Meatloaf is about as pedestrian as it gets. It brings to mind images of boring British roasts or cheap American diners. My mother has a Woman’s Weekly cookbook from the 60′s and I’m willing to bet there are several meatloaf recipes in there. It’s just not something you generally see in the glossy pages of modern cookbooks or magazines. But you know what? I happen to like the humble meatloaf. It’s warm, homely and comforting. And that’s good enough for me.
The recipe I use is from a family cookbook compiled by kindergarten mums in the small country town of Ceduna, South Australia where I grew up. The meatloaf itself is pretty standard, but the magic is in the barbecue sauce that it’s cooked in. It has a surprising depth of flavours and it keeps the meat deliciously moist. Seriously, it’s good.
But you’re more interested in the potato, aren’t you. Well me too. It’s called a hasselback potato, and I first came across the idea for these amazing things right here. They’re the Swedish version of a baked potato and are only slightly more difficult to make. The concept is simple; thin cuts along the potato (but not all the way through) cause it to fan out when baked so that the edges are crispy but the centre remains soft. I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen these before or thought of doing it myself. I stuffed a tiny slice of garlic into each cut and sprinkled some paprika over the top to give them a bit more flavour. I love the rustic elegance of these potatoes and the contrast of crunchy and soft. They are so good – I insist you try them.
The carrots were roasted whole and unpeeled with a simple red wine vinegar glaze. It was an experiment, but they turned out beautifully, far exceeding my expectations. I will make carrots like this again for sure. The beans were simply sauteed with garlic and lemon juice like I usually do. Altogether it was a really enjoyable meal.