We Brits don’t seem to be big consumers of meatloaf – the foodstuff I mean, I feel it’s best to qualify that now.
It’s more seen on American sitcoms, mum (sorry, mom) serves it to the family with gravy, or tomato sauce, and sometimes it’s featured in leftover sandwiches.
Which is odd, because I can remember having Haslet as a kid. Haslet is basically a pork meatloaf, local to Lincolnshire, and with a similar herb base as the Lincolnshire sausage. Mum would spot it in the deli in the supermarket and it would be slapped between two slices of Mother’s Pride and dunked in soup while we watched wrestling (the UK version with Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks), sitting on the living room floor.
For me, now I’m older, it’s an easy freezer filler. I first started making it a few years ago, coming across a recipe online. That recipe was… OK. A bit dense, and a bit grey looking. Thankfully I’ve edited the recipe a few times, and have found something that works quite nicely. It’s moist, just about holds together when you slice it, and is just as at home with lashings of gravy, as it is in a butty, or handily for me, lunch food prep, you can heat it up with veggies, maybe a little rice or mashed potato, and you’re done. Comfort food at your desk.
This recipe uses both beef and pork mince, I spent a little bit more on the beef, using the pork as more of a ‘filler’, but you can be as economical (or not) as you like. Swap out the pork for turkey if you want it a bit leaner, but do be aware it will get a little denser and drier. You do need some fat in there somewhere to give you that moisture, even the milk soaked bread I use will only go so far.
The recipe is also for two loaf tins worth of meatloaf. I’m a fan of batch cooking, so when I have the chance, and the freezer has some room, I’ll do two tins full, eat some, slice the rest and freeze it for future meals. That said, if you want to do a trial run, it should be easy enough to divide into smaller quantities.
Finally, I’ve also included in this a tomato sauce recipe – gravy is great with it, but a little variety doesn’t hurt, and as meatloaf is basically a giant meatball, it goes beautifully with a good tomato sauce. I’d even recommend reheating slices in the sauce, then you catch any crumbly bits in the sauce, and you can serve it with a pile of pasta. In fact, you could swap out the mixed herbs for some Italian seasoning, and a handful of Parmesan to the meatloaf mixture for a little added Italian oomph. Delish.
This recipe is obviously not vegetarian or vegan, but can be adapted to be gluten free (use gluten free bread), dairy free (swap out the milk for oat milk) and egg free (simply remove the egg), though the latter would make it a little more crumbly.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, the latter is my absolute go to for a quick and easy pasta sauce, as well as smothering the meatloaf and reheating it.
Pork and Beef Meatloaf
- 1 kg Beef mince
- 500 grams Pork mince
- 25 grams Butter (or two tablespoons of vegetable oil)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 3 sticks Celery chopped into chunks
- 1 large Carrot chopped into chunks
- 2 small Onions chopped into chunks
- 2 medium Eggs
- 2 tbps Mixed herbs
- 3 slices Dry bread blitzed into breadcrumbs
- 50 ml Milk
In a food processor, add the vegetables and the garlic and pulse until they're finely chopped (stop before they become puree!).
Add these to a frying pan with the butter and mixed herbs, and cook until the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent. Put to one side to cool.
In the meantime, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk - if you're using slices of bread, keep the processor out, and just add the milk and bread and pulse until smooth.
In a big bowl, add the meat, soaked breadcrumbs, egg, seasoning, and cooled veg mixture.
Now for the messy bit, get your hands in and mix thoroughly, squidging the mixture together.
When thoroughly mixed, divide into two loaf tins, and pop into the oven on 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for around 1 hour.
To test, insert a thermometer into the centre. You want to be certain it's around 80°C in the centre. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.
The meatloaf will let out some juices during cooking, and even after resting. Don't waste them! Just add them to your gravy mix for extra flavour.
Tomato sauce for serving with the meatloaf.
Easy tomato sauce
This is perfect for the meatloaf, or even for a bowl of pasta.
- 2 tins Plum tomatoes
- 1 medium Onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 tbsp Dry white wine
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Crushed chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp Dried thyme
- 1 tbsp Fresh basil. chopped (optional, but worth it)
In a large frying pan, or heavy based saucepan, put the garlic onions and oil on a medium heat.
Once the onions are translucent (and your kitchen smells amazing) add the dried herbs and cook for a further two minutes.
Add the wine and cook until it's almost all evaporated.
In a bowl, pour out the tomatoes. Crush them in your hands until you get a good mixture of chunks and smooth bits. Personally, I prefer this to tinned chopped tomatoes.
Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until most of the moisture has gone. season to taste, and add the shredded basil right at the end, to keep that fresh herb flavour.