We are so excited to share this recipe! We think that many of you will have memories of this meatloaf being a popular highlight on Greek buffet tables. In recent years, this meal seems to have fallen out of favour, and we’re really not sure why. It is absolutely delicious and we feel, it deserves a revival. When we shared with our friends that we were going to be making this rolo (Greek for loaf) with our parents, the typical response was something like, “Oh yeah! I remember that!”. Even our parents were excited that we wanted to make this meal with them; it had been years since they had done so.
Growing up our home was constantly filled with company. Whether it was the neighbor popping in for a Greek coffee and some koulourakia, or family from out of town staying the weekend, our apartment was constantly abuzz. It’s amazing to think back and remember how many people could fit into a relatively small space; it was as though the walls expanded and the rooms swelled to accommodate the extra people, laughter and love.
For our parents’ generation, weekend entertainment did not include dinners out, movies or overnight getaways to the country. Instead, the two day break from hard work represented an opportunity to just hang out! And did they ever! Wherever people gathered, whether it was in our home or someone else’s, the set up was pretty much the same. Lots of food on the table, plenty to drink, folding chairs and tables at the ready, and often, a redistribution of furniture so that as the evening wore on, a Kalamatiano could be danced around the marble-topped living room coffee table. Amidst all the noise, some chaos, and line-up to the single bathroom, there was one thing missing…stress. Sure, when our parents hosted they (and we) worked hard to ensure that everyone would be comfortable, well-fed and happy, but that was the extent of it. They did not worry about matching dinnerware, that the Formica kitchen countertop had a chip, or that they hadn’t had time to scrub the windows clear.
Often times, the food that was set out was simple and could be prepared ahead; perfect if the get together was during the week. Some tzatziki and taramosalata, dolmades, spanakopita, olives and maybe a baklava were standard fare. Add some bread and cheese, and the table was complete. On other occasions however our parents would have the time to make a more elaborate contribution to dinner, and when they did, this meatloaf with eggs was often it. Despite it’s very impressive presentation, this moist and incredibly flavourful Greek-style meatloaf was always considered simple comfort food. As perfect for family dinners as it is for invited guests, making this old-school meal sends delicious smells wafting through the kitchen and the message, you are home.
This recipe makes a pretty large meatloaf, probably more than a family of four needs for one meal. No worries, it keeps very well in the refrigerator and can easily be reheated the next day for lunch (or dinner). At the same time, with a lovely salad, this is a perfect meal to make for guests.
Our parents recommend allowing your meat mixture to rest for at least 30 minutes after all the ingredients are combined. This is a great time to peel the potatoes and carrots that you will add to the roasting pan, and to boil your eggs. Alternatively, you can boil your eggs the day before; keep them in the refrigerator either peeled or not.
This meatloaf is really best when you use a combination of ground meats, in this case ground pork and ground beef or veal. You can also try substituting another type of ground meat; the texture and cooking process should not change, but the flavor certainly will. If you do not have an objection to any type of meat, we suggest making the recipe as is; you can taste it and then experiment from there.
The hardest part (but not that hard) of this recipe is making your loaf. We have provided you with some photos and a detailed recipe to help describe the steps. Most important is to use parchment paper or plastic wrap to help you roll the loaf, in order to keep the eggs securely in place. You will end up with a “seam” (where the roll ends); try to keep that at the bottom when you place your meatloaf in the roasting pan.
The choice of broth that is used in this recipe is really important as it will provide flavor not only to your potatoes and carrots, but also to your rolo. We like to use a low-sodium organic beef broth, but you can use any brand you like. Even better, if you have homemade beef broth use that!
When it is time to serve your meatloaf there are a few things to keep in mind. There is no egg positioned right at the edges of the meatloaf. So, cut the end pieces a bit larger than the others in order to ensure that there is some egg in each slice. Alternatively, cut off just the end of the rolo and munch on it while you are serving the rest. You can also feed it to your dog (unless you are a really good dog-owner who has trained their pup not to expect human food).
Mia Kouppa: Meatloaf with hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 kilo ground beef or veal
- 1/2 kilo ground pork
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup grated tomato
- 1/2 cup grated aged mizithra (or a combination of grated parmesan and romano cheese)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 large eggs
- 6 medium sized potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl combine the ground meats, breadcrumbs, grated carrot and grated tomato, mizithra, the beaten egg, parsley, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. With your hands mix very well until all the ingredients are combined.
- Allow the meat mixture to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan filled with water, to a boil. Add the 5 eggs, reduce heat to medium, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, rinse under cold water, and peel. Set aside.
- Lay parchment paper on your counter top or table and spread the meat mixture on top of it; you will make a rectangular shape with the meat which is approximately 1 inch thick and 13in x 11in . The measurement of course does not need to be exact, but you do need to be sure that your eggs can line up, side by side, with meat left over on each end.
- Near one of the long ends (closest to you) make a row of slight indentation in the meat with the side of the palm of your hand. Place your eggs, one next to the other, on this indentation (the indentation will help keep the eggs in place). Do not place your eggs right at the edges of the meat.
- Once all your eggs are place, using the parchment paper to help you, roll your meatloaf. Roll it securely and rather tightly. Once you have rolled it completely, seal off the ends by pressing the meat together. When you are done, your meatloaf should be completely sealed, and you should not see any of the eggs.
- Take a roasting pan and grease the bottom with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully transfer the meatloaf to the center of the pan; be sure to remove the parchment paper. Try to keep the seam of the meatloaf on the bottom.
- Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into wedges and chunks. Scatter them around the meatloaf in the pan.
- Combine the beef broth, olive oil, tomato paste and dried oregano in a small bowl. Pour this liquid over the meatloaf, and the vegetables.
- Place the roasting pan in the bottom rack of your oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Check on it periodically, and baste the meatloaf with the pan juices every 30 minutes or so. If the meatloaf begins to brown too much you can cover it loosely with some aluminum foil.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven when done and allow to cool slightly.
- To serve, be mindful of where the eggs are and try to cut pieces which will show the center part (or close to it) of the hard boiled eggs.
- Serve with the vegetables and any of the pan juices on the side. Enjoy!