For as long as I can remember I’ve seen Meatloaf done on American TV. It always makes an appearance at the “family table” and they all apparently love it. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the idea but then again, I never used to like meatballs either. But in the last two years, my love for meatballs has grown and so, I started thinking, maybe meatloaf wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world to give-a-go?
I started researching it and found that many people complained that the meatloaf was dry and tasteless by the time it was done. But then, I saw the same complaints with meatballs. I don’t know how I do it, but I’ve never made a dry meatball in my life, and I have quite a few different ways of cooking them. So I figured if I follow the same principals I do when making meatballs, the meatloaf should be quite delicious.
Another problem I had was that meatloaf is generally served with mashed potatoes. Now, if you know me, you know I LOVE mashed potatoes, but I never like too many soft textures together. I like a bit of crunch with soft foods, and meatloaf, like meatballs, will be classified as a soft food in my opinion. So I really liked the idea of meatloaf sandwiches made with crusty, toasted bread. Meatloaf also, almost always, has a layer of ketchup on top to keep it moist and delicious but I changed it up and added the ketchup into the mixture. I really wanted a nicely browned meatloaf and ketchup on top wouldn’t give me that.
I used 500g lamb and 500g beef mince but you could use pork or veal mince as well. Whatever suits your budget and your tastes. Instead of making one big meatloaf, I decided to make individual meatloaves for every person. If you are making one big meatloaf, you’ll have to adjust the time, probably between 45 minutes and an hour. I also decided to make a tomato and chilli relish to go with the meatloaf to give it some added sweetness and spice but served with just ketchup, it will still be equally delicious.
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp each ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp each ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
2 slices white bread
500g lamb mince
500g beef mince
1/2 cup ketchup / tomato sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise of your choice
black pepper to taste
Crusty bread, to serve
Tomato & Chilli relish, to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°c. Grease 6 mini-loaf tins or 1 large loaf tin and set aside.
- Fry the onions and garlic in 2tbsn oil until soft and translucent. Add the spices and fry for another minute until the pan becomes dry. Set aside.
- Combine the bread and milk in a small bowl and allow the bread to soak up all the milk.
- In a large bowl, add the mince with the ketchup, mayonnaise, egg, salt and pepper. Add the milk-soaked bread and onion mixture.
- Work all the ingredients together until everything is well-combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the loaf tins and place in a deep roasting tray. Pour approximately 2cm of hot water into the roasting tray and place it in the oven.
- Allow the meatloaves to ‘bake’ for 20-25 minutes until they are browned ontop and firm.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing them from the tins.
- Serve with crusty bread and tomato & chilli relish.
Tomato & Chilli Relish (makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of relish)
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
freshly chopped chillies (as much as you can handle)
2tbsn Balsamic vinegar
1tbsn soy sauce
1tbsn white wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
- Fry the onions until translucent and add the tomatoes, garlic and chillies.
- Add the sugar, vinegars, soy sauce and seasoning and allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the mixture has reduced slightly. Check for seasoning and adjust.