Brrrrr ..... I have recently moved back to Melbourne, and the last week has really tested my mettle with the weather. Last weekend, we had a long weekend to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, and it was the coldest, bitterest weekend yet this year. Sunday was the worst day - grey, cold and cheerless.
However, I created my own cheer inside on Sunday. I had invited a friend to dinner, and thankfully needed to cook - which of course warmed up the house!
I wanted to make something easy yet delicious - and I stumbled upon a gorgeous looking maple glazed pear meatloaf in the June-July edition of Donna Hay Magazine (p67). This meatloaf appealed to me, not just because of its simplicity, but also for its unusual maple glazed pear topping that looked visually interesting. I also got the chance to make Donna's caramelized onions - yum!
To make this meatloaf, you will need:
500g pork mince
500g veal mince
1 1/2 cups cooked cous cous (ie 3/4 cup uncooked cous cous - it doubles in size on cooking)
2 tablespoons thyme leaves (I used 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 cup caramelised onion (home made or store bought)
2 pears, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
To make 1/2 cup caramelised onion (from p32 of the same edition of Donna Hay magazine):
1/2 tablespoon oil
1 sliced brown onion
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar (I used balsamic)
Heat the oil in a frypan, and cook the sliced onion for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the brown sugar and vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and caramelised.
For the meatloaf:
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Mix the mince, cous cous, thyme, garlic, uncooked sliced onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper together in a bowl - I used my hands for this. Press the mixture into a greased 1.5L baking dish. (The amount of mixture is huge, so make sure your dish is big enough.)
Spread the caramelised onions over the top of the meatloaf, then top with the sliced pear. Brush maple syrup over the top of the pears.
Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through (mine took an hour).
I served mine with gravy, mashed potato and beans a la Sunday (or in my case, a la my Mum, who has always done beans like this):
I can't go without mentioning the lovely macarons that my guest brought me:
Aren't they gorgeous? And there are so many different flavours. I haven't tried them all yet, but my current favourite is the licorice one - it looks scary (because it is the grey one you can see above - inside the shell is purple), but tastes just like a licorice allsort with a chocolate centre. Although the tangy lemon is up there too ... Yum!! These macarons came from Cacao in Melbourne.