This recipe is by no means healthy or adequate for people on a diet! However, it’s so incredibly tasty and comforting, you won’t care about the diet when it comes to eating this! I first began making meatloaf years and years ago and have changed and perfected my recipes over the years based on my own personal taste.
I like to add cheese to my meatloaf as I think it amplifies the flavour and makes for a really heart-warming meal. Depending on what mood I’m in, I’ll add melty cheese like Cheddar and Mozzarella, or strong flavoured cheese like Feta which goes incredibly well with these flavours. The same applies to the meat, I normally use either lamb or beef mince. The lamb goes better with the feta, while the beef goes better with the melty cheeses. Below is a recipe for Beef meatloaf with cheddar cheese, but the ingredients can be swapped as explained.
What you’ll need:
- 750 gr of minced meat (I like lamb or beef)
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Garlic (either 1 large clove of fresh chopped garlic or 1 tablespoon of garlic powder)
- Dried oregano: 1 tbsp.
- BBQ sauce: 1 tbsp. (plus more for topping)
- Ketchup: 1 tbsp.
- Mustard: 1 tsp.
- 200gr Cheese (either grated melty cheese like cheddar/ mozzarella, or crumbled feta)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. You don’t want the heat to be too high or you’ll burn the top of your meatloaf. So use your instinct as every oven is different.
I use a silicone loaf pan so I don’t need to spray it with non-stick spray, but if you’re using a metal one, make sure to spray it generously so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan.
Place your meat in a large bowl, add the seasoning first. Start with salt and pepper, followed by your dried oregano, ketchup, barbeque sauce and mustard. Then add the beaten egg and start mixing. I use my hands to mix because it’s so much easier and you can make sure the ingredients are really combined, without placing too much pressure on the meat.
At this stage you’ll have a really ‘wet’ mixture, so go in with the breadcrumbs. Combine everything carefully but try not to squeeze the meat too much, which will make it tougher after cooking. Instead just gently fold in with your hands, making sure to keep the meat fluffy with plenty of air pockets.
If you’re making the feta version of the meatloaf, then add in the feta at this stage and mix it in. then it’s ready to go in the oven. If you’re making the melty cheese version then keep reading!
Divide the mixture in half and place half into your loaf pan. Make sure the mixture is evenly spread across the pan and flatten the top; but don’t press to hard.
Now add your cheese to the top of the mixture. Make sure you don’t have any cheese falling off the sides, as this will burn in the oven.
Spread the other half of the meat on top of the cheese layer and carefully seal the edges. Make sure the edges are sealed tightly and no cheese is poking through. Again, I like to use my hands so I can really spread the mixture evenly without applying too much pressure. But if you’re squeamish then you can just use a spatula.
Squirt some of the BBQ sauce over the meatloaf and spread it out with a spoon or spatula. Alternatively, you can use Ketchup for this but I prefer the smoky taste of BBQ sauce.
Bake in the oven uncovered for about an hour. After about 40 minutes, there will be a lot of juices flowing from the meat, so carefully tip the juices out. This prevents your meatloaf from being too soggy, which will make it difficult to cut.
After about an hour you should have a lovely looking meatloaf. If you’ve emptied the juices, then it’ll be crispy on the outside, yet lovey and juicy on the inside, just like a good meatloaf should be!
Leave it to cool for about 10 minutes and then slice is up and enjoy! I love eating this with creamy mashed potatoes or a healthy vegetable rice with a side salad.
If you have any leftovers, then a slice of meatloaf goes great on a sandwich, simply spread some barbeque sauce on a thick ciabatta slice, add some lettuce leaves and enjoy a yummy meatloaf salad for lunch the next day!