A good recipe for a meatloaf will give you many strings to your culinary bow. Serve it hot on a cold winter's day with some buttery jacket potatoes or, if the weather is warm, it's lovely served cold with salads and chutney or pickles.
You can take thick chunks to serve with crusty bread on a picnic, and any leftover meatloaf is wonderful in sandwiches for a lunch box. For a special occasion serve it with Cumberland Sauce, which goes particularly well with it hot or cold.
For an economy version, replace the wine with cider or stock and serve hot with fresh tomato sauce, or cold with pickles and chutneys.
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine.
| 1 lb (450 g) minced beef|
| 1 lb (450 g) minced pork|
| 2 medium onions, very finely chopped|
| 2 cloves garlic, peeled|
| 3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh parsley|
| 1 level dessertspoon chopped fresh thyme|
| 1 large egg|
| 3 oz (75 g) white bread, sliced and crusts removed, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes|
| 3 tablespoons milk|
| 1½ rounded teaspoons mustard powder|
| 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce|
| 4 fl oz (110 ml) dry white wine|
| about 8 slices (6 oz/175 g) traditional smoked streaky bacon|
| salt and freshly milled black pepper|
| Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).|
|You will also need a 2 lb (900 g) loaf tin, 7½ x 4¾ x 3½ inches deep (19 x 12 x 9 cm deep), preferably non-stick.|
The best way to make a meatloaf is in a large food processor, if you've got one. In which case you can begin by chopping the onions, garlic, parsley and thyme all together until the onion is very finely chopped, then add the meats and break in the egg. Place the bread in a little bowl, spoon the milk over, then mix it with your hands or a fork until the bread has broken down to fine crumbs. Add these to the processor along with the mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, wine and a really good seasoning of salt and pepper.
Now, switching on and off, or using the pulse button, mix the whole lot together until thoroughly blended. If you don't have a food processor, grate or mince the onion, chop the garlic finely then mix everything thoroughly in a large bowl. When the mixture is ready, pack it into the loaf tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon, then snip the rinds off the bacon and lay the slices all along the top of the meat, slightly overlapping, and press them down firmly.
Now place a piece of foil over the top and twist or pleat the corners. Stand the tin in a shallow baking tin, pour about 1½ inches (4 cm) boiling water into the tin straight from the kettle and place the whole thing on the middle shelf of the oven. Let it cook slowly for 2 hours.
After that remove the foil and dig a skewer into the meatloaf; press it down to make sure that the juices are running clear. Now, if it's cooked, remove it from the oven then let it cool for about 30 minutes and after that, if you're serving it cold, replace the foil and place something heavy on top to weight it down. Leave it weighted like this until it's completely cold. This makes the meatloaf easier to slice.
If you're serving the meatloaf hot, just allow it to rest for 30 minutes in the tin, covered with foil, then turn it out on to a board and serve cut in slices.