Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Entertaining Dad

It's always difficult to think of what to serve when my dad comes over for dinner. Although he will always eat what's put in front of him (apart from spicy food – my dad thinks soured cream pretzels 'burn his mouth' - and fish, to which he is allergic), the proud chef in me wants him to enjoy his food too. He is not generally very keen on tomatoes, mushrooms, rice, couscous, Yorkshire puddings, yogurt, lentils or lamb to name a few, which does rather narrow the choice down. Then comes the list of foods he is not supposed to eat because of using Warfarin, which includes most dark green vegetables, cranberries, garlic and grapefruit.

We love our food spicy, so trying to think of bland food that fits in with most of the categories above, as well as my Slimming World plan, twice a week does pose some challenges. Of course, my pride doesn't allow me to repeat dishes too often either.

Meatloaf isn't something that has featured heavily on our menu over the years, and I don't think I have ever made it for my dad, so that's what I decided to do tonight. Had it been just for the two of us, the spice level would have increased tenfold for the recipe, but as it was I had to tone it down a little (lot) for my dad.

Meatloaf with barbecue sauce

Serves 4-6 (I cut it in to 10 slices)
Syn Free on Extra easy providing you use the bread as your Healthy Extra B.

500g extra lean beef mince
500g extra lean pork mince
2 small onions
3 garlic cloves
2 slices wholemeal bread
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp sweetener
salt and pepper top taste
8 slices of bacon
500 ml passata
1 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp bouillon powder
1 tsp sweetener
a few drops Worcestershire sauce

The easiest way to make the meat loaf is in a food processor – start with the onions and garlic and whizz until finely chopped. Add the bread and ensure it is just fine breadcrumbs before adding the meats, egg, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and sweetener. Pulse until mixed. Mix together the passata, mustard powder, bouillon powder, sweetener and Worcestershire sauce until smooth and mix 100 ml of it in with the meat.

Stretch the bacon slices with the back of knife and line a loaf tin making sure all sides and the bottom are covered, reserving two for placing over the top. Press the meat into the tin and cover with the bacon pieces, wrapping any overlapping pieces over the top. Cover with tin foil and place in a large roasting tin. Fill boiling water to half way up the tin – I find the easiest and safest way of doing this is to put the roasting tin in the oven fist and then adding water from the kettle. That way I am less at risk of spilling boiling water over myself when I move it.

Bake at 150°C for 2 hours. Check that the meat is done by inserting a skewer into the meat and pressing down slightly to ensure that the juices are running clear. If so, remove from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, still covered with foil before turning it on to a board and cutting into slices and serving it with the rest of the BBQ sauce. 

I served it with whole roasted Apache potatoes, tomatoes stuffed with some leftover risotto, leeks in white sauce and fine green beans. 

Dinner service from John Lewis, tablecloth was my mum's. 

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