Loafing around

[Recipe 1] BEEF and PUMPKIN MEATLOAF transforms into
[Recipe 2] OVEN-BAKED BURGERS with THE LOT
……………..
Daggy dinner alert! Meatloaf!
We secretly love meatloaf. It’s right up there with tuna casserole in the retro dinner department, but honestly it’s really good. Leftover meatloaf is soooo tasty too, sliced thinly in sandwiches, with chunky relish and rocket (arugula). It’s great for picnics and lunch on the go. My boys just love it.
Make double the beef and pumpkin mixture and you can conjure up some fab oven-baked burgers with the lot* to have later in the week. These are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and they’re roasted so they’re less fatty than fried burgers.
The burger recipe makes 6 patties. You can freeze the two unused ones, uncooked. I love having spare burgers in the freezer for the kids, for those nights when the husband and I are craving a big fat steak.
I know the ingredients list looks a bit long and spooky, but it is so easy to put together, I promise. Everything is basically thrown into a big bowl and mooshed up.
The mixture is full of hidden pumpkin and grated carrot. You can trick it up and experiment with it too. Over the years I’ve replaced the 2 cups of grated pumpkin with cooked lentils, tiny cauliflower florets, grated zucchini (courgette)… you name it!
You can of course use the mixture to make two meatloaves instead, or indeed two batches of burgers. Both freeze really well uncooked.
*Is ‘burger with the lot’ an Australian expression? I’m not sure. In old-fashioned burger places here, it refers to a hamburger containing all the available fillings; which can often mean it will include pineapple, a fried egg and sliced beetroot!

Beef and pumpkin meatloaf[Recipe 1] Beef and pumpkin meatloaf

1 large red (purple/Spanish) onion, very finely chopped
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

1 kilo (2 lb) minced (ground) beef
500g (1 lb) minced (ground) pork
2 large carrots, finely grated
200g (7 oz) peeled butternut pumpkin (butternut squash), grated (equal to 1½ cups)
1½ cups dry bread crumbs
1½ cups chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Easy spiced tomato chutney (or store-bought chutney), to serve 
GLAZE:
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
With a hand-held whisk, lightly beat the eggs, salt, pepper, milk, Dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce and sweet chilli sauce until combined.
Add to the minced beef and pork in a large bowl, along with the carrot, pumpkin, breadcrumbs, parsley and the cooked onion and garlic. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
Reserve half the mixture (1¼ kilos or 4 tightly-packed cups) for the oven-baked burgers with the lot.
Press remaining mixture into a lightly-oiled loaf pan, and turn out onto a tray lined with baking paper. You can pat the mixture into a free-form shape if you prefer, but I find using a loaf tin as a mold works beautifully.
Make the glaze by mixing the ingredients in a small bowl. Brush all over the meatloaf.
Bake for 60–70 minutes, until lovely and crisp on the outside and cooked through.
Allow to rest for ten minutes. Cut into thick slices and serve with steamed vegetables or salad, and tomato chutney.
One meatloaf yields 8 thick slices.

  • Cooked beef and pumpkin meatloaf can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and should be used within three days. Uncooked meatloaf can be frozen, whole (in a loaf tin to retain its’ shape), for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and cook per instructions. Glaze just before cooking.

The ultimate burger. With hidden veggies.

[Recipe 2] Oven-baked burgers with the lot

4 soft wholemeal (wholewheat) buns, warmed in oven, toasted, or lightly char-grilled
♦ 1¼ kilos (4 tightly-packed cups) reserved beef and pumpkin meatloaf mixture
Olive oil, for brushing (or olive oil spray)
Easy spiced tomato chutney (or store-bought chutney), to serve
CHOOSE YOUR EXTRAS:
Lettuce
Sliced cheese
Sliced tomato
Whole cornichons or sliced pickles
Sliced avocado
Thinly sliced red (purple/Spanish) onion or caramelised red onion jam

Preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF).
Shape reserved beef and pumpkin meatloaf mixture into 6 patties. Freeze two for later!
Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush or spray patties lightly with olive oil.
Roast patties for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Layer burgers and your chosen extras on each bun base. Pop the tops on and serve.
Makes 4 (plus two extra patties for freezing!)

  • Uncooked patties can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and should be used within three days, or they can be frozen, with baking paper between the layers, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and bake per instructions.

22 thoughts on “Loafing around

  1. Another yummy recipe so easy! I had so many compliments thrown my way it was great! I decided I wasn’t in the mood for hamburgers so I made the second half into sausgae rolls which the kids loved! Thanks Sas – keep them coming!

