American meatloaf dates from the late 1870s. Those preparing the dish were told to chop up whatever meat was on hand, the meat most likely being beef. To that they added salt, pepper, onion, egg and milk-soaked bread.
In Greece, meatloaf is referred to as rolo (Ρολό) and it is usually filled with hard boiled eggs, In Italy meatloaf is called polpettone.
But as usual, I’m not going to do any of these dishes, but will try and combine all three of those countries into my meatloaf recipe.
Ok so it’s only Oregano representing Greece and risotto rice, likewise for Italy….but nevertheless I will continue.
I have accompanied the meatloaf with some crispy pancetta, adding in some finely chopped savoy cabbage and quickly frying the cabbage for a minute or two (and not 3 hours boiling, as many people still do when cooking the vegetable)
Then beautifully twice cooked roast potatoes, firstly I added some chopped potatoes to a casserole dish filled with cold water and added some oregano, garlic cloves, dill and lemon juice (that’s another Greek influenced dish) and cooked in the oven until tender. Draining the liquid, I then left the potatoes to dry and go cold.
Then add a good dollop of goose fat and roast in the oven until the potatoes are crispy and the Garlic cloves are caramelised.
Pork Meatloaf with Greek Potatoes
2 red onions finely chopped
100 ml of red wine (I used non-alcoholic red wine)
50g chopped dried prunes
50g of raisins
100g of mixed chopped nuts
500g minced pork
1 dried or fresh bay leaf
Pinch of salt and white pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp of ground fennel seeds
1 Tsp of dried sage
1 Tsp dried or fresh thyme chopped
1 Tsp of dried oregano
Handful of cooked risotto rice
Heat the oven to 180c
Then heat a frying pan and gently caramelise the onions, with the bay leaf.
once they have caramelised add the fennel seeds.
Add the wine and reduce to nothing.
In a large bowl, add the pork mince and the spices, which are
cinnamon, allspice, white pepper and a touch of salt, then mix well.
Now add the raisins, prunes and chopped nuts. Mix well.
Then finally add the sage, thyme, oregano cooked rice and the onion mixture not forgetting to remove the bay leaf.
Give it one final mix and add the mixture to a loaf tin which has been slightly greased with butter.
Even it out and place it into the oven until thoroughly cooked.
Serve with some beautifully crispy pancetta and savoy cabbage, accompanied by the twice cooked roasted potatoes.