7 January 2007

Bulgarian Meatballs/Meatloaf

One thing about my Mum's recipes is that one base can become several different dishes, I'm sure I've mentioned it before. This is one a like a lot. The mince mixture can be used either for meatballs or meat loaf. I think the meatloaf is more of a show off piece.


1 kg minced meat, pork is recommended
1 large onion chopped very finely
2 medium sized slices of dry bread
2 - 3 medium sized eggs
salt, black pepper, savory, parsley, cumin

Additional for the meatballs
plain flour
grape seed oil for frying

Additional for the meatloaf
2 - 3 hardboiled eggs
1 - 2 boiled carrots
1 can of whole button mushrooms
vine leaves in brine (optional)


  1. On the evening before you plan to cook them, dip the dry bread in water and squeeze out the excess. Then mix all the ingredients and leave to stand in the fridge overnight. At this point, the mixture can be frozen. It is very important that the onion is finely chopped, or the meatballs will fall apart.
  2. For meatballs: make largish balls, about the size of a golf ball, flatten a bit, roll in flour and shallow fry in a pan.
  3. For meatloaf: line a bread tin with vine leaves or baking paper, fill up to about one third with mince mixture, then line up the eggs, mushrooms and carrots, then top up with more mince. Cover with vine leaves, if you are using these.
  4. Bake in the oven at 175 - 200 degrees C (gas mark 5 - 6) for 1 h.

Kept in the fridge, the meatballs will last longer than the meatloaf, but both can be frozen.

When you slice the meatloaf, you'll get fancy eggs, mushrooms and carrot shapes in the middle. For a more everyday version, the eggs, mushrooms and carrots can be diced and mixed in with the mince just before making the loaf. The vine leaves are quite salty and give a nice flavour to the meatloaf, so I recommend you use them if you can. The meatloaf can be served with rice or boiled potatoes and bechamel sauce or Greek yogurt.

I personally prefer potatoes. I think Hasselback potatoes would also be good for a dinner party.

For the meatballs, a tomato sauce is nice, I'll add a recipe in a later post. I think ratatouille would work as well.

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