Momma's meatloaf with candied carrots

Main courses don't come much more comforting and satisfying than Charita Jones' favourite, hearty meatloaf
By Charita Jones
Momma's meatloaf with candied carrots
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the Cajun seasoning

  • 2 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1' tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1' tsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 5 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1' tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp sea salt

For the meatloaf

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 6 slices stale cornbread or 4 slices white bread, made into breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp American mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ' tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 900 g minced beef
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon

For the candied carrots

  • 1 kg carrots, cut into chunks or batons
  • 110 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zest and juice only

To serve

  • mashed potato
  • peas

Tips and Suggestions

store the additional Cajun seasoning in a jam jar in a cool, dark place for up to a month. It also freezes well for up to 6 months.

To make six individual meatloaves, divide the uncooked meatloaf mixture into 6 even portions and shape into oval loaves. Wrap each with 2 rashers of bacon, in a criss cross pattern, then transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through.


1. For the Cajun seasoning: tip all of the Cajun seasoning ingredients, except for the salt, into a spice grinder or mini food processor and grind to a powdery consistency. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the salt until well combined. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 180/Gas 4.

3. For the meatloaf: place the chopped onions, garlic, green and red peppers and celery into a food processor and blend to a smooth pulp.

4. Add the cornbread breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, coriander, mixed herbs and 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning to the vegetables and blend until combined (the mixture should be quite sloppy at this stage).

5. Place the minced beef into a large bowl, tip in the vegetable mixture and combine well.

6. Line 2 900g loaf tins with the bacon rashers, overlapping them slightly, then divide the meatloaf mixture between the two tins. Fold the ends of the bacon rashers over the meatloaf filling to enclose it.

7. Sit the tins on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through.

8. For the candied carrots: while the meatloaf is cooking, place the carrots into a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the carrots are just tender.

9. While the carrots are cooking, melt the butter with the sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest and juice and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is starting to caramelise.

10. Drain the carrots well and tip them onto a large baking tray. Pour over the sauce, transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is sticky and bubbling.

11. To serve, turn the meatloaves out of their tins and cut into thick slices. Serve with the candied carrots, mashed potatoes and green peas alongside.

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