I was excited to try a Jamie Oliver recipe after watching his special on obesity in American cities. Thankfully, one of my fellow bloggers was kind enough to send this recipe to me from Jamie's Food Revolution. Since my hubby loves meatloaf and it is down right frigid in Southeastern Connecticut, I don't need more of an excuse to cook a meal of meatloaf smothered in bacon. With a filling sauce, I knew this could be a new family favorite during the long cold months. Maybe it'll become a favorite in your home.
I chopped the onion for my meatloaf and while it was sauteing I chopped the onion for the sauce, as well as the garlic.
Mmmm, bacon. Seriously, we love bacon in this house. I buy the thick cut bacon from BJ's, no idea the brand name. It doesn't last long enough to matter.
Okay, what could be wrong with a bacon covered meatloaf. That's right, nothing. Absolutely nothing. I will either make sure I have regular bacon or add an extra couple of slices for the sauce next time. And there will definitely be a next time.
Your bacon may need to be flipped. Mine did.
Don't you wish you were at my house for dinner? Hubby absolutely loved it. The little one liked the garbanzo beans (go figure) and tasted the meat. I served it with red skin mashed potatoes. I can whip them up in 15 minutes now a days.
I will definitely be making this again. In fact, I loved the sauce so much I thinned it, added black beans, and bell pepper, then I poached my chicken breasts in it. I'm going to shred the chicken, toss it together with the sauce, and turn it into taco filling. Yum!
2 Med Onions
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 level tsp ground cumin (I added a little more)
1 heaped tsp ground coriander (I don't have any in my spice rack)
12 cream or plain crackers (I used Ritz honey wheat crackers since I had an open box in the pantry)
2 tsp dried oregano (Oops, I was out. Added a little cilantro instead)
2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
1lb good quality ground beef
1 lg egg, preferably free-range or organic
2 cloves of garlic
1/2-1 fresh red chile (I skipped the pepper. Knew kids wouldn't like. Added a little chili powder instead)
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 (14 oz) can diced tomato
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (Not a fan and don't have any in the house, so I used cider vinegar)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (I used dried)
12 slices smoked bacon, preferably free-range or organic (I only had) thick cut, so I used 4 slices)
1 lemon (Yeah, this did not make it on hubby's shopping list.)
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 until fine. Place in a large frying pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Add the ground cumin and coriander. Fry & stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened & lightly golden, then put into a large bowl to cool. Wrap the crackers in a kitchen towel & smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands. Add to the bowl of cooled onions with the oregano, mustard, & ground beef. Crack in the egg & add another good pinch of salt & pepper. With clean hands, scrunch & mix up well. Move the mixture to a board, then pat & mold it 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, & place in the refrigerator until needed. Place the meatloaf in a Dutch oven-type pan or baking dish, put it in the preheated oven, & turn down the temperature immediately to 400 degrees.
I cooked my onion in my brand new cast iron skillet. (Thank you Hubby) Since it had time to cool, I also cooked my meatloaf in it.
To make your meatloaf sauce
Peel the other onion & chop into 1/4" pieces. Peel & slice the garlic. Finely slice the red chile. Place the onion, garlic, & chile in a large pan on a medium high heat with 2 lugs of olive oil, the paprika, & pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for around 7 min, stirring every 30 sec until softened & lightly golden. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, & balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down & let it simmer for 10 min. Taste the sauce & season as needed.
To finish off and serve your meatloaf
Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks & put them in a little bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven & pour all the fat from the pan over the rosemary leaves & 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 into the oven for 10-15 min, until the bacon turns golden & the sauce is bubbling and delicious. Serve with a mixed leaf salad & some wedges of lemon for squeezing over - this will add a nice sharp twang.
The cast iron skillet was too heavy to drain the fat off. I spooned a little over the bacon before sprinkling the rosemary on top. I also felt it necessary to turn the temperature up to 425, and flip the bacon, but I was using the thick cut bacon and wanted it to get crispy. Next time I'll make sure I have the thin cut on hand.)