Meatloaf with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil

, from Issue #82. December, 2018
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Meatloaf with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil
Sarah Tuck

Meatloaf is given a makeover by dish columnist Gareth Stewart, executive chef of Nourish Group's Andiamo eatery. 

Serves: 6


350 grams beef scotch
250 grams pork belly
100 grams pancetta
1 onion, brunoise (chopped finely)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 eggs
50 grams parmesan
100 grams sourdough bread, sliced and soaked in milk
25 grams chopped parsley
100 grams chopped blanched kale
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1 teaspoon curing salt
5 grams flaky salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
Tomato sauce
100ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
30 grams garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, picked and chopped
500 grams roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
200ml white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups tomato pulp or passata
1 handful basil stalks (optional)
To serve
300 grams heirloom tomatoes
20 basil leaves
50 grams parmesan, to shave
300 grams tomato sauce


Meatloaf: Mince the scotch, pork belly and pancetta together, or get your butcher to do it for you.

Sweat the onion and garlic until soft and sweet. Leave to cool. Combine the onion and mince with all the other ingredients. Season the mix with both types of salt and the pepper. Test the meat mix to check the seasoning by wrapping a small ball of mix in plastic wrap and dropping it into simmering water until cooked.

Add extra seasoning to the mix if needed then roll it into a ballotine shape (an oblong) in plastic wrap. Use three layers of plastic wrap to ensure the ballotine is extremely tightly wrapped.

Heat a large pot of water on the stove. Monitor the temperature: you’ll need it to stay between 85 and 90°C. Gently lower the tightly wrapped loaf into the water and cook for 1½ hours.

Allow to cool before slicing in rounds about 3cm thick and re-heating each slice gently in a pan.

Tomato Sauce: Sweat the onions, garlic and thyme in a large pot with olive oil. Cook the onions until they are soft and sweet but without colour.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to the boil and get a small ice bath ready. Score the tomatoes and blanch for 5-10 seconds or until you see the skins start to peel away in the boiling water. Plunge them into the ice bath to cool then remove the skins. Chop the blanched tomatoes and squeeze to remove the seeds.

Add the tomato paste and tomatoes to the onions and garlic, followed by the white wine. Reduce this by half by simmering, before adding the chicken stock and reducing again by half. Add the tomato pulp and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour and infuse at the end with basil stalks. Remove the stalks before serving.

To Serve: Top the tomato sauce with slices of meatloaf and fresh heirloom tomatoes. Garnish with basil leaves and a few shavings of parmesan cheese.