Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meatloaf (two out of three aint bad)

SO the big stag do is all systems go. We're off to sunny Brighton at the end of March to stay in a hip little five-star hotel called the Blue Lagoon or, as Rosey commented, "Well done, Withers, it looks suitably awful!" Mind you, we can't all live in the lap of luxury in London's yuppyland, can we?
It looks like there is going to be 21 of us, so man-management will be key. Unfortunately, we've got the Wonderful One in charge who finds it hard enough to manage himself on any given day.
Still, should be fun and I'm really looking forward to seeing friends I haven't been in touch with for a while.
I am sure that, eventually, I will have sobered up enough to write about it on the blog, even though the portrayal might not be completely accurate due to the fact I have lost so many memory cells thanks to alcohol over the years that I must be in the minuses now. I won't, however, let the facts get in the way of a good story, you can be assured.
The Wonderful One has another take on the matter. "You'll have four pints, go into a rant and shout 'I'm going home'." I hope not, it's a costly taxi ride back from Brighton.
Wren's hen do, after some initial planning hiccups, also seems to be progressing nicely. They are booking in for a Spa weekend in Devon.

It's been a pretty quiet week, to be honest. Went out on Sunday with Paps and the Prince of Darkness to watch the Wales v Scotland rugby match, a convincing win for the Welsh at Murrayfield. We saw the game in the new old O'Neill's and then went on to the the City Arms where we bumped into the Boss's Disney pals Biff, Griff, Jiff and... well, only Biff really. Paps and I, having supped a leisurely few beers, decided it was time to head for the hills but I understand the Prince and Biff went on to a private party in the Hilton with a free bar. That's what I call stamina.

On Wednesday I joined the Prince and Withers for a beer after a very busy day at work. It was back to old O'Neil's where the Little Bowling Ball was holding court with some of his dodgy pals while a couple of musicians strummed away in the background. During the day I had paid for our 10-day honeymoon to Cuba where we will spend three days in Havana and seven days at a beach resort. Sounds great.

My opportunities to cook these days have been severely impinged upon by my new working hours at Meeja Wales, so I have to dig back into the past to find a recipe for you. I had a nice meatloaf from the hot counter at Morrisons on Tuesday but thought I would give you my own meatloaf recipe. The first time I cooked it I got it slightly wrong but since then I have done it twice and it has come out nicely. As the song goes "two out of three aint bad" (had to write that to tie in with the name of this blog entry!)

You need:
70g white breadcrumbs
dried porcini mushrooms
two leeks
Chopped parsley (handful)
400g ground beef
75g smoked bacon (chopped)
2 cloves diced garlic
grated parmesan cheese

To do:
Set oven to 200c/gas mark 6.
Tear bread into chunks and put into a dish with milk to cover.
Leave until the break is saturated.
Put mushrooms in bowl with warm water.
Slice leeks in half lengthways then into small dice.
Wash in colander.
Melt butter in deep pan.
Add leeks and parsley
Leave to soften but don't brown.
Remove leek from the pan. Add the beef and bacon to the pan
Leave to brown before stirring.
Return leeks to pan then add garlic and mushrooms drained of their liquid and chopped.
Wring out breadcrumbs and stir into the mixture with salt, pepper and parmesan.
Put meat into a casserole dish and smooth flat.
Then put the tin inside a baking dish and fill the dish up with hot water to come half way up the casserole dish.
Place in oven and leave for an hour.
Leave to settle for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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