Posts tagged meat

Whaddya call this darl?

This recipe has been rolling around the VS kitchen for a couple of years, getting made regularly and eaten with gusto, every time. It is of course, a MEATLOAF, that daggiest of daggy old recipes, so derided and laughed at. Poor little meatloaf, it doesn’t deserve the slagging. I’m here to sing it’s praises and remind everyone of why it became so ubiquitous in the first place…

  • The recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare, then an hour to cook, giving you crucial multitasking time to wash kids, make lunches, sneak a wine or do whatever else needs doing before serving up a delicious dinner.
  • The cooked meatloaf keeps super well in the fridge for 3-4 days and it actually gets yummier as it sits. Make it on a Sunday, eat it Monday night, then use leftovers for sandwiches, toasties or inside baked potatoes as the week goes on. It’s the meal that keeps on giving.

A few times I’ve tried to photograph it, but meatloaf falls into the category of ‘impossible-to-photograph-in-a-way-that-looks-yum’, especially these days. Working five days a week means that my good camera is dusty and everything is snapped on the iphone, moments before it gets gobbled. So forgive the poor visuals, I assure you that this is a neat little recipe, that will slot perfectly into your rotation of family-favourites.


Italian-ish meatloaf

1kg beef mince
2 slices bread (any kind)
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp Italian herbs
1 zucchini
1 onion
1 egg (lightly beaten)
400g can crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp apple cidar vinegar

A mini food processor makes this recipe super quick & easy to prep!

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease/line a loaf tin.

Add the mince to a big mixing bowl. Place the bread (tear it up a little), garlic and herbs to the food processor to blitz into breadcrumbs. Add to the bowl. Blitz the zucchini and add to the bowl, repeat with the onion. Tip in the egg and 1/2 cup of the tomatoes. Season well.

You need to combine everything really well. A spoon works, but hands are best. Use kitchen gloves if you’re squeamish. Pack the mixture firmly into the prepared dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and vinegar, then add the rest of the tomatoes. Pour over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Leave to sit for 15 minutes, drain off excess liquid.

Serve with mash, or pasta, and more vegies – we like broccolini, carrots and peas.

Serves 2 adults & 4 kids.


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A sniff of delicious things to come?

If you’re in a climate similar to mine, then you may also have noticed the exciting development of magnolia trees coming into flower. For me, they are the first flowers of hope.

I seriously struggle through early winter and as I’ve had numb feet for over 2 months now, I can’t tell you how excited I get by the sight of these trees in bloom. They mark the turning point don’t they? They come first, then there’s blossoms everywhere – jasmine flowers, daffodils and before we know it we’ve made it through yet another winter.

Vegie Smugglers chilli with no chilli recipe

Just time left for one last winter warmer!

But, in truth, there’s still a way to go yet, so while the cold weather lingers, let’s scent the air indoors with this fantastic chilli con carne. It’s an awesome slow cook that fills the air with yumminess. This version doesn’t actually have any ‘hot’ ingredients in it that might offend the kids, but the flavor is so delicious and enticing. And it’s another flexible dish, with a stacks of goodness hidden in the stew, then topped off with ingredients to tempt each individual (including chopped chilli on the adult’s servings).

The corn chips are another magic lure ingredient. I just crumble up one or two chips for each kid and they go a really long way. It’s a fun concession that helps the whole dish get gobbled up.

Chilli (with no chilli)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 kg chuck steak, trimmed, cut into 2–3cm cubes
20g butter
2 onions, diced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp cumin powder
800g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
¼ cup red wine
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
2 tsp sugar
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 green capsicum, seeded, finely diced

To serve:
Finely diced avocado
Finely diced tomato
Grated cheddar cheese
Corn chips
Chopped fresh or dried chilli

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Use paper towel to pat any moisture off the meat. Add the butter to the pan and when foaming, add the meat. Don’t overcrowd the pan; usually you will need to do this in two batches. Turn the meat and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil, if needed, and cook the onion and carrot for a couple of minutes over medium heat until softening. Add the garlic and cumin and stir for 30 seconds then add the tomatoes, stock, wine, herbs and sugar. Return the meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat right down. Cover and cook for 1½ hours, stirring every half hour or so.
Remove the lid, taste and season with salt and black pepper, then add the kidney beans and capsicum and simmer uncovered for another half hour. It will be cooked now, but if you have time, leave on a really gentle simmer for up to 3 hours.

Serve with avocado, tomato, cheddar and broken corn chips. Slices of sourdough are also delicious.



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