LAMB BAKE WITH TAHINI SAUCE AND TOMATO
"Meat Loaf" doesn't make bells of delight ring in my ears, but my version of this lovely Ottolenghi recipe is softly appealing, full of good healthy things and the delightfully different tahini sauce and fresh tomato topping compliments the lamb perfectly, although conventional gravy would be fine too.
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 courgette, large but not huge, cut into chunks
1 large tomato cut into chunks
500g lamb mince, 20% fat or more
2 cloves garlic
80g pecorino cheese, grated
50g fresh breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
2 tbsps. tomato ketchup
1.5 tsps. cumin
2 tsps. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. plain yoghurt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated
Approx. 200 ml cold water
2 large tomatoes
2lb loaf tin, greased (+ see Helpful Hints)
Oven 200c, 180 fan
Put the chopped onion, carrot and celery into a food processor and whizz for a moment before adding the softer tomato and courgette and whizzing again. You want the texture of the vegetables to be similar to that of the mince; be careful not to overdo it and create mush.
Drop the chopped vegetables into a sieve and press with a potato masher to remove as much liquid as you can.
Put the lamb mince into a large bowl, add the chopped vegetables and grate in the garlic.
Now add the grated pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, tomato ketchup, cumin, allspice and salt. Use your hand to thoroughly mix everything together
Press the mixture into a loaf tin
Sit the loaf tin inside a deep roasting pan and pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to bring it halfway (or thereabouts) up the sides of the loaf tin
Bake the lamb for 1 hour to 1.25 hours, the meat should probe 74c, or a skewer inserted should feel hot when held against the inside of your wrist. Rest the loaf in its tin for 15 minutes
Pour off the liquid from the lamb (or if it isn't too fatty you could use in gravy). Turn the loaf out of the tin, using the foil sling to help if necessary, (see Helpful Hints) onto a serving dish
Spoon some of the tahini sauce over the top of the loaf and top with the grated tomato and some flaky sea salt. Serve the remaining tahini sauce separately so that guests can help themselves.
To Make the Tahini Sauce and Tomato Topping
Put the tahini, yoghurt and lemon juice into a bowl, grate in the garlic and season with salt
Stir in just enough water to create a thick and smooth sauce
Quarter the large tomatoes and, using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the tomatoes. You will end up with an instant fresh tomato puree and just the skin in your hand
Fold a piece of foil over twice to create a sturdy, long and narrow piece of foil. Grease both sides of the thick strip of foil and use it to line the bottom and two sides of the loaf tin with some overhang on both sides which you can use to lift the loaf out of the tin.