I’m afraid I’ve never been the sort of girl who wins men’s hearts by baking them boxes of brownies, with loving little notes tucked inside. I don’t think I’ve ever even baked a boyfriend a birthday cake. For ages, in fact, I swore off cooking anything for a guy. Ever. This stance stemmed from having spent the better part of a year slaving away at an oven, thinking up different recipes every night (on a carefully balanced food budget), for the boyfriend I lived with when I first moved to London. I was so annoyed when we broke up, and I realised that he cooked and ate the same horrible pasta dish every day, without minding at all. Cooking for men, I decided, was clearly a pointless waste of time.
It didn’t take me too long to soften, however, when the present boyfriend came along. I’m afraid I’m very superficial when it comes to men and food, generally feeling one wants the type of guy who looks like he’ll tuck into a steak, rather than, say, a tofu curry. In fact, the first thing I made for my boyfriend was steak, and then I just kept on cooking it for him (it’s a good thing he likes routine). Sometimes, however, one wants to change things up a bit, and then I figure a meatloaf is a good way to go.
Meat Loaf (recipe adapted from Canadian Living Cookbook by Carol Ferguson)
750g minced beef
175ml rolled oats
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
50ml ketchup, mixed with 1 tbsp brown sugar
Combine all ingredients, apart from the ketchup and brown sugar (easiest to mix with your hands). Use your hands to shape into a loaf in a ceramic baking dish. Spread ketchup mixture on top. Bake at 180C for 50mins to 1 hr. Can be served hot or cold. Any leftovers freeze well.
This recipe is not guaranteed to win any hearts, but it’s certainly very enjoyable to make and eat, with or without a man involved!