Here’s a classic family meal that most of us have made or eaten with hearty servings of mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. My meatloaf recipe has a slight tweak that has proven to be popular in my home and circle of friends. I layer the middle with a Mediterranean-style filling, which I feel really brightens up the meatloaf, plus as an added bonus, looks pretty when on the plate sliced. As is the case with most meatloaves, breadcrumbs are added to give it some structure. Having a constant supply of frozen gluten-free breadcrumbs makes this meatloaf easy to put together, but failing that, I sometimes gather up any gluten-free crackers from my cupboards, grind them and use these as a substitute.
For the meatloaf:
- 500g minced beef
- 75g store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 potato, grated
- 1 onion, white or red, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free barbecue sauce
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 150g feta cheese, crumbled
- A handful of fresh spinach or rocket/arugula leaves, shredded
- 15 green olives, whole
- 4 large slices of pickled red peppers (marinated red pimientos), sliced thinly*
*If pickled peppers are unavailable, substitute with fresh red peppers/capsicums. Slice thinly and pan-fry with a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and slightly charred. Cover with plastic film and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic and remove the skins, which should peel off easily from the steam created while resting.
For the tomato glazing sauce:
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Dash of Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
For the cauliflower potato mash:
- 8 to 10 potatoes, peeled
- ½ cauliflower head, broken into small floret pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 150-200ml milk
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and white pepper, to season
1. Preheat the oven at 180°C/350°F.
2. Grate the carrot, potato and onion.
3. Mince the garlic and chop the thyme leaves finely, if using fresh thyme.
4. Mix all the meatloaf ingredients in a medium bowl.
5. Once it is combined, massage the meat mixture with your hands for a few minutes.
6. Place half the mixture in a greased loaf dish.
7. Press down with the back of a spoon and lay the filling in the following order: red peppers.
8. Crumbled feta cheese and olives.
9. Fresh rocket or spinach leaves.
11. Mix all the tomato glazing sauce ingredients together.
12. Brush half the amount of the glazing sauce liberally over the top of the meatloaf.
13. Cover the meatloaf with foil and place the loaf dish in a deep tray.
14. Pour boiling water in the deep tray halfway up the loaf dish.
15. Bake covered for 25 minutes.
16. Remove the foil and brush the meatloaf with the remaining glazing sauce.
17. Bake for a further 20 minutes.
18. While the meatloaf is baking, prepare the cauliflower mash by first simmering the potatoes until semi-soft, then add the cauliflower to cook for the final 10 minutes. Drain and mash the potatoes and cauliflower using a potato masher. Add butter and milk until it becomes a creamy consistency. Season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper.
19. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to cool down for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. The meatloaf will still be very hot in the centre.
Cold meatloaf slices makes a perfect potluck dish, picnic addition or light lunch.