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Its easy to get stuck in a rut and make the same meals over and over again for the family, so here is something new for you to try. A “blue plate” is the daily special menu item in an American-style diner, and meat loaf is usually a popular choice — it is certainly a favourite in my house. I like mine with a BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes, but you could also serve it with chips or rice. It is lovely and moist, quick and easy to prepare and really tasty. Sometimes it is good to have something you can prepare ahead for a family supper and you can make this the day before and keep it in the fridge covered until ready to cook. Enjoy.
Makes 6 to 8 portions
● 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
● 2 red onions, finely chopped
● 1 clove garlic, crushed
● 200ml (7fl oz) tomato ketchup
● 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
● 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
● 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
● 4 tbsp orange juice
● 85g (3oz, 4 slices, crusts removed) fresh white breadcrumbs
● 3 tbsp beef stock
● ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves or ¼ tsp dried
● 1 small carrot, grated (45g)
● ½ apple, peeled, cored and grated (75g)
● 450g (1lb) lean minced beef
● Salt and pepper to season
● Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4/Fan 160.
● Lightly grease a baking sheet.
● Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion for 6-8 minutes, until soft.
● Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then transfer half of the onion to a bowl and leave to cool. Add the ketchup, sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce and orange juice to the saucepan.
● Add the breadcrumbs and stock to the onion in the bowl and stir, then add the remaining ingredients and 3 tbsp of the sauce.
● Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix together then transfer to the baking sheet and form into a fat log approx. 20cm long (8 in) and 9 cm (4 in) wide.
● Bake the meatloaf for 30 minutes then brush with some of the sauce. Bake for a further 10 minutes then brush again and bake for 5 minutes.
● Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
● Meanwhile, heat the remaining sauce until boiling and bubble for 1 minute.
● Serve the meatloaf in slices with the BBQ sauce.
Annabel Karmel has written 19 books on feeding babies, children and families including the ‘Complete Family Meal Planner’. www.annabelkarmel.com