Meatloaf as a rock star is probably not half known to most of the readers here but he is (vaguely!) to me so I’ve been very sorely tempted to call my meatloaf ‘the bat’. As in: Bat Out of Hell, Meatloaf’s best known hit. Don’t believe me, google ‘meatloaf’: the first result is the chubby gentleman trying to look menacing, not your mince roast.
My butcher, sadly now retired, used to sell meatloaf labelled 'The Bat'. The establishment is still thankfully going but run now by a bunch of perfectly nice people who however do not appreciate the pompous 80’s rock. I thought it was awesome – would you find A-deli ham in any butcher’s now? Or a Bieber sausage? Or (I dread to think) a Swift steak? Not likely. Best we can do I guess is have a pork steak masquerading as a bear steak and called The Revenant.
Meatloaf is a gorgeous dish, the mince just needs plenty of fillers. Try making it with pure meat, it won’t work – crumbly to oblivion and not very flavoursome. Whack more Parmesan into it than you think is feasible*. Fry an onion and add in. Pour in some soured cream, crème fraiche or indeed milk and you’re in business. Top up with lots of freshly whizzed breadcrumbs and you’re laughing. And it makes lovely cold lunch the next day too, if you’re lucky (or abstemious) enough to have any left.
*that’s also the secret to great burgers…
meatloafServings: 4-6Time: about 2 hours
- 3 slices white bread, crust cut off
- 2 shallots, chopped finely
- a knob of butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 320g best minced pork
- 320g minced beef
- 1 egg
- 6 slices of pancetta, chopped, plus 5-6 more slices to wrap the meatloaf
- ½ cup (50g) grated Parmesan
- half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- zest grated from 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. crème fraiche
- 1 tsp dry mustard
For the glaze:
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Whiz the bread slices in a blender into fine breadcrumbs. Heat a knob of butter in a small skillet, add the shallots and cook on low heat until translucent and softened. At the end of cooking add the garlic and stir in.
Place all the ingredients apart from the pancetta slices reserved for wrapping in a large bowl and mix thoroughly, best using your hands. Turn out onto a wooden board, wet your hands and form a tight loaf. Wrap the pancetta slices around the loaf, stretching them gently if necessary, and tuck underneath. Place the loaf on a baking tray and chill for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Mix the Dijon mustard with the maple syrup for the glaze. Brush the loaf thickly with the mixture and bake for about 50 minutes, basting with the remaining glaze until it’s used up. Turn the heat up to maximum and let the meatloaf brown and crispen on top, for about 10 minutes. Let it rest in a warm place loosely covered with aluminium foil for 15 minutes before slicing and serving – here with sautéed potatoes with spinach and capers.