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Meat Loaf with Onion Sauce

An economical recipe, to serve hot one day, cold the next. The loaf has a good, firm texture and plenty of flavour.

ingredients

serves 4
25 g (1 oz) butter
2 medium onions, skinned and finely chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
450 g (1 lb) lean minced beef
75 g (3 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
60 ml (4 tbsp) tomato puree
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh mixed herbs or 5 ml (1 tsp] dried
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
15 g {1/2 oz) plain wholemeal flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk

method

1. Grease a 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) loaf tin, then line the base with greased greaseproof paper. Set aside.

2. Melt 15 g (1/2 oz) of the butter in a frying pan. Add half of the onions and cook until softened. Add the paprika and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat.

3. Add the beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, tomato puree and herbs. Season to taste. Stir thoroughly until evenly mixed, then bind with the beaten egg.

4. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, level the surface and cover tightly with foil. Stand the tin in a roasting tin and pour in water to a depth of 2.5 cm (1 inch). Bake the meat loaf at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for
1 1/2 hours.

5. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. Add the rest of the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring, for 1 - 2 minutes.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk, stirring after each addition to prevent lumps forming. Bring to the boil slowly and continue to cook, stirring continuously, then simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until thick and smooth. Simmer very gently for a further 2 - 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, turn out the meat loaf on to a warmed serving plate and peel off the lining paper. Serve with the hot onion sauce. Accompany with creamed potatoes and courgettes.

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