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Lesley Waters' budget-busting meatloaf

It's Friday and Lesley Waters is making a budget-busting meatloaf with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings to fend off the Sunday lunch crunch.

Lesley shows that if you consider alternatives like meatloaf, you can still enjoy a wonderful family Sunday lunch without breaking the bank.

Meatloaf with nutmeg and thyme

Serve:s 6

Ingredients

4 thick slices soft white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (from a sliced loaf)1 large egg150mls milk1 tablespoon Dijon mustard3 tablespoons chopped thymea generous grating or pinch of nutmeg1 onion finely chopped900g British beef mince

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4

  • Lightly grease with a little oil and line the base of a 23cmx 13cm loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment

  • Beat the egg and milk together in a large bowl and stir in the bread cubes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes then mash a little to make the cubes into very small chunks. Add the mustard, thyme, nutmeg and onion and mix well. Add the beef mince and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well.

  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down to level off. Bake in the oven for approx. 55 minutes. Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes before serving and slicing. Serve with the red onion gravy and all the trimmings.

Red onion gravy

Serves: 6

Ingredients

30g butter4 medium red onions cut into wedges (each onion half into 5 wedges )1 teaspoon sugar1 large clove garlic crushed2 teaspoons flour1 bay leafsprig thyme600mls beef stockgenerous splash red wine ( optional )any juices from the cooked meat loaf1 tablespoon thick sweet balsamic

Method

  • In a shallow pan, melt the butter. Add the onions and sugar and fry over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes until really golden and caramelised then add the garlic. Stir in the flour and toast over the heat , stirring for 1 minute.

  • Turn up the heat and pour the stock and wine into the pan. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Boil rapidly over a high heat until the gravy has reduced by half and is rich and syrupy . Add the balsamic glaze and heat through.

Mustard Yorkshire puddings

Makes: 8

Ingredients

100g plain flourgood pinch salt2 eggs200 mls milk50 mls cold water8 teaspoons olive oil2 teaspoons grainy mustardfreshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6

  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs. Gradually mix the eggs with the flour and then slowly add the milk and water until a smooth batter is formed. Whisk in the mustard and season with black pepper. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

  • Place one teaspoon of olive oil into eight of the muffin wells and place in the oven until very hot

  • Pour the batter into the hot muffin wells. Cook in the oven for approx. 18-20 minutes or until risen and really golden.

Orange roasted roots

Serves: 4

Ingredients

8 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways4 parsnips, peeled and cut in quarters lengthways1 orange4 tablespoons rape seed or olive oil2 large sprigs of rosemarysalt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F / gas mark 6

  • In a roasting tin, combine the carrots and parsnips Cut the orange in half, squeeze over the juice and place the orange halves in the tin. Drizzle over the olive oil and place the rosemary on top. Season well. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

  • Remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelised, shaking the pan and moving the vegetables occasionally during cooking to prevent them sticking

Roast potatoes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

900g / 2lb floury potatoes, ie Maris Piper or King Edwards150ml / ¼ pint rapeseed or olive oil25g / 1oz butter1 tablespoon flour, seasoned with rock salt and black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F/ gas mark 7

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 5cm / 2inch pieces

  • Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a roasting tray and add the butter. Place in the oven for 5 minutes to allow the oil to become very hot.

  • Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pan. Shake well to roughen the surface. Remove the roasting tray from the oven, add the potatoes and toss them well so that they are coated all over with the oil. Sprinkle over the flour and then roast for 45-50 minutes or until crisp and golden. Shake the tray from time to time during cooking to stop the potatoes from sticking.

Steamed fried spicy greens

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

1 small to medium Savoy cabbage, halved, cores removed, washed and very finely shredded1 tablespoon sunflower oilpinch dried chilli2 tablespoons soy sauce

Method

  • Heat a large frying pan or wok, add the oil and freshly washed cabbage and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chilli and season well with black pepper.

  • Reduce the heat down low add in a splash of cold water and cover with a well fitting lid. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until just tender.

  • Remove lid, stir through soy sauce and serve

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