Friday, 8 July 2011

Pork, sage and apple meatloaf

Meatloaf has recently become one of my faves for easy cooking. I really don't know why it's taken me until now to realise how easy it is. As family food goes, it's pretty perfect - easy and quick to make, and very satisfying. It also is great to make ahead, and the leftovers are great in a sandwich. It is also an inexpensive dish to make. And if you have kids and they like to "cook", this is great messy play mixing things together - although you might want to make sure they don't try to eat raw meat! Can you tell I love it?

Recently, I've made a couple of meat loaves which I've made for the rest of the family to have whilst I've been away. I've made meatloaves from beef mince and more recently, turkey mince so I thought about making one with pork mince. When I made the turkey and cranberry meatloaf from Nick's book, I noticed that he used sage and onion stuffing instead of breadcrumbs which was frankly brilliant. So, I've used that trick here, hope Nick doesn't mind. I got sage, onion and apple stuffing mix instead here from the supermarket - if you can't get that, just get a smaller pack of sage and onion stuffing mix and see if you can get some dried apple from a health food store.

I used cubed pancetta in this recipe because I had some in. If you can't get it, you can get bacon lardons or just snip up some bacon.

Pork Sage and Apple Meatloaf
Serves 4 (with leftovers)

500g pork mince
100g cubed pancetta or bacon lardons
1 small onion, finely chopped
130g sage, onion and apple stuffing mix (I used Paxo)
1tbsp apple sauce (smooth or chunky, your choice)
2 eggs

1. If you are making the meatloaf to cook straight away, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a large loaf tin with a bit of oil and line it with greaseproof paper (you can skip this if you use a silicone loaf tin).

2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the extra apple sauce, season and mix together. This is best done with your hands, to squish it all together (which is why kids love this bit!) . Press the mixture into the loaf tin.

3. When you're ready to cook the meatloaf, bake in the oven for an hour until the meatloaf is cooked through. If the top is looking well browned after about half an hour, cover it with a strip of foil to stop it burning.

4. Serve with mashed potatoes and veg. (And make sure there are leftovers, it's fantastic in a sandwich cold!)

The children loved this. Monkey in particular - his words were "This is the BEST food I have ever had." He's biased, obviously. I am his mum after all.
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