Saturday, 10 April 2010

My Mom's Meat Loaf Wellington



I’m pretty sure this must have been a recipe that Pillsbury used in their advertising at some point years and years ago, but it became my Mom’s signature dish and friends and family knew it as “Barbara’s Meat Loaf Wellington”. It was years before I realised that Beef Wellington was actually made with fillet steak, and in fact I never ate that version of the dish until well after I arrived in England in my twenties. I know Mom would have played around with the recipe to try and make it healthier - she was a qualified dietician and it still amazes me how often she made this bearing in mind it is covered in pastry. It was such a part of my childhood that it was the meal I asked her to make the night before I left home to come to England. It became my son’s favourite as well, and was also probably one of the last dishes my Mom cooked, before she became too ill to spend much time in the kitchen. I make it as often as I can because it’s economical, tastes great and it reminds me of her. My Family Food History and Recipe Project would not be complete without it.

1½ pounds lean ground beef
¼ cup beef or onion gravy
Two handfuls of white bread crumbs
1 egg
¼ cup minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 – 2 packages Pillsbury or Sarah Lee Crescent Rolls
 
Combine the beef, gravy, bread crumbs, egg, onion and seasonings in a large bowl.  (It’s easiest to mix these ingredients with clean hands.)  Shape into a fairly narrow loaf on a baking tray.  Cook at 375ºF (190ºC or 170ºC for a fan oven) for 45 minutes.  The meat loaf should be nearly cooked through at this point – I always check mine with a meat thermometer.  If it is not nearly done, then cook it for a few minutes longer until it is. 
 
Remove the meat loaf from the oven.  Separate the crescent rolls and lay over the top of the meatloaf, overlapping slightly, shaping them to fit it as you go.  I use a half piece to cover both ends, and then use the un-separated pieces to cover the rest.  (If you have crescent rolls left over, just bake them on a separate baking sheet and serve alongside the meat loaf.)  Bake for 15 minutes more.
 
Remove from the oven, cut into slices and serve with more gravy.

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