April 25, 2010

The Dinner Saviour - Meatloaf

One discovery that left me aghast was my mother's admission that trying to think of something for dinner every SINGLE night just wears her down. It was something that left me pondering until I moved out and started living by myself and had to think of what to eat for dinner every SINGLE night.

It does wear you down (occasionally) and you run out of ideas to keep food interesting...particularly if you are living by yourself. You get home from a long day at work and the last thing you feel like is being creative and spontaneous to try and surprise yourself for dinner. You also want something quick, easy and that is complex ingredient free...and has the potential of being great leftover for lunch the next day.

Mum came across this meatloaf recipe that was simple to prepare and tasted really good. It has replaced our family meatloaf recipe...I think because this recipe is different and has a tasty flavour. I really enjoyed putting it together. The recipe comes from the Entice magazine.

Meatloaf
(From Entice Issue 6 / February - March 2009 p. 8)

Serves 6

Meatloaf
1 kg veal mince (or beef mince)
2 slices white bread, (toast thickness), crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp oil
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Glaze
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar

Salsa
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
Red pimento (sold in jars),
Chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to moderate 180oC. Place the mince in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, tear the bread into pieces, and pour over the milk. Set aside for a few minutes until it absorbs most of the milk. Mix with a fork.

Cook the onion in the oil over a low heat until just softened. Remove from heat and cool. Add the onion, parsley and bread mixture to the mince, season with salt and pepper. Using your hand, lightly mix together.

Divide the mixture into 2 oval shaped portions, place each in a large roasting dish, and cover dish with a sheet of baking paper and then foil. Cook for 30 minutes and remove foil and baking paper (being mindful of the steam). Carefully pour off the liquid that has gathered.

Brush each meatloaf liberally with the glaze. Return meatloaves to the oven and cook at 200oC for a further 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving. Use a metal spatula to remove meatloaves from dish. To serve hot, slice the meatloaf in thickish slices. When it's cold the slices can be cut thinner.

To make the glaze: Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

To make the salsa: Combine the chopped onion and the red pimento. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a few torn basil leaves.

Entice notes
How do I know if my meatloaf is cooked properly?
Meatloaf can still appear pink on the inside even though it is cooked to well done. This is caused by some ingredients often used in the meatloaf mix like onions, celery and red capsicum. Test with a skewer, if it's ready the juices will run clear. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be around 75oC.

You can also cook the meatloaf mixture in a ceramic loaf dish or loaf tin. Pack the mixture into the dish tightly; use a wet hand to push it firmly and evenly into the tin. This will ensure that the meatloaf will not have any holes and it will cut easily.

Raw Meatloaf

Gravy

One thing I did find is that the white bread we had at the time was a bit thin so I made it 3 slices of white bread rather than two.

I also thought that their salsa sounded a little plain...so I made more of a Bruschetta recipe...

Bruschetta-ish
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 ripe roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Couple of basil leaves, torn and finely chopped
1 capsicum, roasted and finely chopped
Handful of pine nuts
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt

Combine the red onion, tomatoes, garlic, basil and capsicum. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt to taste. This isn't traditional but we had some toasted pine nuts in the pantry so I added those for some crunch.

Salsa Bruschetta

Cooked Meatloaf

The end result was a really good dinner. Forgive my photography, it isn't the best, but I wanted to illustrate with some photos was the end result was like. I forgot to take a photo of my finished plate...too tasty!!!

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