23 September 2014

Traditional Meatloaf

Now I'm not going to pretend that meatloaf is an easy thing to make attractive in a photograph. I can flat out tell you that it is not. No amount of finely chopped parsley can make it pretty or look super yummy. Yeah I don't think meatloaf qualifies as food porn. Unless you are really, really into meat, who knows?! So I guess you have to trust me with this one when I tell you this meatloaf IS tasty and yummy!

I wanted to make this recipe on the blog as since living in the UK, I have only just realised that meatloaf is not something the Brits eat! And it was requested I shared my recipe on here. So here it is, my mamma's meatloaf recipe.

Traditional Meatloaf
serves 4

500g good quality minced beef
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of ketchup
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1/4 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (to make it gluten-free, I substitute the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of coconut flour)

Fry the mirepoix (your celery, carrot and onion - little lesson in French cooking thrown in for ya) in a little oil until soft.

You do not want to colour the mirepoix or it will make the meatloaf taste a little bitter. Add the garlic at the last minute and fry a few seconds, add a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper too. Now put aside and let cool completely.

This is an important step as you really do not want to add anything that is hot to raw meat. It could cause food poisoning and nobody wants that.

Prepare a baking tray with either aluminium or baking parchment. I brush a little oil on it just to make sure the meatloaf won't stick.

When the mirepoix is completely cooled, add to a big mixing bowl with all the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix.

Shape into a loaf on your prepared baking tray. Make sure you 'press' the meat tightly into a loaf so that it does not fall apart when it cooks.

Then make a 'glaze' with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup and a few (or a lot in my case) dash of hot sauce (like Tabasco). Brush this glaze all over the loaf. On the sides too.

Bake into a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 160 C/320 F.

Serve with a big bowl of steaming hot buttery mashed potatoes and some steamed green beans. Gravy optional, but recommended. Tomato ketchup on the side non negotiable.

Now Brits listen up. A cracking way to use your leftover meatloaf if to make a sandwich with it. Try it. And thank me later.


- If I do not have time to chop and fry the mirepoix separately and wait for it to cool down, I use another mix of vegetables which do not require all the faffing about. I finely chop green onions and a small red or green bell pepper and add them directly to the meat without cooking them beforehand. Saves lots of time!

- Bacon. Sometimes I add some lardons or cubes of pancetta whilst I'm frying the mirepoix. Sometimes I cover the meatloaf with slices of (streaky) bacon - that's what my mum does - on top of the tomato glaze. Both are equally delicious.

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