Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Neville's “Beetloaf”
by McGonaGirl

You'll remember at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Neville Longbottom showed bravery consistent with the bravery he demonstrated in his first year at Hogwart's when he caught Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneaking out of Gryffindor Tower. For trying to stop them, he was awarded 10 house points, enabling Gryffindor to win the House Cup from Slytherin for the first time in many years. In his fifth year, he got his nose bloodied and broken in a big, climatic battle, and so he couldn't speak clearly for a few weeks afterward. Words came out garbled and the other students laughed uproariously when they took some of the things he said at face value. Like the time someone asked if he had a cold, and he said, "Doe, I don hab a code" to which someone else interjected, "You know that Neville can't remember the 'codes' for the Gryffindor entrance!" and the embarassed boy blushed beet red as the others chortled at his expense.

Another time, he was telling Seamus Finnegan that he was craving something called "beetloaf" ... and Seamus was aghast, thinking Neville was talking about a bread loaf made of beets! By now Neville was a bit tired of everyone harassing him as he healed, so he created one ... sort of! It came out of the oven bright red, and everyone was frightened of it when he carried it into the commonroom. Having heard from Seamus about Neville's "loaf of beets," the other students kept their distance, wrinkling their noses in disgust. They all stared as he cut dug into the baking pan and took a bite, his face in rapture. Seamus looked green and no one was surprised to see him bolt for the toilets ... but then the fragrance of well-cooked beef hit them — and the remaining realized Neville meant MEATloaf, but because of his injury, it came out "beetloaf"! They got the point, and stopped teasing their friend ... or at least, they stopped teasing him about his temporary speech impediment, in exchange for a slice of delicious "beetloaf"!

  • 3 lb / 1¼ kg ground beef, or a mixture of ground meats (some of the beef can be substituted with ground turkey, chicken, pork or veal)
  • 2 cups tomato juice or tomato sauce or tomato purée
  • 1½ cups oatmeal, uncooked, "old-fashioned" (not "instant)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small onion, chopped, or ½ cup dehydrated onion or powdered onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 2 cups ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 6 to 8 slices streaky bacon
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, oatmeal, tomato liquid, eggs, onoin, garlic, worcestershire, salt and pepper. It's probably easier to use your hands for this. Make sure it's thoroughly mixed (so you don't get pockets of oatmeal!) but don't overwork it, or the loaf will come out tough. Pack the mixture into two 8" x 4" (20 cm x 10 cm) breadloaf pans, or into one 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm) square baking pan. Poke holes down the loaf with your fingers, then spread half the ketchup over each loaf, and down the holes you made. Place the strips of bacon over the top the long way, it's okay if ketchup shows through through the bacon covering. Bake for one hour till the bacon is crispy and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Let the loaves cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before serving. It can also be cooled to room temperature for serving as sandwich filling.

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