29 December 2012

Christmas Leftover Meat Loaf

For those of you still struggling under mountains of leftover turkey (or indeed any meat) I bring salvation. Yesterday I used all our remaining meat to make a large meat loaf (or maybe it's terrine). You can put almost anything in this as long as it is cookable; so maybe not lettuce, cucumber, salted peanuts or pickles, but pretty much everything else is fair game including olives and cranberry sauce. This is roughly what I did ...

Christmas Leftover Meat Loaf
(aka Kitchen Sink Terrine)

You will need:
A quantity of cooked meat; it can be turkey, beef, sausage, bacon, ham — whatever mix you have. Scraps are fine; just remove the bones and gristle.
Some butter and/or olive oil
An egg or two
Some stock and/or a glass of port or brandy
Some garlic
Some mushrooms if available
A good couple of pinches of dried herbs
Salt & pepper
Any other cooked veg, including potatoes
A couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs
Cooked stuffing is fine too

What you do:
Pre-heat the over to about 180C, with the fan if it has one.
Reduce the bread to breadcrumbs (quickest in the food processor)
Finely chop the onion, garlic, mushrooms (and any other raw veg) and sweat it in a frying pan with some butter/oil until the onion is soft and translucent.
Finely chop all the meat, stuffing and cooked veg and mix it together with the herbs, onion mix and breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat the egg(s) and add them along with the stock/liquor and a drizzle of oil. Mix well. It needs to be wetish so it binds together but not soggy.
Tip the mix into a large casserole or cake tin which has been well buttered. Firm it down well.
Put on the lid, or cover with foil, and put in the oven until done (probably 45-75 minutes; raw meat may take a bit longer). If you can be bothered (I never can) you may get a better result using a bain marie.
You can test if it is done by inserting a knife in the middle, leave it there for 5 seconds and if it is scalding when removed the loaf should be done. Do not over cook it or it gets dry.
Remove from the oven and, unless eating it hot, if possible press the loaf with a heavy weight while it cools.
Eat either hot or cold with crusty bread and salad.

You can also use raw meat but you'll probably want to either mince it, or pre-cook it.
If you want to make it look pretty you can put a layer of meat slices or hard-boiled egg in the middle, or line the tin with bacon rashers, or decorate the top with juniper berries and bay leaves.

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