  2. Hey I made the meat loaf again, and again we all loved it so much! A quick question though- does it make a difference if one uses dry or fresh bread crumbs??? I love all the veggies grated into it- I was not sure about how well butternut pumpkin would great but it was surprisingly easy!

    • Hey Fran. I’ve never made the loaf with fresh breadcrumbs as I feel it needs dry crumbs with all those juicy vegies lurking in the mix. Curious to know if it works with fresh crumbs though – I have a load in my freezer! Yeah, pumpkin grates really well, and unlike with cutting, there’s no risk of hacking off a finger.

  3. I made the meatloaf and I could not help but notice that EVERYONE had seconds, including my supposedly, or usually, meat hating 11 year old. THen the burgers last night- they were both really, really nice. Grating the pumpkin was not hard at all (I thought it would be dreadful), so much so that I can see myself doing this dish time and time again. The glaze on top was scrumptious, It was a real meat loaf! I added the leftovers to a throw together salad for lunch the next day and it was so yummy, yummy and yummy! I really want to make the roast dish next but thought I would wait until I could get to the butchers to get a good quality cut.
    Keep ‘em rolling- I can’t wait for your xmas and summer ideas!!!

    • Hi Fran. So rapt you made the meatloaf and burgers, and that they went down well. Love that you used the leftovers in a salad too. Thrilled you’ve tested so many of my recipes. We’re like Julia and Julia!!! Not that I’m aligning myself with Julia Childs – I wouldn’t be so bold.
      Thanks again :)

      • No be bold! You are directly teaching me how to cook in fact! My dear old mother really only taught me to make white sauce- and that has been the total sum of my cooking knowledge! While I must admit I am rather partial to the old white suace- there has to be more to cooking life! SO BIG THANKS!

  4. Made your meat loaf tonight with the tomato chutney! Loved it! I used butternut squash instead of pumpkin, but I’m sure it was similar. The girls didn’t spot the veggies, which was great! The burgers are now in the freezer for another night. How fantastic is that? Thanks for the recipe! (Will read your new post tomorrow….still behind from my business trip last week.)

    • Fantastic! Thanks SO much Barb. Love getting recipe feedback. Pretty sure butternut squash is the same as what we call butternut pumpkin (which is what I used in the meatloaf)… must investigate that, and make a note in the recipe… Just reading your latest post. Lucky lady!

  5. saskia, where do you come up with these amazing recipes? i would’ve never thought of adding pumpkin to meatloaf! i’ll bet it tastes heavenly and i like the grated carrot idea… to get my kids to eat more veggies!

  6. They both look ridiculously delicious!!! Do you think they’d work with ground turkey? I’ve never cooked any type of red meat. Crazy, I know! But before I got pregnant I had stopped eating it for close to10 years. Now that I eat it occasionally its only when I’m out for fear of not cooking it well…

    • Hi Kristi. Ground turkey would be fine in this recipe, and would be less ‘meaty-flavoured’ for you. Actually, I reckon grated apple would be good with turkey (you could replace either the pumpkin or carrot). You could serve it up with cranberry sauce too. Yum! Think I’ll have to try that myself…

  7. Just noticed grill marks on the burger bun your attention to detail is Amazing! Once again 2 great recipe’s. I too am a big fan of meatloaf thinly sliced in sandwiches and rolls.

  8. You know, I think meatloaf is making a comeback! I grew up on meat and three veg, so to me, meatloaf is fine….and it’s something that I have had this year for the first time in ages, and really enjoyed!…and I took it to work as left-overs too! That burger looks great!

    • It’s funny all the things that are making a comeback. Pretty excited to see prawn cocktails appearing on menus around town too! Loooove meatloaf leftovers to work too. I think that’s actually my favourite way to eat it.

  9. This is on my list of things to make next week — along with the tomato chutney! I can honestly say that I would never have thought to put grated pumpkin in a meatloaf — but I love the idea! After all the pumpkin muffins the girls have been eating they can’t say they don’t like pumpkin .. And I bet you can hardly see it? Do you celebrate Halloween down under too?

    • Thanks Barb. Hope the ponytails like the meatloaf. The pumpkin is completely hidden, I promise! Halloween used to be something we’d only ever see in US movies and sitcoms, but over the last few years the shops here have been filling up with jack-o’-lanterns, ghoulish costumes and those beautiful huge dark orange pumpkins. My boys are VERY excited about it. The 8-year old is making a ‘spooky cape’ in his craft class at school this week, and I’ve stocked the pantry with little treats.

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