Sunday, 21 November 2010

Nigella's meat loaf.

This recipe featured on 'Nigella Kitchen' on Thursday night.
It does take a little while to prepare, but on a dark Saturday afternoon in November, a warm kitchen is probably the best place to be.
It may sound complicated; but it really is very easy to prepare. It also looks impressive and is likely to remind hungry guests of their grandmother's cosy kitchen.

All it takes is:

A packet of mince meat (use good quality lean mince)
3 onions (sweated in butter over a medium heat - add salt to stop them crisping up.)
An egg
About 100g of breadcrumbs (which can be made from stale bread minced in a blender, a supply of ready-made breadcrumbs can be stored in the freezer)
A dash of worcester sauce.
3 hard-boiled eggs (peeled!)
A packet of streaky bacon.

All you need to do is:
1. mix the mince, egg, onions, breadcrumbs and worchester sauce in a bowl until combined.
2. Split the mixture in half, and create the bottom of the loaf by flattening half of the mixture onto a baking tray into a loaf-like shape, making slight wells for the eggs.
3. Arrange the eggs on top of the meat loaf.
4. Shape the rest of the meat around the eggs to finish the loaf-like shape.
5. Wrap the bacon around the meatloaf, being sure to tuck it underneath and covering as much of the loaf as possible.
6. Bake in a hot oven (180-ish) for about 1hour.

As Nigella suggests, a humble baked potato is a fantastic accompaniment to this dish as it especially good for when cooking for a crowd and can be popped into the oven at the same time as the meat-loaf with very little bother.
Not only is a baked potato always welcome on a chilly autumn evening, but it is also fantastically easy (and cheap) to dress up. The addition of grated cheddar/melting butter/baked beans/sour cream instantly transforms this peasant's side dish into a deliciously generous addition to an already impressive November supper.