I know that Meatloaf is not the most popular dish ever, and you probably think I’ve returned to the ’70’s but meatloaf actually pre-dates much of the history of the last 2,000 years, having first shown up in an old Roman cookbook!
Many recipes call for the addition of oats or a bread and milk mixture, but I don’t like adding these as they dumb down the flavour and the texture is then not very meaty. You do need to add a liquid of sorts and bread crumbs work well as they help to glue the minced meat together as no-one wants a dry crumbly meatloaf, so I know this sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but read on… A good meatloaf has to be moist, full of flavour and able to be sliced.
This particular recipe is a very simple version that I came across shortly after my son was born and it caters to the very simple palates of the very young. I’ve found that as he’s grown and his tastes have developed, I’ve been able to make changes, add garlic and spices, and generally moved away from the original recipe, but it is lovely to return to it occasionally. And the secret ingredient? Don’t have a heart attack now, but it is Baked Beans!
500 g minced beef or lamb
420 g can baked beans
2¼ cups soft breadcrumbs (I halve this, it isn’t necessary to use this much)
pinch dried mixed herbs or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs
4 Tbsp tomato sauce
For the sauce: 3 Tbsp Apricot jam
- Preheat your oven to 160°C and grease a loaf tin.
- Combine all ingredients (except the jam) in a bowl or blitz them in a food processor.
- Spoon the mixture into the greased loaf tin* and bake for 1 hour.
- Cool in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes before turning out.
- If making with the sauce, melt the jam in the microwave for a few minutes and brush over the top of the loaf* before placing it into the oven. Alternatively, drizzle the sauce over the sliced loaf when ready to serve.
Recipe taken from the New Zealand Beef and Lamb “Easy Iron-rich Meals for Babies and Toddlers”