Marathon Meatloaf

Tom and his three housemates are running the Bath Half Marathon along with 21 other friends who are all coming together to raise money for the lovely Alfie Fielden (seated, below).

The two-year-old son of my friend Rowe is an extraordinarily handsome, very cuddly and clever little boy who lives in Bath with his twin brother Charlie – with whom he shares a love for John Deere tractors and ‘geegees’ (horses – for those of you who aren’t familiar with the twins’ own West Country dialect.)

Tragically Alfie suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) — a degenerative neuromuscular condition which affects the nerve cells in his spinal cord — meaning he is unlikely to live in to his teens, and will never be able to walk.

Which is why we’re fundraising to buy him an all-terrain wheelchair so he can whizz about instead.

The run takes place this Sunday (11 March), so Tom and his housemates ferreted out their trainers and have been yomping around Brixton in preparation for the big day.

As self-appointed Brixton team dietician, I popped round last week to boost their protein intake with a very meaty meat loaf. Not only is it a super meal for honed athletes like the Brixton boys, but it’s also a very cost-effective way to feed people en masse.

So, this weekend why not substitute your normal Sunday Roast for a cheaper meatloaf instead—and donate the £5 you save to an excellent cause that is very close to mine and my friends’ hearts.

CLICK HERE to donate (and please remember to gift aid).

Marathon Meatloaf Serves 6 non-runners…or 4 hungry athletes

Ingredients
800g minced beef
2 large onions
1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon of coriander
12 smashed up crackers (Jacob’s – or cheapy supermarket own-brand)
3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 eggs
8 slices of bacon
4 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins)

Put a slug of olive oil in a pan, and fry the diced onion on a medium heat. Once they start to turn translucent add the crushed garlic, cumin and coriander – turn down the heat and cook for a couple more minutes then leave in the pan to cool.

Meanwhile, smash up the crackers. Put them in a bag and hit them with a rolling pin, or bang them with a tin in a Tupperware until they’re reduced to lots of little crumbs.

Put the raw minced beef in a mixing bowl, add the cracker crumbs, spicy onions, mustard, Worcestershire sauce. Crack two eggs in to bind it, and use your hands to mix everything together.

Line a loaf tin with the rashers of bacon so they’re just overlapping. Not only does this help the meatloaf hold its shape, but the bacon grease helps everything slip out of the tin when it’s cooked.

Finally squash down the beef mince mixture into the loaf tin.
Whack the temperature up to 220C – cover the tin with foil and cook for 35 minutes. Turn out and slice.

A good tomato sauce is a superb accompaniment to a meatloaf – I think it’s fresher and healthier than a thick gravy. I used the Mima Greek-ish Butter Beans recipe (without the feta), and we also diced some potatoes and roasted them with oil and paprika for a full whack of flavour.

Lining the tin with bacon holds together the meatloaf and makes it easy to turn out

For more information on Alfie and his fundraising team, CLICK HERE.

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