MEATLOAF IN SMOKY BARBECUE SAUCE
Take the stress out of weeknight dinners by letting a well-stocked pantry, fridge and freezer do the work for you. Justine Schofield shows you how, with more than 100 simple meals based on everyday staples.
I love to make traditional home-style American meatloaf, because most of the ingredients are staples I have in my fridge and pantry – and you probably do, too. I’ve tested a few different versions over the years, but this one is by far my top pick: it perfectly balances the smokiness from the bacon (which also protects the meat while it’s cooking, keeping it super moist) with the sticky sweet and sour sauce. This meatloaf is best served with a simple slaw and/or baked potatoes. And leftovers are fantastic, particularly as a sandwich filler.
SERVES 4 | PREP 15 minutes | COOK 1 hour | SUITABLE TO FREEZE
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 150 ml apple cider vinegar
- 200 ml hoisin sauce
- 200 g tomato passata
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 500 g beef mince
- salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 50 g cheddar, coarsely grated
- 1 egg
- 2 handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
- 8 streaky bacon rashers
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a tray with baking paper and brush with a little oil.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook for 4–5 minutes to soften. Remove from the heat, place in a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, wipe the pan clean and add the vinegar, hoisin sauce, tomato passata and Chinese five spice. Pour in 125 ml (½ cup) of water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5–10 minutes until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid.
- Place the mince in the bowl with the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper and add the dried oregano, cheese, egg, breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Using your hands, mix everything together. Shape into a log about 20 cm long and brush with a little sauce. Lay the bacon down on the baking tray with the slices overlapping. Top with the log of meat, then wrap the bacon around to enclose the meat. Flip over and place, seam-side down, on the tray. Brush the meatloaf with more sauce and bake for 40–45 minutes until cooked through, basting every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then baste with more sauce.
- Reheat the remaining sauce and serve alongside the meatloaf.
SELF-SAUCING CHOCOLATE PUDDING WITH BURNT MERINGUE CRUST
This is a real chocolate lover’s dream: a gooey, molten lava-like centre and a crunchy crust topped with a marshmallow cloud crown. Need I say more?
SERVES 6 | PREP 20 minutes | COOK 35 minutes
- 200 g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 200 g dark chocolate (70% cacao),
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 80 g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 50 g (1/3 cup) self-raising flour
- pinch of salt flakes
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 250 ml (1 cup) just-boiled water
- Burnt Meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 230 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 1.5 litre baking dish with butter.
- Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of just-simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water), stirring occasionally with a metal spoon until melted and smooth. Cool for 10 minutes. Keep the simmering water for the burnt meringue.
- Place the eggs, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl and lightly whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add to the melted chocolate mixture and stir with a metal spoon to combine. Add the flour, salt and 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa and whisk to a smooth batter. Pour into the prepared dish.
- Combine the remaining cocoa powder and sugar and scatter evenly over the pudding batter, then carefully pour over the boiling water. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the pudding is slightly firm on top and gooey in the centre.
- Meanwhile, for the burnt meringue, place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer and set over the saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly for 8–10 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes thick and glossy. (The temperature of the meringue should reach 72°C on a sugar thermometer.) Now, using your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the meringue on high speed for 10 minutes until stiff, glossy and cooled.
- Spoon dollops of the meringue over the pudding, swirl with the back of a spoon and use a blowtorch to caramelise. Serve immediately.