The idea for this dish comes from Greece, where oven-roasted beans are served with a roast or good quality sausages. If you don’t fancy the idea of the beans omit them completely and stir the sauce into some pasta or just serve with some jacket potatoes.
- 675g lean minced beef
- 4 tablesp. olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teasp. each ground cumin and coriander
- 1 large egg
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 teasp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablesp. chopped fresh sage
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 rindless streaky bacon rashers
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Steamed broccoli, to serve
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 8, 230ºF (450ºF).
Heat half the oil in a frying pan and sauté two-thirds of the onions and celery for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for another minute, stirring.
Tip the onion mixture into a bowl and add the minced beef, egg, breadcrumbs and thyme. Using your hands, mix well to combine and then mould into a rugby ball shape.
Place in a small ovenproof dish and put in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 6, 200ºC (400ºF), and roast for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the remaining onions and celery with garlic, sage and chilli for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Season generously.
Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Fold in the cannellini beans.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and drain off the excess fat, then spoon around the tomato sauce.
Lay the slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is golden brown and the cannellini beans are bubbling.
Serve straight to the table with a bowl of steamed broccoli and allow everyone to help themselves.