Dead Ringer for Dinner

September 4, 2023

My LatestSupper came about by fusing two very different dishes that intended to make utilizing one ingredient; turkey mince.

In the past I’ve made some very tasty patties from turkey, reminiscent of the McD breakfast sausage but always feel a little disappointed by the dryness of the meat.

For advice I posted a question on the SW forum and found I wasn’t alone in seeking out the best method without resorting to reintroducing fat. One member suggested grated courgette had always worked for her.

I will resist the temptation of describing what I was going to make and dive into what is encased in foil resting in my fridge. Meatloaf not the singer who is sadly missed, but my own take on this very American dish.


Working with turkey mince you can easily fall into the trap of thinking this is lesser than, for example, pork mince. Lean turkey breast meat, the same for all other meats, is SYN free. Beef, Pork and Turkey mince which has a 5% fat content (or less) is SYN free, however, some clever packaging and the terms “lean” and “less than 7%” or even “between 5% & 7%” mean there’s SYNs in that mince – regardless of the source animal.

The next dilemma was what to use as a binding agent. I settled upon bacon as pork often accompanies turkey. At this point an element of self-doubt crept in. What if this dish turned out as a dry inedible mess and I had wasted some key ingredients from my weekly intake? I decided that I could utilise a pack of basic smoked bacon (ASDA Everyday 300g £1.45) as opposed to my treat of smoked bacon medallions which are SYN free. More SYNs added to the bowl, and this is supposed to be a diet, right?

All is not lost, for I will bypass the method & ingredients for now and just say the loaf weighted a couple of grammes over 850g. Slices yielded an 85g portion (a 1/10th) and when I used the app to calculate the total for the loaf, the answer came out at 27 SYNs. Thus 2.7 SYNs per slice but since we work in multiples of a 1/2 I rounded up to 3 SYNs. A little perturbed I consulted the app and looked for other ‘meatloafs’ and to my surprise, mine was between 1/2 and 1/3 less than supermarket bought. So the exercise was well worth doing. The only SYNs were indeed meat, therefore it is possible to make this dish SYN free.

Recipe & Method

  • 750g 7% or Less Turkey mince
  • 300g Smoked Bacon
  • Courgette
  • White pepper
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Water cress and rocket salad back

I began by coarse grating a whole courgette. I seasoned this with the salt, pepper, and sage. I happened to have a bag of leaf salad which was a substitution on an order (I love plain strong Rocket). I thought the more moisture from ‘greens’ the better to counteract the dryness of the turkey.

In my largest bowl I added the turkey to the veg, herbs and spices, and began with gloved hands, kneading until I had a thoroughly combined mixture. I set this to one side to rest whilst I prepared the loaf tin. That’s not true it was a loaf silicone. Less need for greasing or lining, I used silicone and draped slices of bacon over all 4 edges along the perimeter.

Now it was time to add the turkey mixture and ensure that the mixture covered or dispersed to all 4 corners and spread evenly. Next I folded over the bacon from the sides and the loaf (or terrine) was ready for the oven.

Cooking time was an initial 60 minutes at 200c in the air fryer. Then upon checking a further 10 minutes was added making a total of 70 minutes. I left the meat in the airfryer and allowed the residual heat to help the cooking process. The aromas were fantastic!

I carefully removed the silicone case from the air fryer as there was a build of liquid (not sure if it was fat from the meat or moisture from the veg) either way this was disposed of.

Roughly 30 minutes later I turned out the loaf and it kept its integrity not falling apart as I feared. I wrapped it in foil and placed in the fridge to cool completely and ready for the next day.

I served it with mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, and a basic sauce I made from the surplus potato water, vegetable stock cube, mixed herbs and some fat free Quark (avoid using on the hob it will separate). The potatoes were mashed with a little water from the pan. No milk, flour, cream, or butter, as there are sufficient SYNs in the meat, plus a fair amount of flavouring including a saltiness but not overpowering.

Tags: ,