© David Loftus
A good meatloaf with freshly made tomato sauce is great comfort food. I think this also makes a tasty change from the British Sunday lunch and I flavor it and treat it as if I’m roasting a big joint of meat. I used to make this a lot for staff dinners at the restaurant. It’s made along similar lines to meatballs and burgers, and trust me – people love this just as much.
To make your meatloaf
Preheat the oven to full whack (475 degrees). Peel and finely chop one of the onions—don’t worry about technique, just chop away until fine. Place in a large frying pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the ground cumin and coriander. Fry and stir ever 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden, then put into a large bowl to cool. Wrap the crackers in a kitchen towel and smash until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands. Add to the other bowl of cooled onions with oregano, mustard and ground beef. Crack in the egg, and add another good pinch of salt and pepper. With clean hands, scrunch and mix up well. Move the meat mixture to a board, then pat and mold into a large football shape. Rub it with a little oil. You can either cook it straight away or put it on a plate, cover and place in the refrigerator until needed. Place the meatloaf in a Dutch oven-type pan or baking dish, put into the preheated oven, and turn down the temperature immediately to 400 degrees. Bake for a half an hour.
To make your meatloaf sauce
Peel the other onion and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Peel and slice the garlic. Finely slice the red chile. Place the onion, garlic and chile in a large pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil, the paprika, and a pinch of the salt and pepper. Cook for around 7 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until softened and lightly golden. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and let it slowly simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed.
To finish off and serve your meatloaf
Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and put them into a little bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour all the fat from the pan over the rosemary leaves and mix up well. Spoon your sauce around the meatloaf. Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and sauce. Scatter over the rosemary leaves. Put the pan back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon turns golden and the sauce is bubbling and delicious. Serve with a mixed leaf salad and some wedges of lemon for squeezing over—this will add a nice sharp twang.
This recipe is taken from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion). © Jamie Oliver, 2009
• 2 medium onions
• Olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 level teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
• 12 cream or plain crackers, such as Jacob’s
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 pound good-quality ground beef
• 1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
• 2 cloves of garlic
• ˝ - 1 fresh chile, to your taste
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, such as Lea & Perrins
• 1 x 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained
• 2 x14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 12 slices of smoked bacon, preferably free range or organic
• 1 lemon