half a syn american meatloaf

You know what I miss most from the last two decades or so? My hair. I used to have amazing hair. My friends, family and everyone in existence would doubtless think otherwise, but I don’t care. I grew my hair for a good three years or so, dyed it a myriad of different colours, and always had something fun to play with during those tricky times when having a wank just wasn’t appropriate behaviour, such as sitting on a bus or the funeral of a loved one. It was thick, luxurious, well-maintained – I loved being able to lie in the bath and swish it around in the water, I loved being able to tie knots in it, hell, I even straightened it once with a pair of straighteners and it was like the second coming. I do want to say though – at no point did I ever have one of those awful fringes which covered the eyes and necessitated that awful neck-throwing action that seems to be everywhere. I was never an Emo McGee. Too fat for it, for one thing, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to start putting shit poetry on Livejournal.

Of course, wistful recollection is a wonderful thing, but in reality, I probably looked like the abandoned child of Snape from Harry Potter and old ‘why use one voice when nineteen layered over the top of each other will do’ Enya. When I was thin, it fair suited me, but when I was a porky fella, I just looked like a hairy Christmas bauble. I remember going to France with a mate when I was eighteen, and during a daring bit of drunkenness, having all my hair removed – and we’re talking hair down to the middle of my back shaved off and my head left as smooth as a bowling ball. My mum walked straight past me at the airport and then spent the next twenty minutes shrieking and telling me I looked normal again. Cheers mum. For the first time in years, I felt a draft around my ears that even now makes me wince and long for the comfort of my Fructis-scented wonderhair. Ah well. Those days are definitely behind me, given that I’ve got hair like Steve McDonald now, and it’s easier just to cut it myself than see myself reflected in a barber’s mirror, light bouncing off the smooth, hairless front where so many beautiful hairs once lay. Sigh. The reason for this hair chatter by the way was the simple, indubitable truth that if I was to grow my hair again, I’d look like the time Heather from Eastenders dresSed up as Meat Loaf (hence the meat loaf recipe). See?


Anyway, come on, enough about times past. I went to see Interstellar last night, hence no post – apologies. However, I’ve got a corking recipe below for meatloaf which is perfect homely food for these cold nights. Interstellar, by the way, is absolute bobbins. It starts off promising enough, but then descends into look-at-me schtick and aren’t-I-clever writing. Plus, every time Anne Fucking Hathaway opened her mouth I started having internal flashbacks to her caterwauling through Les Misérables a couple of years ago and had to stop the shakes with my salted popcorn. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like her – and I think my friend summed it up best when she said that ‘the biggest black hole in the entire movie is when Anne opens her letterbox mouth’. Haha!

SO shush man, meatloaf.

to make half a syn american meatloaf:


ingredients: two stalks of celery, 1 medium carrot, an onion, small pepper, 3 mushrooms (I used shiitake because…well because they were all I had in the fridge, but I reckon they add a good strong taste, so roll with it), 500g of beef mince (remember, 5% fat or under), 500g of pork mince, three slices of breadcrumbs (though we only ended up using two slices worth – just gauge how wet your meat is before you pound it, haha), 2 large eggs, 1 tomato, seasonings. Ketchup or passata.

recipe: get that oven up to 190 degrees and lightly frylight a loaf tin. Actually, you know what, fair enough if you want to stay away from syns, but I can’t recommend frylight anymore. Do as I do and use a drop of olive oil and spread it around. It’ll be enough and you’re not having that mess of chemical water you get in frylight.

Use the food processor to blitz the bread into crumbs. Empty out. Cut the celery, carrot and onion up in the food processor. Add a clove of garlic if you like. Cook the chopped-up pepper and mushrooms until soft. Chuck everything into a bowl – all the meat, the two eggs, crumbs (don’t use all of them, keep some aside in case you need to add more if your mixture is too wet – it’s a lot easier to add something than try to balance it!), the cooked mushroom and peppers, the veg paste from the food processor and the chopped tomato. Add in a proper good glug of worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Season as much as you think, and then add a bit more. Really pound your meat and get everything mixed together, and then shape it so it looks like a loaf. Drop it into your tin and smear tomato ketchup on the top. If you want to save syns, use some passata, but the sugars from the ketchup finish the dish off.

You’ll need to cook this for a good while – we went for 90 minutes, but start using your common sense from about 75m in. LEAVE to cool and serve with your sides. We went for sweet potato and peas.

Now listen – this will easily make eight servings. It’s up to you how much you want to eat, but this can very easily be turned into leftovers the next day with some pasta, or even in a sandwich as long as you use your healthy extra for the bread.

extra-easy: yes, but make sure you make the sides of the meal nice and high in superfree food. You could do a salad, or cabbage, or anything – but the meatloaf itself won’t make up your 1/3 rule. Syn wise is negligible, to be fair. Tomato ketchup is 1 syn per level tablespoon – so two tablespoons of that to cover the top and then split into eight is quarter of a syn. If you’re going to be fussy, use passata, but haway, Two slices of wholemeal bread is a healthy extra (small loaf mind) and although I blended up three, I only needed two – and again, you’re splitting this into eight servings. So…up to you, but I didn’t syn the bread as I used it as a healthy extra!

top tips: this looks like quite an expensive meal to make, given the amount of meat, but you can nearly always buy the mince on a deal. I don’t recommend making it all from beef because it doesn’t have quite the same texture, but you could try it. You can freeze it too. Plus, this makes a BIG loaf. YOU’LL be making a big loaf afterwards, I can assure you. Enjoy!