. The loaf should feel firm when you press down on it - that'll mean it's cooked through.
I like to put a baking tray 1/2 filled with water in the oven to help keen the meat moist. Another variation is that I'll line the loaf tin with bacon in a layer, and then bring the edges of the top so the meatloaf's completely surrounded with bacon. If I do, I leave out the chopped bacon in the meatloaf part - even I'm not that big a bacon fiend.
This recipe works just as well with chicken mince - but I'll also add some chopped pistachio nuts for interest. The amount of mince you use depends on the size of your loaf tin, and the size of your family. In an ideal world you'll make too much meatloaf for one meal and you'll have to have it sliced, on a sandwich, with pickles, the next day.
I serve this family favourite with mashed potatoes and steamed veg - and a nice brown onion gravy too.