I have written this post for the benefit of a fellow-blogger. We haven’t had room in our menu for meatloaf this winter – too busy trying to relive our travel dining experiences – but we always enjoy it when we do.
Good quality lamb mince produces a more elegant result than beef but there is nothing wrong with the latter. If using lamb, you could use black rather than white pepper. The cheese is not essential to the end result. For the gluten intolerant, replace the breadcrumbs with extra rice.
1/3 cup brown rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 kg lamb or beef topside mince
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
½ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
¼ tsp each of grated nutmeg and white pepper
1 bunch spinach leaves, wilted and drained of excess moisture
150g fresh mozzarella-style cheese, eg bocconcini, cut into small marbles or 1.5cm cubes
- Boil rice in plenty of salted water for 28 minutes; drain and set aside.
- Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, add carrot after 5 minutes and cook until soft. When slightly cooled, combine with mince in a large mixing bowl.
- Add rice, tomato paste, salt, bread crumbs, herbs, spices and egg to bowl and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 170C.
- Place half of the mince in your loaf tin (we use one made of silicon, so greasing is not required). Make a wide channel down the middle of the loaf, fill it with spinach, place mozzarella on top of spinach and cover with the rest of the mince.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes; when ready, a metal skewer will release clear juices. Rest briefly, then carve into slices. Serve with baked stuffed potatoes or boiled fresh chat potatoes.