What makes this easy is using porridge oats rather than the traditional breadcrumbs. It may sound weird but don’t worry. Once the meatloaf is cooked you won’t taste them but they help to make your meat go further.
Time: about an hour
Cost: About 80p a head
400-450g good quality sausages e.g. Cumberland
400-450g minced beef
3 rashers of lean back bacon (about 90-100g)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced or a small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 heaped tbsp chopped parsley or 1 1/2 tsp dried herbes de Provence
50g (about 1/2 a mug) porridge oats
1 large egg, lightly beaten + enough semi-skimmed milk to make 175ml (2/3 of a mug) of liquid
Ground black pepper
You’ll also need a 900g loaf tin or ovenproof dish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Cut the links between the sausages. Cut through the skin of each sausage and pull it off. Put the sausagemeat into a large bowl with the mince. Add the crushed garlic, spring onions and parsley and mix well together with a fork, wooden spoon or your hands. Sprinkle over the porridge oats, pour over the egg and milk mixture and mix together thoroughly. Sprinkle generously with pepper and mix again. Pack the mixture into a lightly oiled large loaf tin or an ovenproof dish. Place the dish in a roasting tin and pour boiling water around it to a depth of about 1.5cm (just under an inch). Bake for about an hour or until the meatloaf has shrunk well away from the sides of the tin. Carefully pour off any fat that has accumulated then tip the meatloaf onto a serving plate. Turn it upright and slice it thickly. Serve with a simple tomato sauce or gravy. Plain boiled potatoes and lightly cooked, buttered cabbage go well with this. Any leftovers are great cold with pickles
* If you’re dairy intolerant replace the milk with chicken or vegetable stock
* the reason I suggest sausages rather than sausagemeat is that they're generally of better quality but use sausagemeat if you prefer.
* I’ve given a range of weights for the mince and sausages because you find them in different size packs. Just choose whatever pack size is available.