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01/04/2010 11:54:00

Peek-A-Boo Meatloaf


This recipe came from the book 'Kids Kitchen' by Jennifer Low. It's a book designed to have no knives and no hobs, so she uses garlic salt and onion flakes to avoid having to slice those items. For that reason it is brilliant for really little kids, and I would generally recommend it. Most of the recipes are sweet but this is one of the savoury recipes.


On this recipe though we made a couple of substitutions of ingredients. Garlic instead of garlic salt, and a sausage instead of a hot dog. I didn't want to buy a whole tin of hot dog sausages to get just one. Also for us personally because hot dogs are generally poor quality meat and the welfare is not traceable.



The children picked it out because they liked the idea of the sausage circle in the middle. It uses a teeny kids baking tin, half the size of a one pound loaf tin, which we happened to have because of a kids baking set someone once bought us. But I'm sure you could increase the quantities to make this work for a normal size tin.



The Recipe:

250g uncooked minced beef
1 large egg white
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dried onion flakes (we missed this out because we didn't have any)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (we used a small crushed clove of garlic instead)
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
sprinkle of pepper
1 hot dog sausage (we used a plain pork sausage from the butcher)
1 tbsp chilli sauce (we used a spicy salsa kind of ketchup)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F

All the ingredients, except for the sausage and chilli sauce, are put into a mixing bowl at once.



Then the children mix them together by squidging it all with their hands. Our kids loved this bit. They thought the wiggly strips of beef mince "look like brains". They enjoyed the gross wet squiding feeling.



Then Jacob pressed about 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the mini-loaf tin using the backs of his knuckles. I showed him how to make sure you press it into the corners and to make it roughly the same thickness all over.



Anna poked the sausage with a fork to pierce the skin. Then she laid it in on top of the mince and said "it's like putting the sausage into its grave!" Maybe we have been watching too much Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy... Then Jacob put the rest of the mixture on top and pressed it down again. Then they brushed the chilli sauce over the top.


The meatloaf should be cooked for about 40 minutes. It is cooked when it is browned on top, starting to shrink back from the tin slightly and there are juices bubbling at the edges. If you let it cool a bit before you slice it, the slices come out better.



We actually put this together before school (unbelievably because we are early risers, we have more free time before school than after) and lobbed it in the fridge with a bit of cling film over it until tea time. So I guess you could do the same the day before if you knew teatime was going to be a rush. It took about 15 minutes to prepare including finding all the ingredients, and with the children doing all of the processes. With practice you could get it to 5-10 minutes no problem.


The recipe came out looking pretty good, although it was a bit darker and less smooth textured than the picture in the book. Maybe we should have squidged for longer to get it smoother. It sliced reasonably well, although you need a sharp knife to get a clean cut through the sausage without it pulling out of the meatloaf part. Even then it tends to fall apart between the tin and the plate and you have to put it back together to look like the picture. That said it's quite different as an idea and the kids did say "oooh!"


We had school friends over for tea on the day we made this so it was eaten by four kids and two adults, making a small slice each. The recipe is for a tiny child's tin, and makes six slices but if you doubled the quantities for a normal tin and increased the cooking time a little to compensate it would be more generous for a family meal and have some leftovers for lunch.



The Verdicts

5/10 Anna (age 6) "I like the sausage but not the meat bit as much it's too chewy."

9/10 Emily (age 6) "Really yummy."

9/10 Jacob (age 8) "I like the meat bit, it's really chewy and nice but I think it would be better with some tomatoes or onions in it."

9/10 Finlay (age 8) "I would like to eat this again soon."

5/10 Mom "Like the idea but it's a bit plain and needs something extra."

4/10 Dad "It's just like some mince and sausage on a plate. The mince has a bit of flavour, but it is still just some mince and some sausage."









23/04/2010 19:19:00 by Mike

LOL I like the brains and graves comments! My son always calls minced beef 'worms'
I might try this idea but with more things in the mice part. the sausage idea is fun.

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