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 (17.64 ounces) lamb and 500g (17.64 ounces) 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
50ml (1.69 fluid ounces) milk
500g (17.64 ounces) lamb mince
500g (17.64 ounces) 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 (0.79 inches) 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.