August 3, 2006

Meat Loaf?

Being far from a Meat-a-tarian, I was surprised at my venture into different ways of cooking hodge-podged meat mushed into a loaf tin.
The Meat Loaf; (As quoted from my favourite source of short precise information- Wikepedia)
Meatloaf is a meat dish consisting of seasoned ground meat (usually ground beef or a combination of ground beef with veal, lamb or pork), which is formed into loaf shape and baked. During the Great Depression it was popular to add cereal grains to the meatloaf to stretch the meat; this has now been adopted by people who wish to eat a lower-fat version of meatloaf. It is often served warm as part of the main course, but can also be found sliced as a cold cut. It is in many respects similar to pĂƒÂ˘tĂƒÂŠ, which is generally more finely ground. The meatloaf can either be placed on a baking tray or in a mold. The result is usually shaped like a loaf of bread, but other shapes, e.g. heart shapes, are possible.
I searched the internet and a couple of other favourite cookbooks of mine for different alternatives to making meat loaf. It's probably the one thing which I see alot of on TV and read about in books but never in a restaurant menu/local cafe. A home-cooked delicacy I presume. Most meatloaf recipes involve mixtures of meat and breadcrumbs/bread slices soaked in water/milk but they seemed fairly uninteresting. I was about to give up on the idea when I finally found my winner! Meat Loaf with a combination of leek and Couscous! Despite having a different mix of ingredients within, the basic idea of a mushed medley of meat was still there. I only made a little tiny ramekin sized one out of curiosity; not intending to waste too much of our precious weekly meat ration.
For a person who gag's at the thought of eating too much meat; I was astonished at how impressed I was at the taste and texture of the loaf. I'll probably set aside some extra $ in next weeks grocery pull to make this for everyone to try!
Here's the full recipe for everyone else to have a go, :)
1 cup couscous - cook according to instructions on packet
400g chicken mince
400 g pork mince
200g leek diced (fine)
1 sprig lemon thyme herbs chopped
2 sprigs basil chopped
1 large onion chopped (fine)
2 tsp sea salt
cracked black pepper-to taste
1 tsp chilli flakes
10 slices pancetta
Lay pancetta neatly on the base and sides of a lightly greased loaf tin/ any other molding device you choose to use. Over lap the corners slightly and leave about 2 inches overhang over the top. Mix all other ingredients till well combined and press into prepared loaf tin. Fold over the over-hang bits and pop into a preheated 180 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until meat is cooked and pancetta turns crisp. Turn out gently onto a flat surface and leave to cool slightly. Slice into thick slices to serve.
Pancetta is an Italian bacon that is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices, but is not smoked. Unlike English and American bacon, which are taken from the sides and belly of the pig, may be smoked, and are usually cut into slices, pancetta comes only from the belly and cured with salt.


Lex said...

WOW.. that looks reallly yummy!

Su-Yin said...

Hey LEx, it was reallyy yum! You should try it sometime :)