Thursday, March 13, 2008

Charcuterie Loaf

I was getting a bit jaded recently by our lunch boxes. The contents were almost invariably fabulous but they had also begun to default to roast something with a carb salad and some sugarsnaps, possibly raw carrots as well and it seemed a bit repetitive. The only variation being what meat was cooked. I fancied a change, the result possibly of the slight increase in temperature and the miniscule lengthening of the days that mean suddenly it is still light at the end of the day, almost till 6pm. Winter is over. Yay!Perhaps.

I'd bought a copy of the french - translated into english - book Pork & Sons recently and thoroughly enjoyed reading it - the combination of family tales of raising pigs and the array of recipes built up over time to use every bit of the pigs that resulted was an interesting way to spend an hour or two. I mentally bookmarked a couple of ideas to try.
One of them was this charcuterie loaf. The man and I both love all things ham and bacon and sausage like - saucisson, chorizo, salamis - the lot. This loaf involves making a batter with eggs and flour, then encompassing into that all manner of diced fabulous bits before baking it till risen and golden. A sort of glorified bacon and egg bread, that keeps fresh in the fridge.
What could be more perfect?

And wonderful it turned out to be. The only unexpected delight was the way the paprika from the chorizo stains the dough into glorious streaks of sunlight yellow, like full on summer has arrived. Joy in your lunchtime.

The Genuine Charcutier's Meatloaf

unsalted butter for greasing the pan
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
4 tbspns olive oil
3 shallots, chopped roughly
1 1/2 tspns baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml white wine
200ml milk
100g smoked lardons, rindless, coarsely chopped
100g unsmoked ham, coarsely chopped
100g spicy chorizo, coarsely chopped
100g prosciutto or other air dried ham, coarsely chopped - you can buy an end piece cheaply

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a loaf tin with butter and dust with flour, tipping out any excess.

Heat 2 tablspoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes, until golden.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl - I just use a fine mesh sieve - add the eggs, white wine, milk and remaining olive oil and mix well. Stir in all the meat and the shallots. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. If the top gets too brown before the loaf is cooked, cover loosely with foil.

The loaf is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before turning out of the tin. When it is cold, cover with foil and refrigerate if you're having it for lunches. Or slice generously and serve with salad for a great dinner.

Though it might take up to an hour to cook, it only takes ten minutes to prep. Perfect.


violets said...


This looks and sounds delicious.

I saw your link on the guardian comments section, your blog is lovely.


bron said...

Cheers Vi, glad you like the blog - do visit again.

This loaf works really well - and lasts in the fridge too. We had it for lunch till Thursday just with a crunchy salad.

Seriously recommend it.


timesnewroman said...

I too found your link on the Guardian comments. I really realy fancy making that loaf, it looks excellent. I'm so jealous too of your proximity to Borough Market. Heavenly place. I hope you don't mind if I link to you.



bron said...

Hi Jim

Don't mind the link at all. I do know I'm lucky to have Borough a short bus ride away - it really has fundamentally altered the way we eat - and all for the good. The blog is really a way of sharing that pleasure.