As a kid my favourite meal was Meatloaf and BBQ sauce. The thick sweet glaze surrounding a rough log of savory beef, and served with a steaming pile of mashed potatoes…It was what MY birthday meal was, year in, year out.
As I’ve grown, my sweet tooth has somewhat disappeared, but my love for the loaf remains unabated. Over the years I’ve also learned that a great meatloaf comes in many guises. The meatloaf of my childhood was a beef meatloaf, as is the recipe on this post, but I’ve learned that the humble loaf is more versatile than just a log of ground steak baked in the oven.
I’ve developed recipes for beef versions , chicken meatloaf, pork, game, exotic meats (kangaroo, as an example), and sometimes combinations of these beasts (often you HAVE to combine them, to get a great result). In fact, the only thing I’ve not made is a vegetarian or seafood meatloaf, and mostly because I’ve never thought of it…until now!
So, this may be my first recipe and post for meatloaf, but it almost certainly won’t be my last. Please feel free to change the ingredient list as you way see fit, you may have a great recipe for your meatloaf already at hand. But take note of a few tricks and techniques that I use, and think about adapting them to your own recipe.
- 500g Chuck Steak
- 500g lean Minced Beef
- 14 Strips Bacon (Streaky)
- 1 egg
- 3 Carrots
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 Sliced Bread (any)
- 1/4 Cup Red Wine
- 1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp Garlic
The Herbs & Spices
- 2 Tbsp Dried Sage
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Thyme
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- Red Pepper Flakes to Taste
I make no apologies for the 18 ingredient list, for what is a simple comfort meal. Nothing is complicated here, but every flavour is a note to this symphony.
Step 1, the meat.
Like my burgers, previous post here, I like my meatloaf to carry some texture. I am not after a consistent grind in the beef, because I like the additional interest that a surprise chunk of beef makes in the meatloaf as a meal, but I also want to reduce the fat in the end product and this still needs to be a loaf…so I blend my self chopped chuck steak with some low fat mince.
Cube up the chuck steak into medium cubes, and chop them in a food processor in 2 equal batches. Pulse for 10 x 1 second pulses (full second pulses…one thousand one, one thousand two…etc) and then for 1 x 4 second burst.
Dump the chopped chuck into a bowl, along with the mince.
Step 2, the mix.
Using the food processor (again), chop the bread slices until they become bread crumbs. Tip the contents onto the meat.
Put the onion in the food processor and puree it. Tip it onto the meat and breadcrumbs.
Grate the carrots, and add to the meat mix, along with the rest of the mix ingredients. Add all of the herbs and spices, and mix using your hands until well combined.
Step 3, Construction:
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)
Lay out a large square of plastic wrap or baking paper. Construct your bacon weave on the plastic film, one strip high by one strip wide.
Shaping the mix into a log, place it on the bacon weave, ensuring that it comes to the end of the weave, but not beyond. Then lift the plastic wrap and use it to roll the bacon up and over the log. Keep rolling until the entire loaf is covered, then remove the wrap.
Step 4, Cooking
Place the meatloaf on a wire rack that fits in a backing tray. Slide it into the hot oven. Place a loose piece of foil over the meat loaf, so as not to overcook the bacon.
After 40 minutes, remove the foil and drop the temperature to 160C (320F)
Continue to bake until the internal temperature hits 66C (150F). Remove from the oven, and cover again with foil, letting it rest for 20 minutes.
Slice and serve with some of your favourite BBQ Sauce, and a couple of sides. Mashed potatoes is a match made in heaven. As for another side, well, I’ve gone for some fried cabbage this time, but a nice salad would work just as well.
The magic of Meatloaf is the leftovers. It’s almost as easy to make 2, as to make 1, so double the mix and make 2 loaves (as I have). Think of all the meatloaf sandwiches…nom nom nom
Enjoy the meal!