Meatloaf for Two
Meatloaf has a reputation as being a meal to serve to armies.
It works just as well for two!
Serves: 2 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: 40 mins
Meatloaf for Two
Meatloaf is thought of as a family meal. It’s an easy dish to prepare for a tableful of people without reducing the cook to a gibbering wreck and it’s usually greeted with enthusiasm rather than being sniffed at and pushed away disinterestedly. But despite its family-sized nature, meatloaf can be made in smaller portions, too. A one-pound meatloaf, as opposed to a two-pound meatloaf, is the perfect size for two hungry people with enough left over for sandwiches the next day.
Meatloaf also has the advantage of being a great meal for two people who work, but who still want to eat home-prepared food. It will take you about ten minutes to mix together the ingredients for your meatloaf before you slide it into the oven to cook. A meatloaf of this size will take about 40 minutes to cook. While the meatloaf is cooking, prepare the sauce, the starch, and the vegetables. There isn’t a great deal of washing up, either!
Meatloaf has the advantage of being a great meal for two people who work, but who still want to eat home-prepared food.
Because I serve this meatloaf with tomato sauce, rice makes a better accompaniment to it than mashed potatoes. However, if you favour mashed potatoes with your meatloaf, please don’t feel constrained by my preferences and go right ahead.
Although the ingredients’ list for this meatloaf lists ground steak as the meat to use, don’t feel that you must use beef for this meatloaf. The important thing is to use the highest quality meat that you can afford. A mixture of beef and pork, or veal and pork, works very well. These particular flavours don’t marry successfully with lamb, but you could certainly give it a try with turkey mince.
If you would rather use basil and oregano in the meatloaf mixture, try it; it should work brilliantly. Just remember to switch out the thyme from the tomato sauce, too, and replace it with basil. You don’t want too many different flavours fighting with each other here.
Whichever meat and herbs you choose for your meatloaf, nothing is meant to be stressful about meatloaf. This is a tasty, easy mid-week supper.
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Here’s how to make this delicious meatloaf recipe
First, preheat your oven to 170º Celsius (340º Fahrenheit).
Next, mince or finely chop the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. If you’re deft with a knife, this will take you no more than a few minutes, but you can always get out the food processor if you prefer.
As an aside, you’ll see chopped onion, carrot, and celery used as a base for cooking so many things. Its ubiquity means that it even has a name: mirepoix.
Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and then fry off the onion, garlic, celery, carrot until the onion is translucent and the carrot is tender. It doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through, but it does need a helping hand before going in the oven.
While the mirepoix is cooking, you can toast the two slices of bread lightly before crumbling them in the food processor to make breadcrumbs. You could of course use bought breadcrumbs, but this is an economical way to use up the ends of a loaf. I tend to keep an airtight container of breadcrumbs made from slightly stale bread and the ends of loaves in my pantry, too. They’re useful not just for bulking out meatloaf, but for frying fish, too.
When the mirepoix is tender and you have breadcrumbs, combine them with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. It is advisable to use your hands for this. You shouldn’t get too mucky and it does ensure a more even mix than if you were to use a spoon or other implement.
Tip the meat mixture into a greased 1 pound loaf tin and place it in the oven for about 40 minutes. When the meatloaf is cooked, it will begin to pull away from the edges of the tin and be browned on top.
As soon as the meatloaf has gone into the oven, you can begin on the tomato sauce.
Chop the other half of the onion that went into the meatloaf–it doesn’t need to be as fine this time–together with a clove of garlic.
Fry them off with a splash of oil until the onion is tender, so about five minutes.
Tip in the can of tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, the herbs, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Stir everything well and let the sauce bubble on a low flame for at least 20 minutes. You can keep it cooking right up until you’re ready to serve the meatloaf. Just make sure you add some water every now and again to prevent the sauce from becoming too concentrated.
When the meatloaf is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to stand in its tin for 10 or so minutes so that it can settle. Turn it out onto a plate to serve. You can either pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf, or serve it along-side.
I dish this up with rice and a green vegetable and usually wash it down with a glass of red wine.
- 400g ground steak
- 2 slices bread
- Half a medium-sized onion (use the other half for the tomato sauce)
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1 rib of celery
- 1 small carrot
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- Half a teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- A splash of oil
For the sauce:
- The other half of the medium onion
- Another small clove of garlic
- A can of chopped tomatoes
- A sprinkling each of thyme and oregano
- A dash of balsamic vinegar
- Half a teaspoon of brown sugar
- A splash of oil
- Salt and pepper
You will need:
- A large mixing bowl and a one-pound loaf tin
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Who’s Cooking Today
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.
Forq Test Kitchen: Meatloaf Recipes
The full FORQ meatloaf recipe archive, straight from our FORQ Enthusiasts.
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