Commonly known in Latvia as “Viltotais zaķis” (literally False hare, also known as Falscher Hase), and everywhere else in the world as a meatloaf, it is a dish that shows historical German influence and Latvian frugality. Apart from the fact that is made from mince, bread, couple eggs and optional veggies (all cheap and easily available), it stretches from easy dinner to leftovers for breakfast or lunch sandwiches. Serve it with mash potato, gravy and lightly pickled cucumber salad (commonly known in Latvia as Latgales salāti) and you have a feast!
- 1 small onion
- 300g minced pork
- 300g minced beef
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs breadcrumbs
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 8 cucumbers
- 1 large onion
- 1 bunch of dill
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tbs white vinegar
- 4 tbs vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.
- Finely chop the onion. Brown the chopped onion on medium heat.
- Mix together onion, meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, carrot and garlic until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Flatten the meat mixture on a workbench and place peeled, hard boiled eggs on the top of the mixture. Enclose the eggs with meat to create a loaf.
- Place the loaf of a greased roasting dish so that the sides of the loaf do not touch the dish.
- Place the roasting dish in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Baste the loaf with pan juices every once in a while.
- Peel cucumbers and slice them lengthways in quarters and then slice each quarter.
- Finely slice onion. Chop the dill.
- In a glass or ceramic bowl mix together cucumbers, onion, dill, add salt, sugar, vinegar and oil. Let the salad rest for at least couple hours before consumption.
You can add other vegetables to the meatloaf. I usually add finely chopped capsicum (red pepper), zucchini or small florets of broccoli. Cucumber salad can be preserved for later consumption in sterilised and sealed glass jars.