A home-made Meatloaf is the gift that keeps on giving.
There is no better day than a Monday to cook a sumptuous meatloaf packed with protein and earthy flavours. The way I see it is, whatever you cook on a Monday can provide many highly satisfying and delicious mid-week moments, and like all great creations of this genre, such as my Curried Sausages or my Boeuf Bourguignon recipes, they just become tastier as the week goes on. So much so I’d much rather start eating this ‘Monday Meatloaf’ on Tuesday – a great idea at the time but once you start smelling the aroma coming from the oven, it will be a little too tantalising to wait that extra day.
“I love how versatile a Meatloaf can be – there is an ubundance of flavour possibilities that allow you to experiment with your favourite spices and ingredients. For this recipe I have allowed the vegetables to play the starring role, and when combined with the beef mince and enveloped in smoky bacon rashes, the flavours sing together like a well rehearsed opera.”
There is something incredibly comforting about these home-style recipes that remind me of my childhood. The type of food that always means tasty left-overs.
My Nana made Meatloaf long before my time and we were fortunate enough to have her living with us until I was 13. Nana was without a doubt a cooking inspiration for me and we would very often cook together. Nana loved cooking cakes, biscuits, puddings and scones, and from a savoury-sense Meatloaf was also on her list of favourites, as well as the most delicious flour dumplings that would cook on top of a beef casserole in winter. I can still remember the smell of those dumplings as the casserole simmered away on the stove top. Did you ever have these growing up?
“People often ask me if I follow recipes – like Nana once did, I pretty much make most things up as I go along. This is actually the third time making this Meatloaf and on this occasion I’m measuring and recording the ingredients, a chore that often takes the fun out of cooking for me, but discipline is a must if I’m to share my recipes. Most of the food you see on my Instagram and Facebook are not made from recipes, but they usually derive from a craving or some other culinary inspiration.
It is incredibly therapeutic creating something from nothing, especially from ingredients you already have at home. Nana’s Meatloaf would usually consist of sausage mince and beef mince together with onion, carrot and whatever-else was suitable and at arms-reach. She also made a pork Meatloaf from time to time and would keep the Meatloaf in the fridge to be used as a sandwich filler. How very European.”
One of our favourite lunch treats during our summers in France is a simple baguette filled with Pork Rillettes, Pate or Terrine. It reminds me of how Nana enjoyed her Meatloaf and I know she would adore the baguettes we so eagerly crave from the weekend Brocantes across the South West of France, accompanied of course with a side of Frites.
Do you have a Meatloaf memory? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. I hope you enjoy this Meatloaf recipe as much as I loved creating it. Check out more photos from this recipe on my Instagram and Facebook.
What you’ll need:
8-10 rindless smoked bacon rashers
1kg of premium beef mince (I use mince that contains no more than 5% fat)
4 tablespoons of almond meal
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tablespoons of mustard powder
3 tablespoons of almond milk, or skim milk
1 large carrot finely chopped
1 medium sized zucchini finely chopped
1 leek finely chopped (the white part only)
3 celery stalks finely chopped
2 free-range eggs lightly whisked
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
6 tablespoons of chopped parsley
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
*Ideally use a homemade tomato sauce, take a look at my recipe here. You can also use this to accompany the meatloaf once served. If you don’t have time a pre-bought tomato sauce will also be fine.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Line a large loaf tin with baking paper leaving excess to wrap over the top of the meatloaf
- Layer the bacon rashers across the baking paper with enough overlapping to cover the top of the meatloaf
- In a large pan, sauté the carrot, leek, zucchini, garlic and celery with half of the coconut oil for 5 minutes, then set the mixture aside and allow to cool
- In a bowl, combine the beef mince, almond meal, mustard powder, milk and eggs and bind together. Add the vegetable mixture with the remaining coconut oil and season with salt and pepper
- Place on top of the bacon slices in the loaf tin and fold the bacon rashers over to cover the mince mixture tucking the rashes into the sides where possible. Cover with the excess baking paper and place in the hot oven for 35 minutes
- Remove from the oven and brush on the glaze mixture. Return to the oven for an additional 35 minutes on the lowest shelf to ensure the top does not become to brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain any excess liquid off before turning upside down on a chopping board
- Serve with a lightly dressed mixed leaf salad – you might also like to add some boiled new potatoes.
I would love to hear from you – please leave a comment below with any questions you may have and I’ll get back to you very soon.
As always, Bon Appétit, Mike X