Sunday, 27 February 2011

How to make a meat loaf

meat loaf Feb 11

In aiming to be self-sufficient, we have to be imaginative with the food stores that we built up last year to ensure there is nothing wasted and that we consume them in time to create storage room for the new crops from the late spring onwards.

Making meat loaves is a great way to use up a variety of the food stocks we have and to do so in a very cost effective way. My estimate is that the cost of the meat loaf works out at 25-30p per helping per person.

The ingredient we bought specifically for this recipe is sausage meat, about £2 for 450g. Pricing the breadcrumbs depends on whether or not you make your own bread, grow your own wheat to make the flour and whether or not the bread used to make breadcrumbs was fresh or simply left overs that were going stale. I recommend every kitchen, whether you are aiming for self-sufficiency or not, should keep a stock of homemade breadcrumbs using stale bread - instead of throwing them out, make them into this incredibly versatile ingredient.

So,if you want to make a meat loaf, this is what you have to do.

Add 450g of pork sausage meat to a large mixing bowl.

Add the same volume of breadcrumbs to the bowl.

Peel, core and grate three or four small to medium apples. (We used some wild eating apples.) Add to mixing bowl.

Crush and add 3 or 4 medium to large cloves of garlic and with a handful of dried or fresh herbs of your choice (we used sage, thyme and oregano) add to the mixing bowl as well.

And finally, for ingredients for the basic mix, chop three or four shallots. You can replace them with a small to medium onion though I think the milder, slightly sweeter taste of shallots works better with pork sausage meat.

Then add your final additional ingredient. In the three versions we made, one contained leeks (4 or 5 small to medium leeks will do); one contained four grated potatoes and the final one contained half a jar of marrow chutney.

Mix all the ingredients together. In fact, do more than that - squeeze them together through your fingers. When all thoroughtly mixed up, add to well oiled loaf tins and put in the over at 200C for 30-35 minutes.

The loaves can be eaten hot or cold. They hold together and slice well.

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