I went back to my parents in Angouleme this week-end for a bit of rest far away from the big city, and some much deserved sunshine. The contrast with the UK is striking, spring is clearly much more advanced here: the banks of the river are already peppered with yellow daffodils, the trees are covered with bursting buds and I have not worn my woolen jumper even once. What a wonderful feeling! We went for a walk along the Charente river today and I noticed that there has been some flooding here as well, the river clearly burst its banks. But with the sun shining bright and the flowers piercing through the grass, it looks like a distant memory.
The other thing I love about going back to my parents is of course to be a bit spoiled and enjoy my mom’s cooking! I am sharing here our dinner for tonight, we tested it for the first time during the Christmas holidays. This is her now-famous meatloaf recipe. I am usually not a fan of meatloaf as I find them often quite dry, but this one isn’t at all and it is dead easy. It was even better served with a home made tomato coulis – the best ever thanks to the very ripe and sweet tomatoes we had this summer.
1 kg minced beef (at least 15% fat, otherwise it will be too dry) – 100 g breadcrumbs – 2 onions – 1 bunch of parsley – 2 eggs – 6 tbsp ketchup – 2 tbsp Dijon mustard – 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – 1 tbsp dark brown sugar – 10 cl milk – 2 tbsp olive oil – 3 to 8 bay leaves (to taste) – salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and chop the onions. Wash, dry and cut the parsley. Mix all the ingredients together by hand or with a robot.
2. Line a cake tin with wax paper, put the mix in the tin pressing well on the meat to make sure it is nice and compact. Drizzle the top of the meatloaf with some olive oil, pepper and a few bay leaves. Fold the waxed paper on top of the meatloaf. Then place the cake tin in a larger dish, and pour hot water in this dish until it reach 2/3 of the cake tin’s height. Bake for an hour.
A few tips: It is delicious hot or cold, served with a tomato coulis. If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can replace it with some fish sauce or soy sauce. You can replace the beef with pork or veal for a bit of a change.