False hare and cucumber salad

Latvian meatloaf (fake hare)

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!

Fake hare and cucumber salad

Fake hare and cucumber salad


  • 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
  • For the cucumber salad
  • 8 cucumbers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 4 tbs vegetable oil


    For the meatloaf
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.
  2. Finely chop the onion. Brown the chopped onion on medium heat.
  3. Mix together onion, meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, carrot and garlic until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. 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.
  5. Place the loaf of a greased roasting dish so that the sides of the loaf do not touch the dish.
  6. Place the roasting dish in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Baste the loaf with pan juices every once in a while.
  7. Salad
  8. Peel cucumbers and slice them lengthways in quarters and then slice each quarter.
  9. Finely slice onion. Chop the dill.
  10. 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.



  1. Alex
    April 27, 2016

    Hello! I’m going to make your cucumber salad tomorrow but cannot find small cucumbers anywhere as they are not in season. Can I use regular cucumber?

    1. Liva
      May 1, 2016

      You can use any cucumbers for the salad.

  2. […] As with most things in Latvian cooking, pretty much every family would have a different recipe for meatballs. Some add fried onions, raw minced onions, soaked oats or crumb the balls before frying. I have tried all of these variations and always come back to the recipe below. The meatballs are great with potatoes and salad where the buttermilk and cream act as a sauce, while cold leftover meatballs are delicious on white bread with butter (but I do not get leftover meatballs in my house, kids love them so much). If you’d like to add a bit of zing to your lunch, serve kotletes with potatoes and Latgales salāti. […]


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