Meatloaf (not the singer)

This is the first time I’ve ever made meatloaf.  In my mind it’s a foodstuff that belongs firmly in the camp of the Americans, and has populated numerous books of youth fiction I consumed as a teenager.  There was one with the character CC Pointdexter – never forgotten her, but have forgotten what book she was in.

Anyway Hugh F-W’s recipe for meatloaf was in today’s Guardian magazine, and here goes my attempt.


Set the oven to heat at Gas Mark 4 or about 180C.  Get together:-

30g butter

2 onions, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tsp chopped thyme

1 celery stalk, chopped finely (HFW says ‘one celery’ – I went with the one stalk VS one bunch option)

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1kg ground beef

300g minced pork

3 eggs, lightly beaten

70g coarse breadcrumbs

200ml tomato ketchup

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

4 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (didn’t have any so used mild chilli powder instead)



the magazine version.


Gently fry off the onions in a frypan you’ve already melted the butter in.  Add the thyme and the bay leaf.  Cook this off but do not burn it.  You’ll ruin it.

You ruin everything.

Fry it off till it’s transluscent.  HFW says 15 mins but I did it for about 10.


Add the carrots and celery, cook a bit more, then add the garlic.

Cook for a few minutes and then take off the heat.


The recipe says coarse breadcrumbs.  I didn’t have any stale bread to make any, and Sainsburys could only offer me the above option – seems to have worked ok.


Nutmeg is aces.


In a big bowl put the meat, eggs, half the tomato ketchup, breadcrumbs….the list is endless actually.  It’s easier to say put everything in it that’s left in the ingredients list, but only 100ml of the ketchup.


Mush it up with your hands.  Hopefully clean.  Enjoy the sensation and the slightly gory appearance.

Then add in the vegetables.  You’re supposed to have let them cool right down.  I didn’t.  I just chucked ’em in, smooched ’em in and was ready to go.


So you should have a bowl of meat, basically, make sure you’ve seasoned well.

A truckload of meat.  Seasoned.

Oil and line a baking tray, then lightly oil the top of the baking paper as well.

Shape your meat mountain upon the tray.  I experimented with various shapes.


The Uluru.


The Anna-Nicole.


Finally I went with  the Big Fat Tongue.

Squirt over the rest of the ketchup and bung it in the oven.

This one took  just over an hour (40 mins in the bottom shelf, 20 mins on the top), and if you can bear it let it stand for 10 mins.  HFW says so.


It looked like this on the tray.  That yellow stuff came out of it.  It looked FOUL.


Taken off the tray it looked marginally better.  We ate it with roasted zucchini and leeks.


We had this much left.  Bloody nora.

Anyone want meat?


6 thoughts on “Meatloaf (not the singer)

  1. Mel says:

    I have a meatloaf recipe from Americanised relatives. They get angry when I pre-cook the onion, but it is definitely much better that way – it means that there is no raw onion in the middle of the meatloaf.
    I think that yellow stuff was the butter, wasn’t it?

  2. fourstar says:

    Funnily enough, my good lady wife just pointed to that HFW article as I was reading the above. Karma. Karmeat. Whevs.

    Looks quite good this, reckon the kids might eat it too, which has become a fundamental factor in current cooking options 🙂

  3. Liv says:

    Cook it in a loaf pan. It doesn’t cause such greasy problems. Or, make it with turkey, venison, or 90/10 lean beef. When you pull it out, let it rest for 15 minutes on a baking rack which will allow any excess fat to drain off. xoxo, your American friend who you don’t know

    Ps: that last bit about being your American friend seemed a bit creepy. Scrap that.

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