Friday, 5 July 2013

If it's meatloaf, we must be camping

Well, not always, but meat loaf is fairly synonymous with a camping trip in the RJ household.

This is a recipe I picked up from the Good Food magazine, and the original recipe is on the website: Cold meatloaf with squashed tomato salsa. With the emphasis on the cold. This is what we usually take to sustain us on the Friday night trip, especially if the trip is likely to be a bit longer than average. There's also usually enough left over for sarnies over the weekend too, and the 'chutney'/'salsa' that you make to go with it is a perfect foil for the loaf. It's got lots of herbs in, which count towards your 5 a day, always helpful when camping tends to major on the meat and carb end of the food spectrum.

This weekend we're heading off to Suffolk. It's madness, I tell you, via Farnborough to pick up the Husband who can't finish work till around 5, then the all the joys that the M25 clockwise on a Friday night with a good forecast for the weekend will bring, till we peel off on the M11 or A12 - haven't decided which, and a final obligatory skirmish round the back lanes once we leave the main road. The last thing we need is complicated food. And yes, we could stop and buy tea at a Little Road Break, or wherever, but frankly, a bit of good food, and everyone's spirits are lifted, just in time to fight with the awning and get the cork out of the wine bottle sharpish once we arrive.

There is a perfectly good reason for travelling so far - we're camping with my lovely school friend and her family. Normally there would be a third family camping but my other school friend (mum in said family) has recently had a knee op, so instead of camping somewhere relatively centrally for all 3 families, this time we're going to camp near her house.

I'm very excited. The campsite is in Cool Camping. There's a pizza oven we can use. Camp fires are allowed. Apart from the long journey, it's sounding practically perfect. And then of course, there's the forecast. But let's not tempt fate...

Camping Meatloaf with red pepper and tomato salsa

450g pork sausages
500g beef mince
50g breadcrumbs
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
large handful of flat leaf parsley
3 large stalks of rosemary, leave only
2 eggs
salt & pepper

2 red peppers
sprinkle of smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil 
2 tsp sherry vinegar 
1tsp caster sugar

400g cherry tomatoes

Leave plenty of foil to overhang
Start with the meatloaf. Line a 2lb loaf tin with silver foil, with enough overhang to wrap the loaf in eventually once it's all cooked and cooled (you'll thank me for this tip later!!). Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160 fan.

Finely chop the onion, garlic and herbs - I whizz it all up in a food processor. - then split the sausages and empty the meat into a large bowl with the mince and mash it all up together with the onions and herbs and breadcrumbs, eggs and some salt and pepper.

Empty the mixture into your lined loaf tin and squish it in, leaving the loaf mixture nice and mounded on top.

Deseed the peppers and slice them fairly thinly. Spread them out on a baking tray, toss in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and sprinkle over some smoked paprika.

Put the loaf in the oven with the tray of peppers on the shelf below and cook for 30 minutes, during which time, quarter the cherry tomatoes and peel and finely slice the garlic.

After 30 minutes, remove the tray with the peppers on it, stir in the tomatoes & garlic, the sherry vinegar and caster sugar and put back in the oven for another 40 minutes or so till the meat loaf is cooked and hot all the way through (test with a skewer) and the peppers and tomatoes are all soft and squidgy and a bit caramelised.

Pour off any juice that has collected round the meatloaf and leave to cool. Squidge up the peppers and tomatoes and put in a sterilised jar or container suitable to take with you.

Once cool, wrap the meatloaf up in the foil and seal the jar with the peppers. Great in rolls, served with the salsa and with potato salad (which you also made in advance!). And don't forget some good cake...

Dinner sorted (cake included!)

Happy Camping!

The herbs are a great addition to this loaf and add a little extra greenery. I'm linking up to Karen at Lavender and Lovage 's lovely Cooking with Herbs Challenge.


  1. Seems well worth the effort of the trip and camp set up to cook and enjoy that meal. I'll almost feel guilty after reading of your journey when I cook it in my own kitchen. Ah, now, some good cake...  •¸•

  2. I LOVE meatloaf, and the best way for me is cold in sandwiches! LOVED this post Sally, you made me giggle! Karen


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