Beef Marjoram Ring

A variation of a meat loaf, the centre of this Beef Marjoram Ring may be filled with peas or sauteed mushrooms.

2 lb. minced beef

2 oz. fresh breadcrumbs

2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 teaspoons dried marjoram

12 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 small eggs, lightly beaten

1 oz. butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, scraped and chopped

1 small celery stalk, finely chopped

1 tablespoon flour pint beef stock or stock made with a beef stock cube

1 teaspoons tomato puree bouquet garni, consisting of

2 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme sprig and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 fl. oz. Madeira

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180’C). Lightly oil a large ring mould.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, marjoram, salt, pepper, parsley and eggs together, mixing until they are well blended.

In a frying-pan, melt the butter over high heat. Add the onion, cook until it is soft, then stir into the beef mixture.

Pack the mixture into the mould and bake in the oven for 2 hours.

While the meat loaf is baking, prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan.

Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender and lightly coloured.

Add the flour and, stirring with a wooden spoon, continue cooking until the mixture is quite brown. Remove the pan from the heat and add the stock gradually, stirring continuously. Add the tomato puree and the bouquet garni. Cover the pan, return to the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing the vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon. Rinse the pan and pour the sauce back into it.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil. Add the Madeira and stir to mix. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

When the meat loaf is cooked, let it stand on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and turn it out on to a warm serving dish. Fill the centre with peas or sauteed mushrooms. Serve the sauce separately.

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