Meatloaf Topped With Mashed Potato

Your classic meatloaf recipe meets Cottage Pie. Enough said.

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Serves: 6 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: 55 mins

Straight from the Forq Kitchen!
by Daniela Bowker


Meatloaf Topped With Mashed Potato

Forq loves Shepherd’s Pie. And we love meatloaf. We believed in one meatloaf recipe that would pull them both together.

This meatloaf recipe was developed in homage to the great British staple of cottage pie and shepherd’s pie (both largely the same recipes. Cottage pie uses beef while Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb). The real difference between a classic cottage pie recipe and this meatloaf recipe, other than its obvious overall final form, is that a Cottage or Shepherd’s pie is a thrifty mid-week meal made using leftover meat pieces from your Sunday roast (the great English tradition), while a good meatloaf recipe depends on fresh-ground steak or minced lamb. A meatloaf doesn’t traditionally emerge from leftovers, but it does create them…

If you’ve never encountered cottage or shepherd’s pie before now, it’s probably time to rectify that. Every English family will have their own variation on the recipe, but the principle is the same. Take leftover roast beef (for cottage pie) or lamb (for shepherd’s pie), shred it, douse it in gravy, add vegetables or even a can of baked beans, top it with mashed potato, and bake it for 25 minutes or until the potato has browned and the meat is bubbling. It’s simple, it’s tasty, it’s economical, and I cannot remember seeing anyone turn up their nose at it.

Hey, it’s what recipes are for–and Forq, come to think of it–so you can map your culinary journey and share the experience generously!

Having defined the core essential difference between meatloaf and cottage pie, it is true that plenty of people make their cottage and shepherd’s pies with fresh-minced meat as opposed to leftover roast. If you do that, it’s definitely worth sharing your recipe here on Forq. There’s absolutely no right or wrong way to cook this dish, I just happen to associate cottage pie with leftovers. But, in the spirit of innovation and since we are all continually innovating on the classic of shepherds pie anyway, why not try a Forq-inspired mashed potato-topped meatloaf as compromise between the two? I’m thinking of it as the same flavors and, really, the same spirit, just assembled for slightly different national audiences–but who lets that hold them back anymore, anyway? ‘Weeknight simple’ should take as many different and unusual forms as it possibly can to keep your dinner partners engaged and delighted.

The process for cooking this meatloaf recipe is the same whether you opt for beef or lamb, but I’ve suggested slightly different flavourings depending—although both quite gutsy–=—to complement the different meats. Choose whichever you prefer.

I can’t remember where I saw the idea for the baked onion relish first, but I knew that I would have to try it. It works perfectly with this meatloaf recipe. It’s not a gravy by any stretch of the imagination, but it provides just enough sauciness so that you don’t need to prepare a gravy to go with your meatloaf here. I’m now intent on relentless fiddling with the concept to see what variations I can dream up. Hey, it’s what recipes are for–and Forq, come to think of it–so you can map your culinary journey and share the experience generously!

Let’s get on with this meatloaf.

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Directions

Here’s how to make this delicious meatloaf recipe:

Begin by frying off the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery until it is tender. This should take about five minutes on a slow-medium flame. Then tip in the frozen peas and allow them to defrost on the heat. This should take no more than five minutes.

Meatloaf Mashed Potato

Meatloaf Mashed Potato

Frying the ingredients

Transfer this hot mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool a little.

Meanwhile, take your crisped rice cereal and using either a food processor, which seems a bit like overkill for such a small quantity, or a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, crush the cereal until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have or don’t wish to use cereal here, you can substitute normal breadcrumbs. You’ll need about 60g, or two ounces.

Crushing the cereal

Crushing the cereal

Crushing the cereal

When the vegetable mixture has cooled enough so that you can comfortably handle it and it won’t scramble the egg when you crack it into the bowl, combine the rest of the meatloaf ingredients to form a cogent mass. It’s by far easiest to use your hands to do this.

Take a loaf tin, line it with foil and grease it with a little oil. Tip the meatloaf mixture into the tin, press down to make a loaf shape, and refrigerate it for at least two hours, or overnight, to help it keep its shape.

When you’re ready to cook your meatloaf, heat your oven to 180º Celsius and select an oven dish with steep sides that’s sufficiently large to hold your meatloaf. Turn out your meatloaf into the dish and peel off the foil.

Scatter the finely sliced onions around the meatloaf, douse with three or four tablespoons of water, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, boil and mash your potatoes to your liking. For anyone who’s been searching for a smooth and creamy non-dairy mash: the secret is a mixture of fats and a splash of stock. Use a good dollop of non-dairy spread, a drizzle of olive oil, and either vegetable or a weak chicken stock in place of the milk. Don’t forget to season your mash with salt and pepper and I like to add a generous teaspoon of horseradish sauce, too.

When the meatloaf has been in the oven for 25 minutes, remove it and top it with the mashed potatoes. You can add a handful of grated cheese, too, if you fancy. Don’t forget to give your onions a stir at the same time. Return the dish to the oven and allow it to cook for a further 20 minutes, until the mashed potatoes have formed a golden crust and the onions are meltingly tender.

Seeing as this is a meatloaf variant of a cottage pie (or a shepherd’s pie, if you used lamb), I have an overwhelming desire to serve it with baked beans, but whatever vegetables you like will be perfect.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 125g (4oz) frozen peas
  • 500g (1lb) ground steak or minced lamb
  • 30g (1oz) crushed crisped rice cereal (think Rice Krispies)
  • 1-and-half tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley if using beef or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary if using lamb
  • 1 teaspoon mustard for beef or half a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of cumin with lamb
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of oil for frying
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large potatoes
  • Whatever you use for mashing: butter and milk, or non-dairy spread and some stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of horseradish sauce or mustard (optional)

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Who’s Cooking Today

Daniela Bowker

Daniela Bowker allegedly lives in the UK and supposedly writes for a living. She definitely travels and eats food for fun. She’s tried a sweet bean stew in a backstreet eatery Hong Kong, pad thai on a street corner in Bangkok, and had meroavi Yerushelami at the market in Jerusalem, not to mention reindeer in Norway, caponata in Sicily, and tagine in Morocco.

She often manages to work food analogies into her everyday writing, so do be on the look out for likening self­portraits to lasagne and multiplicitous images to cakes over on Photocritic. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram, and on Flickr, too.

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