Italian Meatloaf

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I had an absolutely, wonderful time with my friend. We spent hours laughing, talking and eating. It was so good to see her friendly face after almost a year. But like all good things, it came to an end. I do believe that’s it for this summer. I don’t think anyone else has plans to visit me, except maybe my father. Next month marks the start of the Islamic holy month of fasting and since it’s quite a hectic month, everyone prefers to spend Ramadan at home. I am looking forward to fasting. It’s a nice break from the constant eating that I do and a purifying time for the stomach and soul.

I have mentioned many a time, how much I detest frying. I love to eat fried food so it’s probably a good thing I do! However, come Ramadan, I always seem to be frying. Ramadan has the reputation of having some of the most fun foods to eat. I don’t want to dwell too much on all the foods right now, but suffice to say, I hope to share some of these tantalisingly, tasty, treats with you.

Another bit of exciting news, well for me at least, is my brand new website. I finally decided, with much encouragement from my nephew, to get my own domain. I hope to continue posting regularly on my blog but please bear with me while I organise and rearrange my site…over and over again. I never knew designing a site was so difficult. My old Blogger site will contain a link to direct you here but please go ahead and update your links. Also, I will slowly import all my old posts to my new site; I am just trying to figure out the best way. Thank you again for your support and for reading my ravings.

Today’s recipe is one that a cousin of mine requested. Mona, my cousin, lives in New Jersey with her husband and three very cute children. She wanted a recipe for a meatloaf. I had to laugh when she asked, because that is one thing I just don’t make very often. I guess my husband has some bad meatloaf memories from his childhood and he prefers not to have to deal with them on a regular basis. He did like mine though so I did breathe a sigh of relief.

Meatloaf is one of those things that opens itself to many flavours and additions. You can make it from any cuisine by changing up the spices and herbs. The one I made last week was Italian inspired. It’s probably my favourite rendition. So, my recipe is a general guideline, feel free to shake things up a bit if you like. The addition of the eggs is not mandatory but they add such a nice flavour and creaminess to the meatloaf, not to mention the surprise one gets from cutting into the loaf and finding those golden, hued yolks.

 

Italian Meatloaf

2lbs/1kg ground/minced beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

parsley, a good handful, chopped fine

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

2 slices of white bread, torn into pieces

1 cup/236ml half and half preferably (or use milk)

1 egg, beaten

4 boiled eggs (optional)

SAUCE:

28oz/828ml tin tomato sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup/118ml white vinegar  

Preheat oven to 375 deg F/190 deg C 

Grease a large casserole or Pyrex dish

Soak the bread in the half and half, mix until it is paste-like.

In a large bowl mix together the minced beef, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley and the seasonings.

(I use a food processor to chop up the onions, parsley and garlic together and then mix into the meat.)

Add the soaked bread paste and the egg and mix through.

Don’t over mix or mix too hard, a gentle, but thorough mixing.

Divide the meat dough into two pieces

Take one piece of the meat dough and place onto the prepared pan

and flatten out into a loaf shape.  

Lay the 4 boiled eggs across the top of the meat.  Take the other half and cover the eggs completely.

Shape the meatloaf into a long, rounded loaf shape.  

Place in the oven for 30 minutes or till the top is nicely browned.

While the meatloaf is baking, make the sauce.

In a saucepan, add the tin of tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar.

Bring up to heat and simmer till slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Taste for sugar and vinegar. The sauce should have a sweet tart flavour. Add more sugar or vinegar to taste. Keep aside.

Pour about a cup of sauce over the top and place in the oven again.

After 15 minutes, take out the pan and pour another cup of sauce over the top and place back in the oven.

Bake another 15 minutes and take out of the oven.

 

The meatloaf should be firm to the touch and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, should be 170 deg F or 77 deg C.

Let the meatloaf sit for a few minutes before slicing.

Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles and a green vegetable and the extra sauce.

The mashed potatoes and broccoli were perfect with the meatloaf. Everyone at home enjoyed it and the left overs reheated nicely. Maybe I’ll make this on a regular basis now, maybe.

Tell me what’s your favourite meatloaf recipe?

 As always, thank you for reading and have a great week.