I have described this meatloaf as Italian to distinguish it from an American style meatloaf. There is nothing wrong with the latter but, dare I say, it lacks the sophistication of its latin cousin. Meatloaf is best served warm or cold-in fact I’m not sure it isn’t better the day after: thickly sliced in a crusty roll with a good spoonful of the salsa, extra cornichons and some rocket piled on top. A long list of ingredients always worries me as I tend to think it puts people off recipes but I promise, this meatloaf is very easy to make.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 2 echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 75g cubed pancetta
- 90g crustless, slightly stale white bread
- 100ml milk
- 400g beef mince
- 400g veal mince (or pork)
- 55g grated parmesan cheese
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon celery salt
- For the herb salsa
- 65g watercress, spinach and rocket salad
- 20g mint leaves
- 20g basil leaves
- 8 mini cornichons
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 100ml light olive oil
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 190˚c, fan oven 170˚c, mark 5. Grease and base-line a 1 litre loaf tin. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the pancetta cubes and fry for a further 5-6 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes then squeeze out any excess liquid and place the bread in a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining meatloaf ingredients and mix thoroughly. If you want to check the seasoning you can fry a small nugget of the mixture for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and brush the top with a little olive oil. Cook for 1 hour in the oven. Remove and leave for at least 30 minutes. Serve in thick slices with the salsa.
- For the salsa, place all the ingredients except the oils in a food processor and blend to a coarse purée. With the motor still running slowly drizzle in the oils until you have a thick sauce. Taste and season with a little salt and ground black pepper if necessary.