You may not be altogether surprised to hear that the name of this meatloaf is one of my own devising. Of course, it's because the herbs involved are parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. LOL
You see, I was after a midweek, no frills, relatively plain, good and savoury, tasty meatloaf that could be served with some denomination of potato dish and a selection of vegetables. A meat & three veg. meatloaf, if you like!
I used beef and pork mince in a two thirds/one third combination because the pork mince just serves to lighten the texture of the beef. Adding loads of extra flavours - mustard, herbs, onion & garlic granules - helped pep up the savouriness and my now indispensable method of draining off the cooking juices halfway through the cooking time as ever, resulted in a good firm loaf. I do so hate meatloaf that you could serve with a spoon. Gak!
Now you might be wondering why I used the onion & garlic granules instead of adding fresh onion and fresh garlic. Good question! I find that fresh onion has to be almost grated or minced, so as not to leave small pieces of quite firm, almost crunchy, onion behind in the mix. Some people might like that, but I'm not a fan. Grating or mincing the onion just serves to increase the liquid in the mix, which I pour off at half time anyway so its not a good method.
It's a similar thing with garlic. I'm allergic to raw garlic, so it has to be incredibly finely chopped to wind up cooked sufficiently for me. Hitting on a piece of semi raw garlic is so overpowering to the other flavours, that again, it's just not a good method for me. However, if I add onion and garlic granules - which are simply dehydrated and finely minced - I get all the benefit of the flavour and none of the drawbacks. It's a personal taste thing. If you like to find onion or garlic in your meatloaf, or have the time and energy to pre-cook and caramelise them, then by all means go ahead and use fresh!
Oh and I'm also assured that this meatloaf is fairly epic when used, cold, as part of a sandwich. Happy days!
SCARBOROUGH FAIRLY MEATLOAF (Serves 5)
1 bread crust, blitzed into breadcrumbs
500g reduced fat beef mince
250g pork mince
1 large egg
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sea salt
pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp onion granules
half a tsp garlic granules
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine (dried parsley would work too - use 1 tsp)
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
half a tsp dried thyme
1 tsp beef stock powder or 1 tsp Bovril.
Pre-heat your oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas 4.
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together well, using your hands. Try not to over-mix or the meatloaf will become tough, but ensure all the ingredients are distributed well across the mix.
Line a 1lb loaf tin with silver foil and pack the meatloaf mix in well. I find it best to put half in and press into the corners, pushing it well down and ensuring all air bubbles are out, before adding the second half and repeating the process.
Using your fingertips, create a small space along the edge of the mix between the loaf tin and the ingredients - a gutter, effectively! This will help when it comes to draining off the excess liquid, later.
Place onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and carefully drain off any accumulated liquid. Take care not to let the loaf slip from within the tin, into the sink!
Place back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and, using the silver foil, pull the meatloaf from inside the loaf tin. Place onto a chopping board and carefully unwrap. Cut the meatloaf into slices and serve with mashed potato and seasonal vegetables of your choice.