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Stuffed Lamb Meatloaf

Category

Here, we use the softest of the minced meats (lamb) and follow an Italian style method that uses breadcrumbs and eggs for a soft gentle finish. Stuffing it brings moisture from the inside too, so what you end up with is just a great big meatball really. The peppers add a wonderful sweet edge, and you can't have something that proclaims to be a giant meatball without a healthy dose of melting, stringy, mozzarella cheese. Sauce is absolutely essential, something tomatoey to complete the meatball analogy, and a fresh crisp salad keeps it all firmly in its place.

10 Minutes
Yields4 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 30 mins
 500 g Minced Lamb
 1 Onion - Sliced
 2 Garlic Cloves
 1 Egg - Beaten
 75 g Fresh White Breadcrumbs
 1 tbsp Flaked Sea Salt
 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
 30 g Freshly Grated Parmesan
 30 g Capers
 1 Red Pepper - Sliced
 1 Yellow Pepper - Sliced
 2 tbsp Olive Oil
 100 g Grated Mozzarella Cheese
 400 g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
 1 tbsp Salt
 2 tbsp Freshly Chopped Parsley
1

NOTE - let's begin with a few words on the wonder of breadcrumbs. Not toasted, oven dried breadcrumbs and certainly not those little orange nuggets of wheat that masquerade as breadcrumbs. No, what we mean is all of your leftover bread whizzed about in the food processor until it forms a soft crumb. Kept in a bag in the freezer, or even the fridge if you use them often enough, they are a very useful thing to have to hand. If you do not have a food processor then get one; it needn't be expensive. You don't need graters, mincers or slicers; just a basic chopping blade.

2

Preheat your oven to 190C/Gas 5.

3

Put the peppers, onions, and oil, with a bit of salt, in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and mellow but not completely cooked out of existence. Add the garlic, cook for a further few minutes and set aside to cool. They must be cool to use.

4

Put the lamb, crumb, salt, oregano, parmesan and capers into a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and mix the lot together with your hands. Ordinarily, we would say do not add egg to your meat mixtures. For years you will have been told that they help bind the ingredients together. This is utter nonsense. In this case however, we are allowing them to stay as the meatloaf goes into the oven and we wish it to remain moist. Breadcrumbs on the other hand are essential in any meat mixture, just so long as you do not use too many. They simply take the edge off and add a softness that meat alone cannot achieve.

5

Now you need a tin. Preferably a large loaf tin (it doesn't actually need to be made from metal). Failing that, a deep baking dish will suffice.

6

Depending on the size and shape of your tin, you want to layer about three-quarters of the meat mixture over the base, make an indent in the centre and push a little of the meat coming up the sides. Somewhere for the peppers and cheese to sit, without melting out of the sides.

7

Lay half of the cooled peppers into the indented trough that you have created, lay on the mozzarella. and then the rest of the peppers. Pat the remaining meat out into a lid shape and lay over the top, pushing it down to meet the other half. It doesn't matter hugely about being precise and watertight; in the grand scheme of things, it is only a meatloaf.

8

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. As it has no meat in the centre you shouldn't get any nasty raw surprises when cutting it open.

9

You can choose to make a simple tomato sauce, or use something out of a jar. If you go the jar route, choose something that looks reasonably authentic and is chunky but without many other flavourings. We aren't going to flavour ours, there is tons of flavour going on elsewhere and What we want is concentrated tomato flavour in the form of a sauce.

10

Put 1 tbsp of olive oil into a pan with the tinned tomatoes, salt and tomato puree. Add half a can of water and set it over medium heat. If you don't mind, then add a good glug more oil as it makes for a smooth silky sauce. Cook it down gently whilst the meatloaf cooks. This sauce is great with meatballs, with fresh coriander, but does not suit the purpose here.

11

Serve the meatloaf in big melting slices, with sauce draped over the top and a good helping of crunchy mixed salad. You can also serve it sliced cold the next day. In a sub; perhaps.

Ingredients

 500 g Minced Lamb
 1 Onion - Sliced
 2 Garlic Cloves
 1 Egg - Beaten
 75 g Fresh White Breadcrumbs
 1 tbsp Flaked Sea Salt
 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
 30 g Freshly Grated Parmesan
 30 g Capers
 1 Red Pepper - Sliced
 1 Yellow Pepper - Sliced
 2 tbsp Olive Oil
 100 g Grated Mozzarella Cheese
 400 g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
 1 tbsp Salt
 2 tbsp Freshly Chopped Parsley

Directions

1

NOTE - let's begin with a few words on the wonder of breadcrumbs. Not toasted, oven dried breadcrumbs and certainly not those little orange nuggets of wheat that masquerade as breadcrumbs. No, what we mean is all of your leftover bread whizzed about in the food processor until it forms a soft crumb. Kept in a bag in the freezer, or even the fridge if you use them often enough, they are a very useful thing to have to hand. If you do not have a food processor then get one; it needn't be expensive. You don't need graters, mincers or slicers; just a basic chopping blade.

2

Preheat your oven to 190C/Gas 5.

3

Put the peppers, onions, and oil, with a bit of salt, in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and mellow but not completely cooked out of existence. Add the garlic, cook for a further few minutes and set aside to cool. They must be cool to use.

4

Put the lamb, crumb, salt, oregano, parmesan and capers into a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and mix the lot together with your hands. Ordinarily, we would say do not add egg to your meat mixtures. For years you will have been told that they help bind the ingredients together. This is utter nonsense. In this case however, we are allowing them to stay as the meatloaf goes into the oven and we wish it to remain moist. Breadcrumbs on the other hand are essential in any meat mixture, just so long as you do not use too many. They simply take the edge off and add a softness that meat alone cannot achieve.

5

Now you need a tin. Preferably a large loaf tin (it doesn't actually need to be made from metal). Failing that, a deep baking dish will suffice.

6

Depending on the size and shape of your tin, you want to layer about three-quarters of the meat mixture over the base, make an indent in the centre and push a little of the meat coming up the sides. Somewhere for the peppers and cheese to sit, without melting out of the sides.

7

Lay half of the cooled peppers into the indented trough that you have created, lay on the mozzarella. and then the rest of the peppers. Pat the remaining meat out into a lid shape and lay over the top, pushing it down to meet the other half. It doesn't matter hugely about being precise and watertight; in the grand scheme of things, it is only a meatloaf.

8

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. As it has no meat in the centre you shouldn't get any nasty raw surprises when cutting it open.

9

You can choose to make a simple tomato sauce, or use something out of a jar. If you go the jar route, choose something that looks reasonably authentic and is chunky but without many other flavourings. We aren't going to flavour ours, there is tons of flavour going on elsewhere and What we want is concentrated tomato flavour in the form of a sauce.

10

Put 1 tbsp of olive oil into a pan with the tinned tomatoes, salt and tomato puree. Add half a can of water and set it over medium heat. If you don't mind, then add a good glug more oil as it makes for a smooth silky sauce. Cook it down gently whilst the meatloaf cooks. This sauce is great with meatballs, with fresh coriander, but does not suit the purpose here.

11

Serve the meatloaf in big melting slices, with sauce draped over the top and a good helping of crunchy mixed salad. You can also serve it sliced cold the next day. In a sub; perhaps.

Stuffed Lamb Meatloaf