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meat loaf

This is one of those recipes that I'll never be able to recreate; and nor will you, because I have no idea of how much of any ingredient I used!  But that's the beauty of a meat loaf.  I had a yen to try one with chopped spinach, and we'll be eating it tonight - I'll let you know!

Here's a handy tip - take the meat(s) out of the fridge half an hour before you start, and ditto the breadcrumbs from the freezer if that's where they are.  My hands *froze* while I was mixing it!

We eat this, usually, with spiced red cabbage and mash.

makes 2 x 2 lb loaf tins worth - probably 8-10 servings.  Freeze some!

1 kg good quality minced beef
1/2 kg sausage meat
1 very finely chopped large onion
4 cloves finely chopped garlic

then some or any of the following:
1 packet of decent stuffing mix or a quantity of fresh breadcrumbs
1 bag of baby leaf spinach (optional)
some herbs - I used dried french mix
a good grating of nutmeg
balsamic vinegar
tomato ketchup

If you're using the spinach, bung it in a pan of boiling water, squash it all down, and simmer until it's wilted - about 3-4 minutes. Then drain through a colander,  rinse with cold water, and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.  Chop very finely.

In a *big* bowl, combine the meat(s), breadcrumbs and/or stuffing, herbs, spinach, garlic and onion and mix together.  There's no way to do this except by hand - you just have to get down and dirty and squish everything together.  Combine well, and then add balsamic vinegar and tomato ketchup until you get a texture that binds together well, but isn't in any way runny.

Transfer into loaf tins and cover the tops with streaky bacon. Then give them a tin foil hat, and cook at gas 5 for about 1.5 hours.  I do mine in a roasting dish with an inch of boiling water, to give them a kick start.

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posted by ramtops on 25 Sep 07 - 4045 views

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