Deceptively easy to make and delicious

These are mouth-poppingly delicious and so easy to make. I love them hot or cold.

Hot they are good with a creamy mash and maybe a salad of bitter greens and, of course, the Red Wine Tomato sauce adds a vibrant piquancy.

Best of all though some soft buns between which to sandwich slices of cold meat loaf. Accompany this with an assortment of mustards, your favourite pickle, gherkins and olives.

At first glance, this may seem a lot of work. It isn't. All you do is chop very briefly, stir together some kitchen cupboard staples, combine everything in a large bowl, shape into little meat loaves and bake.

A bonus is that these little loaves can be assembled up to 24 hours ahead of time and then baked when required. The flavours have time to mix, mingle and mature a little. These uncooked meat loaves also freeze well. They can be wrapped individually in cling film and frozen until needed. Thaw in the fridge before cooking.

It isn't until you start mixing the ingredients together that you realise just how quick and almost effortless this is.


Photo: Linda Robertson
Photo: Linda Robertson
Little meat loaves

Makes 12
Serves 5-6

400g good-quality pork sausages (about 5), skins removed
800g good-quality beef mince
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp each Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
½ tsp chilli from a jar
40g sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
½ small red onion, (60g), finely chopped
2 eggs, large, size 7 beaten
2 Tbsp quality balsamic vinegar

¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
olive oil spray
Red wine tomato sauce
1 400g can cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine
3 Tbsp quality balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried oregano

Place the sausage meat and the mince in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Tip into the bowl containing the sausage meat and the mince and using your hands gently squelch all together, mixing really well.

Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts and shape into little meat loaves.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and the paprika for the coating and gently roll each little meat loaf in the crumbs, covering each lightly. This is not a thick coating.

Sit the little meat loaves on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper with space between each loaf.

If convenient, cover and leave for up to 24 hours in the fridge before baking.

Otherwise, preheat the oven to 200degC Bake. Lightly spray each little meat loaf with olive oil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve hot or at room temperature with the red wine tomato sauce.

Red wine tomato sauce
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and mash with a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a little. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Serve hot or at room temperature with the little meat loaves.

Cooks note: The pork sausages I use are from Blackball on the West Coast, available from some local supermarkets. The balsamic vinegar is Mazzetti, four leaves, found in the gourmet aisle of some supermarkets.

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