As fellow Lois Daish fan Lucy Corry recently pointed out in her excellent ‘Three ways with…’ column in the Dominion Post, meatloaf is well overdue for a comeback “not least because a cold meatloaf and chutney sandwich is one of the world’s greatest culinary pleasures.” The joy of Lois’ baked meatloaf in tomato sauce is that you don’t even need the chutney; place slices of leftover meatloaf along with some of the tomato sauce between slices of fresh bread and you’ve got yourself a top rate sandwich.
As well as providing excellent leftovers, Lois’ meatloaf makes a lovely hearty dinner which could be served with some spinach, wilted in a pan and then tossed with extra virgin olive oil. Seeing as you’ve got the oven on already, you could easily bake a couple of Agria potatoes in their skins (scrubbed thoroughly and pricked with a fork) or roast some yams to go alongside.
Meatloaf baked in tomato sauce (adapted slightly from Lois Daish, Dinner at Home, p. 43)
2 free-range eggs
500g beef, lamb or a combination of beef and pork mince
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500gm fresh tomatoes or 2 x cans of tomatoes (if using canned tomatoes add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
couple of sprigs of fresh thyme (or if making in summer, use a handful of basil leaves)
pinch chilli flakes (optional)
salt and pepper
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Put the minced meat together with the breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, salt, and pepper into a large bowl and use your hands to evenly combine. Add the beaten eggs and mix it through. Shape the mixture into four or five small loaves or one large one. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the loaves all over. Carefully lift into a lidded casserole dish.
Make the tomato sauce by gently frying the onion and garlic together until softened. If using fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to blanch the tomatoes in hot water and peel off the skins. If using canned tomatoes, use a potato masher to break them up once you’ve added them to the onions and garlic along with a little sugar. Add the basil or thyme, chilli flakes, a little salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes before pouring the sauce over the meat loaves. Place the lid on the casserole and bake for 40 minutes, removing the lid after 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.