Meatloaf – oh the memories. Its those memories of the hustle and bustle of the school dining room. Queuing for your lunch on your brown tray, the dinner ladies serving your lunch and then away you go to sit down. It was meatloaf for me that holds these memories as it was always a dull dinner. No added flavor, mass produced and usually over cooked, especially if you were given the end piece.
This usually accompanied either packet mash or if we were lucky lumpy fresh mash. Oh those were the days.
Well moving on to this version and not too difficult to make at all. Enough spice and mellow garlic flavour to want more and then this delightful bite of pancetta running through the moist and juicy meatloaf.
When accompanied by a sweet, rich onion gravy what more can a boy ask for.
I particularly like this onion gravy with this meatloaf as I add cranberry sauce to sit alongside the sweet caramelisation of the onions with this piquant cranberry and then when eaten with the soft meatloaf there is this ending zing of chilli. Not too hot and far from non existent. A masterful blend of flavours make this a wonderful dish that reminds us of how meatloaf is meant to be done.
Beef and Pancetta Meatloaf with Onion Gravy
For the meatloaf
- 1 tbsp. Oil plus extra for greasing
- 1 in Medium white onion choppedto small dice
- 150 g Diced pancetta
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 50 g Breadcrumbs
- 500 g Beef Mince
- 1 tsp. fresh parsley chopped
- 1 egg
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. Red chilli jam
- 1 tbsp. Oil
- 2 medium white Onions sliced
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. Cranberry sauce
- 1 Beef stock cube
- 500 ml water
- 8 tsp. Bisto heaped
- Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and dry fry the pancetta until golden and crispy, remove and place on some kitchen roll to absorb the excess fat.
- In the same pan add the oil and fry the onions for about 5 minutes until soft. Take off the heat and the add the paprika and garlic and fry in the holding heat for about a minute then allow to cool.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. In a large bowl add the mince, breadcrumb, parsley, egg, pancetta and the cooled onion mixture and season well. Mix thoroughly with your hands until totally combined and pliable.
- Grease a 1 lb./450 g loaf tin and then place the mixture inside and push down gently until evenly pressed. Spread the jam over the meatloaf and then cook in the oven for about 30 – 35 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is cooking in a medium pan add the oil and sliced onions and fry over a medium to high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is where you want the onions to caramelize slightly to a nice golden brown. If they are browning to quickly turn down slightly as you want the onions to be nice and soft too.
- Add the cranberry sauce, sugar and stock cube, stir and then add the water. Bring to a simmering boil and stir in the bisto, stirring until thickened. Take off the heat until required.
- When the meatloaf is cooked, take out and allow to rest for five minutes while you reheat the onion gravy. Remove the meatloaf from the tin and cut in to nice slices and serve with some mashed potato and the onion gravy.