Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maple Glazed Pear Meatloaf

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.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely dinner! Perfect for a guest, and with a nice gift like that, you should invite that person over again!

Brenda said...

Oh yum! I made meatloaf once and it was not very popular amongst my family but this looks way more sophisticated!
Nothting wrong with the beans, I make mine like that too ; ) Hahhaah!

Emily said...

This loaf sounds delicious. I adore pears. I also like that it contains couscous.

Pretty macarons!!

natalia said...

How wonderful ! This meatloaf is really appealing !

Happy Cook said...

Delicious dinner but what i wanthis that colour full box if Macs, realy thoughtfullof your friends.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh are you back in Melbourne permanently now? How exciting! And this is a great way to make your own warmth :D

The Blonde Duck said...

I like your new look!

adele said...

Wow. That definitely looks intriguing - if we get more rainy weather next week, I might give it a try. (Right now it's hot and humid - not meatloaf weather.)

Ivy said...

Never seen a meatloaf with fruit but I would definitely love this.

Iron Chef Shellie said...

ooOOOo macarons!

I need to get my copy of Donna Hay off mum, that recipe sounds interesting!

Johanna GGG said...

welcome back to Melbourne - even it is the chilly time of the year - I keep admiring the trees in royal parade - I love how they reflect the seasons!

and I love how your meatloaf reflects the seasons - whenever I see a really interesting meatloaf like this I wonder if I can adapt it to a nut roast

Chef Jules said...

Looks like a nice recipe.Half veal and pork mince is good and the cous cous as a binding agent is interesting, definately one I will experiment with. Check out my duck recipe
Regards Chef Jules

Anonymous said...

I adore meatloaf but i think i adore meatloaf with maple glaze even more! And Cacao makes some mighty yummy stuff.

Lazy Cook said...

that meatloaf sounds like it is perfect for Melbourne weather!

and those macaroons look divine (I'm a little jealous!)

Mary said...

I love meatloaf, but I always make the same one. I am definitely going to have to branch out because this looks and sounds wonderful!

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

I was thinking about making this but couldn't decide if the texture of the pears on top would work - I take it they weren't too chewy or oddly textured where the seeds had been? It really is a lovely sounding recipe.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A gorgeous meatlof! I love that original touch!



Cakelaw said...

@ Sarah - the trick is to make your pear slices as thin as possible - if you have a mandolin, I'd use that. Where I thought the seeds might be a bother, I pulled them out, but even where I left them in, it cooked up OK - perhaps the maple syrup sweetened them!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

The name "meatloaf" turns me off, and I've never made one, but this actually seems really good. Love the pears on top too. Perhaps I could be a meatloaf maker after all?