It has been years and years since I last made a meatloaf but this recipe caught my eye and it was well-worth making especially as it is gluten-free and the grated carrots and onion give it a nutritional boost. It would serve at least six hungry people but better still, it freezes well and reheats beautifully wrapped in foil without drying out (I froze my leftover meatloaf in slices).
The recipe is loosely adapted from one from Wholefoods Market but I adjusted it slightly by using wholegrain mustard instead of Dijon, and using a tube of tomato paste instead of a can of tomato sauce. As I didn’t have any rice crackers at the time, I crushed some rice cakes and used these crumbs and they worked perfectly. This recipe could also be changed slightly by the addition of fresh herbs, garlic etc. but it was delicious and moist as it was.
I had some left-over tomato salsa in the fridge (chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, mint) and this complimented the dish beautifully. I served the meatloaf with noodles made from carrot, courgette and sweet potato which I very quickly sautéed in a drop of olive oil. As a last minute thought, I sprinkled the noodles with a heaped teaspoon of my frozen lemon ‘granules‘ and WOW, did that bring the flavour out. Another excellent use for the granules.
Oil for greasing loaf pan
2 lbs extra-lean minced beef
½ cup rice cracker crumbs or from rice cakes.
1 onion, ½ chopped, ½ thinly sliced
1 cup grated carrots
1 egg, lightly beaten
Approximately 2/3 tube of tomato paste
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9” loaf tin with your preferred oil.
In a large bowl, combine beef, cracker crumbs, chopped onion, carrots, egg, ¼ tube of tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well and pack into prepared loaf tin.
Coat the meatloaf with the remaining tomato paste and scatter the sliced onion over the top.
Place the loaf tin on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning out and slicing.
When using up the left-over slices of meatloaf, I made up a delicious hot tomato sauce to accompany it, and the two went so well together – a match made in heaven!
Note: When using minced beef, always buy the best you can get. My local butcher confirms that his best lean mince has UNDER 5% of fat. Supermarket basic mince can have a staggering 20% fat content but they also sell one with 10% and 5% fat content priced accordingly.
NB: All the photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared myself.