Meat loaf has been around for thousands of years. The Romans are recorded as forcing seasoned ground meat into containers and baking it off in wood-fired ovens. Apparently, the Romans used to make meat loaf with brains, although I cannot locate that recipe in the widely cited source, Apicus.
In modern day cooking, meatloaf appears in a few forms, One is the relatively elegant French country pâté. The other is the American meat loaf, beloved of soccer moms across the USA. It is the latter we offer here.
- For the loaf:
- 1 onion, finely chopped (see notes)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- Handful of parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 120g breadcrumbs
- 560g beef mince
- 560g pork mince
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To brush:
- 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
Heat an oven to 190˚C
Combine all the loaf ingredients in a large bowl, mixing with your hands. Season liberally. Transfer to a loaf tin and push the mixture down to fill. Mix the sugar and ketchup in a bowl and brush over the loaf.
Bake the loaf for 1h 20 mins, testing the centre has reached 71˚C. Run a knife around the loaf and turn out. Serve warm.
You can chop all the vegetables, garlic and herbs together in a food processor on pulse if you are careful.