Thursday, September 22, 2011

meatloaf with lamb, mint and honey

I can't resist a second-hand bookshop, and when in Melbourne recently I happily picked up a copy of Belinda Jeffery's book Tried and True. Her books are hard to find in NZ, and always full of reliably delicious recipes.  These Middle Eastern-style meatloaves have been post-it marked from the first browse, and were rather fantastic. 

The sweet/sour topping of lemon juice, honey and crunchy almonds added at the final stages of cooking is inspired. It also goes without saying that it performs the miraculous task of aesthetically enhancing the finished meatloaf! I definitely suggest you make two as they are a bit of a fiddle prep-wise, so a double yield makes it thoroughly worth it. I can't wait to have leftovers tomorrow in a sandwich, and they would be a perfect addition to a picnic lunch. 

We ate the loaf with a hot mezze hummus recipe I have also been wanting to try (interesting and worth a try, but the high yoghurt content meant the texture cooked out a bit like an over-baked custard, I think I prefer hummus more sloppy...) The base hummus recipe was excellent though - I love yoghurt in hummus - and the crunchy, buttery topping of sesame seeds, sumac and almonds was delicious, so next time I make hummus I will make this to pour over.  We also ate an eggplant, feta and walnut tabbouleh, and a broad bean, asparagus and pea salad with herbs from the fabulous Black Dog Cottage book.

middle eastern lamb loaves with mint and honey - makes 2 large loaves

50 ml olive oil
3 large onions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tin diced tomatoes
3 tsp seasalt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 c diced dates
1/2 c tomato paste
1/2 c honey
1/3 c white wine vinegar
1/2 c parsley, finely chopped
1/2 c mint, finely shredded
1 kg lamb mince
2 c fresh breadcrumbs, lightly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten


2 tbsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 c chopped almonds
roughly chopped parsley  

Heat oil in a large heavy pan and cook onion, garlic and ginger until soft and pale gold.  Add tomatoes, salt, spices, dates, tom paste, honey and vinegar and increase heat; let the mix bubble away until it thickens.  Cool thoroughly.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Press into 2 x paper-lined loaf tins, and bake loaves at 180c for an hour.  Heat the topping ingredient together and pour over the meatloaves, bake a further 10-15 minutes until the nuts are golden.  Cool for at least 20 minutes,scatter with the chopped parsley before serving.

hot mezze hummus -  adapted from Scent of the Monsoon Winds by Michal Haines

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c olive oil
finely grated zest and juiceof 2 lemons
2 tbsp tahinin
200ml thick greek-style yoghurt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped*
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c chopped almonds or pinenuts
2 tsp sesame seeds
20g butter
1 tbsp ground sumac
evoo and lemon juice to serve

In a food processor puree the chickpeas with the yoghurt, garlic, spices, salt and pepper.  Spread into a shallow oven-proof dish.  Toast the nuts and seeds in a dry pan, add the butter to melt.  Add the sumac, then pour over the hummus.  Bale at 200c for 15 minutes.  Drizzle with evoo and squeeze over lemon juice to serve.

* I just noticed while typing that the original recipe had 4 cloves of roasted garlic, I will definitely try this next time


  1. i am so going to make that meatloaf, i love a good meatloaf but hot hummus, mmmmmm think i'll give that one a miss !!

  2. Just thought I'd say...AMAZING prunes for the posh porridge this morning. Still thinking about them!

    The hummus sounds wonderful too! Never thought to put yogurt in, must try that next time.

  3. I love the chopped almonds and mint in the meatloaf - I hardly ever make meatloaf but this is one I'd love to try!

  4. Yum - this meatloaf looks fantastic. I will have to try it when I get back to Perth. Hope Posh Porridge is going well.x


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