Barbecue Meatloaf

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.

Barbecue Meatloaf

This makes 1 very large meatloaf or two smaller ones. I usually make a full batch and freeze half for later. A half-sized meatloaf will feed 3-4 with sides.


  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use about 2 slices of stale bread, processed to crumbs)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt & pepper

Barbecue Sauce:

*makes enough for a full-sized meatloaf

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 30g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine all ingredients for meatloaf in a bowl by hand. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Form into 1 or 2 loaves. If freezing one, simply wrap in clingwrap (defrost in fridge). Place into an oiled loaf tin or baking dish with high sides.

Bake for 30 minutes, or 20 minutes for a half-loaf.

Pour over sauce. Continue baking for 40 minutes, or 20 minutes for half-loaf. Occasionally baste the top of the meatloaf with sauce to prevent drying out.

Cut into slices and serve with a generous scoop of sauce.

Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

Waxy, evenly sized, tapered potatoes work well for this, but any should do. 

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil

Peel your potatoes if you must, but it really isn’t necessary.

Starting from one end, slice each potato at 3-4mm intervals with a sharp knife. There are a couple of methods for making this process easier if you’re not exactly a sushi chef.

  1. Place the potato in a wooden spoon to control the depth of your cuts. As long as the spoon is deep enough it will prevent the knife from cutting all the way through.
  2. Pace the potato between two thin chopping boards, much like the spoon idea.
  3. Cut a slice off the bottom of the potato to make it sit flat, which makes it easier to cut.

Slice your garlic paper thin and stuff a piece into each cut, or every second one if you can’t be bothered. Sprinkle with a little salt and paprika, and drizzle with olive oil. You could skip the oil and use butter instead if preferred.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 180C.

Red Wine-Vinegar Glazed Carrots

Choose evenly sized carrots for this. Smaller ones are best but any will do. 

  • Carrots
  • Red wine vinegar (or red wine mixed with vinegar, such as balsamic)
  • Brown sugar
  • Olive oil

Cut tops off carrots. Arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar and a small amount of sugar. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C, turning occasionally, or until soft and wrinkled.

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is almost identical to the meatloaf recipe we use. I’d have to check, there may be mustard powder or somesuch in there, too.

    We make ours with half sausage mince/half beef mince. But yes, it’s the sauce that makes it.

    Unfortunately I have to go easy on it, at the moment: my constitution is in a somewhat delicate state, these days, and mince seems to be one of the things that upsets it.

    • I think mustard would be a nice addition whether the recipe calls for it or not, I’ll have to try this.

      I think this original recipe had sausage mince too, but that stuff freaks me out.

  2. I love meatloaf, but my wife has all but banned it from the house. She disdains meatloaf not just mine. But those potatoes. We’d both love those. Maybe I’ll make myself meatloaf the next time she has a business trip.

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