The inspiration for this, as many other culinary efforts, came out of the 15-year-old's statement that "not that boring food again", as if we eat the same thing every week. This time it was the good old frikkadel (meatball) that came under attack. So, we had the mince and the intent to use it, but had to come up with a plan B – and quickly.
Once again, Jamie came to the rescue. I happened on this recipe and it intrigued me. The reason it interested me was the double whammy of delicious mince recipe with sauce and veggies to boot.
And it was absolutely delicious. Even the 15-year-old experienced pallet agreed – this was the bee's knees!
© Recipe Credit: Jamie Oliver, all rights reserved.
2 medium onions
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
12 plain crackers, such as water crackers
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
1kg beef mince
2 cloves of garlic
½ – 1 fresh chile, to your taste (leave out if you don’t like a little spiciness)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 x 400g can of chick peas, drained
2 x 400ml cans of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (dried is fine, if that’s all you’ve got)
6-8 slices of bacon
To make your meatloaf
Preheat the oven to full whack.
Peel and finely chop one of the onions—don’t worry about technique, just chop away until fine. Place in a large frying pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the ground cumin and coriander. Fry and stir ever 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden, then put into a large bowl to cool.
Wrap the crackers in a kitchen towel and smash until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands. Add to the other bowl of cooled onions with oregano, mustard and ground beef. Crack in the egg, and add another good pinch of salt and pepper.
With clean hands, scrunch and mix up well. Move the meat mixture to a board, then pat and mold into a large football shape. Rub it with a little oil. You can either cook it straight away or put it on a plate, cover and place in the refrigerator until needed.
Place the meatloaf in a Dutch oven-type pan or baking dish, put into the preheated oven, and turn down the temperature immediately to 200 degrees celsius. Bake for a half an hour.
Peel the other onion and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Peel and slice the garlic. Finely slice the red chile. Place the onion, garlic and chile in a large pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil, the paprika, and a pinch of the salt and pepper.
Cook for around 7 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until softened and lightly golden. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chick peas, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and let it slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and put them into a little bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour all the fat from the pan over the rosemary leaves and mix up well.
Spoon your sauce around the meatloaf. Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and sauce. Scatter over the rosemary leaves.
Put the pan back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon turns golden and the sauce is bubbling and delicious. Serve with a mashed potato and steamed veg and some wedges of lemon for squeezing over—this will add a nice sharp twang.