Cooking With Beer: Paul Mercurio's Meatloaf

Paul Mercurio

Paul Mercurio

A chance meeting causes Paul Mercurio to revisit the Porter-infused Meatloaf from his recipe book, Cooking with Beer.

I was chatting to a guy at the pub the other day and he told me he had mycookbook Cooking With Beer and really liked the recipes.

Now that isn’t necessarily unusual – people often say they have my book and like it, but not a lot of people seem to cook out of cookbooks. I have about 122 cookbooks, which I often have a look through to get ideas, but rarely do I cook a recipe out of them, with the exception of mine of course. I often follow the recipes in my book since I have written so many I can’t remember them!

Anyway backto the bloke in the pub – my response was to ask what recipe was hisfavourite? Without a pause he said the Meatloaf. I was slightly takenback as it is the first time anyone has said that about my meatloaf recipe,I was also quietly chuffed and so I decided to revisit the recipe and youknow what… it is a damn fine bit of eating!

It is also great for this timeof year when we are starting to look for our ugg boots and wonder whether weshould take our cardie when we go out for a walk. Meatloaf can sit right onthe cusp of, is it going to be cold tonight or warm? If it is a cold nightyou can make the meatloaf and serve it with mashed spuds and brusselssprouts or if it’s a warm night you can have it with salad – easy.

I makethis with Porter as my beer of choice but on reading the recipe again Iwould be really curious to make it with an IPA such as MorningtonPeninsula’s IPA or a Sierra Nevada Torpedo or something like that. They areoften too big to cook with but I reckon my meatloaf could take it. Give it a goand when I bump into you at the pub let me know how it went.

Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

Image from Cooking with Beer by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

7 long rashers of bacon for lining bread pan
300g of beef mince
300g of veal mince
200g of pork mince
1 medium sized brown onion – finely diced
3 cloves of garlic – finely minced
2 free range eggs – 60g each
¾ cup of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 carrot grated – approx ¼ cup firmly packed
3 sticks of celery grated
½ a cup of Porter – James Squire, Tuatara, Lord Nelson Old Admiral or a locally made micro brew
½ teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of smokey paprika powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon of MasterFoods dried mixed herbs

Preheat oven to 160°c fan forced or 180° normal.

Combine all ingredients, except the bacon, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Take a teaspoon of the mix and fry in a non stick fry pan in a tiny amount of olive oil. When cooked let cool and then eat. This is your tester – from this you can taste if the meatloaf is seasoned well and if it needs any adjustment etc. It shouldn’t but you may want to flavour it a little more to your liking.

I used a traditional bread baking tin – 28cm long by 12cm wide by 10cm deep – Lightly wipe the inside with olive oil and then line with the bacon rashers. Starting from the right end – place a bacon rasher into the tin cross ways so that it sits snugly on the bottom of the tin and goes up either side with the ends of the rasher sticking out either side rim of the tin. Repeat with the next rasher placing it tightly against the first etc once you have lined the sides place the eye of a rasher against the inside end of either side of the tin. The rest of these two rashers will be used to fold over the top of the meat loaf. Fill the tin with the meatloaf mixture patting it down firmly and then fold over the rashers sticking up along the sides and finally fold over the rasher from the right end and then the left end tucking that end down between the meatloaf and the tin. You will now have a very neatly wrapped meatloaf package in a bread tin!

Place in the oven and cook for one hour draining any excess juice every 20 minutes. After one hour remove the meat loaf from the oven and carefully turn it out onto a baking tray. Turn the oven up to 180° ff or 200° normal and put back into the oven for another 20 minutes to brown the bacon. If you have a meat thermometer place it in to the meatloaf in the mid section. The meatloaf is cooked when the temp reads 80°c.

Cut into 3cm thick slice and serve two per person. Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed Brussels sprouts and some homemade barbeque sauce! Any leftover is great cold in a sandwich for lunch!

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