Why do I forget about the existence of meatloaf for yonks on end ? Is it because it has grown out of fashion since, I don't know, the seventies ? You don't come across recipes in food magazines, on the menu in restaurants, pubs or featured on cooking programs on TV. Of course you'll find recipes on the internet, if you have had an epiphany all of a sudden and go looking for them.
I had such an epiphany the other day when I had already taken minced beef out of the freezer, meant for burgers. I didn't have an appetite for burgers and then I noticed our fresh chorizo sausages in the freezer. Meatloaf ! I also grabbed a packet of smoked bacon while I had my head stuck in there.
You can go in so many directions with flavours. It is lovely straight (or after a 5 minute rest) out of the oven as part of your main meal or cold the next day with a salad or between two slices of bread.
Here is my recipe for smokey meatloaf.
- knob of butter and a gluck of olive oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup of celery chopped (1 cup, but depending on the size of your hand, I'd say 2 handfuls)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 1 bay leaf
- a few sprigs of thyme and oregano (woody stalks removed) chopped
- 800 gr minced beef
- 600 gr chorizo sausages, skins removed
- 4 slices of white bread, in pieces, soaked in 100 ml milk
- 1/2 tsp (or more) smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp proveçal herb mix (I have loads of it so I bung it in whenever or wherever)
- a handful of chopped parsley
- a good grating of nutmeg, about 1/2 tsp
- 1 heaped tsp salt
- 1 heaped tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs
- smoked bacon, to line the dish. Streaky is better, but I grabbed the back bacon first.
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan and sautee the celery, onion, carrots with the garlic, bay leaf, oregano and thyme. Stir regularly and cover with lid. The vegetables need to be translucent and tender.
- Leave to cool and take out that blimmin' bay leaf.
- Bring all ingredients (except bacon, of course) together in a bowl (glass or whatever), dive in with your hands and mix well.
- Line the bottom of an ovenproof dish with bacon and fill with the meat mixture. Press down well and cover with more bacon.
- Put the dish in a preheated oven 200°C (fan assisted) turn back the temp to 180°C after 15 minutes and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the juices run clear. If you have a thermometer, the internal heat should be around 70°C.
- Leave to set for 10 minutes and pour off excess fat.
- Scoff the crispy bacon that is on top quickly. Or put it aside to serve with your meal.
I made enough to put some in the freezer to consume at a later date. With the run up to Christmas it is always good to have some food ready to go.
I suggest you do the same. You'll thank me for it later in December.
Have a grand ol' weekend.