Smacks of Feminism: Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

Whenever I think of Meatloaf , I think of that singer from the 90s with bad hair.  This is probably the reason why I never make meatloaf, that, and the fact that there is something so 1950s house-wifey about it. Non? (I’m not French, but sometimes I like to pretend I am). I will get back to meatloaf, but first I must tell you about  the most fabulous book I’ve been immersed in since Sunday, How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Moran is awesome! I wish she would be my bff. Not only does she sport a Cruella DeVille streak through her black hair (I had the same hairstyle 3 years ago), but she is wickedly funny, vulgar, clever, rude and very, very cool. Moran advocates a strident and inclusive feminism, whilst asking those important questions, like: Why women’s panties are getting smaller?  I cannot tell you how much I love this book and how deeply I urge you all to read it.

 Gender studies formed part of my degree, I read Foucault, Butler and De Beauvoir. I once burnt my bra (accidentally) in a drunken stupor involving scented candles and too much pineapple liqueur. I wrote fierce poetry – about my private parts and sex. As an active member of the Durban Live Poets Society, back in the day – I was described as the ‘F and C’ girl based on the language used in my poetry.  I had forgotten those days and Moran reminded me of them. Somehow I’ve become all muted and polite, gender issues have taken a back seat, I’ve been so distracted, I clean forgot the patriarchy!  Well no more of that, people! I am revved up, revved up and making meatloaf…

I don’t know the source of this recipe, although I’ve a sneaky suspicion it had its origins in a Women’s Institute Cookbook. Don’t judge me. There are absolutely no airs or graces about this dish, but it is delicious and incredibly satisfying. The actual, mince mixture was incredibly sloppy, due to the inclusion of 2 eggs – and so I firmed it up a little by including additional breadcrumbs, I wouldn’t go as far as to omit an egg as the finished product was lovely and moist despite its original disturbing appearance.  Just quit yer whining and make the freakin’ meatloaf.

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

serves 4

600g organic minced beef

1 onion, finely chopped

a generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

2 xl free-range eggs

1/4 cup tomato sauce (use a good brand, one that actually contains tomatoes)

1 tsp vinegar

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt and black pepper

Mashed potato with a cup of finely grated pecorino stirred in and vegetables  for serving

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp dry mustard powder (I used Coleman’s hot English mustard powder)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix the ingredients for the meatloaf together until thoroughly combined, using your hands. If the mince mixture is too sloppy and you can’t form it into a loaf, add a few more breadcrumbs. Place the mixture into a greased loaf pan or baking dish, leaving some room along the sides.  In a jug, combine all the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce, pour this over the meatloaf.  Bake for about 40 minutes. After 4o minutes my meatloaf was perfect, but alas, most of the sauce had dried up – so fearing that it would be dry, I whipped up a jug of sauce using the sweet and sour sauce recipe but only using a 1/4 cup of water.  I panicked for nothing, as the meatloaf was moist enough without sauce. So essentially, what I am trying to say, is do as you please!

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