Meat loaf with blue cheese filling

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Meat loaf, like shepherd’s pie, is true comfort food and deserves a revival. Of the many versions I have experimented with, this one is my favourite. It is rich in flavour and oozing with tangy cheese.

Ingredients

  • 450 g lean beef or lamb mince
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • 100 g smoked rindless streaky bacon
  • 75 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 50 g fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 1 rounded teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 100 g St Agur or other blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • ½ level teaspoon chilli powder
  • butter for greasing
  • sea salt, black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and butter a 1 kg loaf tin. Put the mince into a large bowl. Peel the onion. Chop the onion, bacon and mushrooms finely and add to the mince. Stir in the breadcrumbs, oregano and 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup. Whisk 1 egg and stir thoroughly into the mixture, then season well with salt and black pepper. Spoon half of the mince mixture into the prepared tin and spread level.

Crumble the blue cheese into a bowl and stir in the milk. Whisk the second egg and stir thoroughly into the cheese mixture with the chilli powder. Spread the cheese mixture evenly on top of the mince in the tin. Spoon the remaining mince mixture over the cheese and level the surface. Put the tin into the centre of the oven and cook for 1 hour.

Take out the meat loaf and turn up the oven to 240°C/Gas 9. Loosen the sides of the loaf with a knife and turn out carefully onto an ovenproof serving dish. Smear the top with the remaining 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until glazed.

Let the meat loaf stand for 8-10 minutes to cool slightly before serving. Cut into thick slices with a sharp knife.

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