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Greek Meatloaf, “Rolo.” ©

February 1, 2014








There are some recipes that go back to ones childhood and this is one of them. You don’t come across it often these days, unless you are lucky enough to be invited to a home cooked meal and there is nothing better than “Meat Loaf” and mashed potatoes on a cold winters day. When I was a child I used to be fascinated by how the carrot and the egg had got so neatly into the center and I used to make a ‘well’ in the center of my mashed potatoes, in order to hold as much of the delicious sauce as possible.

A generation on, when my middle son was born, the day we returned from the hospital, arrived along side us a gem to help out for the first few weeks. Twenty two years later the gem is still with us! Varvara now nearing 80, has been mother, grandmother, friend and invaluable help ever since. She came through the door like Mary Poppins, coat on and handbag firmly over her arm and as soon as my husband explained we were five in total, including ‘our’ father, that was it, she decided then and there, we were a suitable family. Twice a week we asked if she could come, to help with a little cooking and  ironing……..and when no 3 came along and the ironing never seemed to end, we still winked at one another and said laughing, ‘ a little ironing today……’

Amongst other things she is an amazing cook and has taught us all the wonderful delights of Greek cooking.

This I dedicate to her and to my children for whom she is the guiding light and her Greek traditions have been the corner stone of their upbringing, good old fashioned values and always given with warmth, kindness, wisdom and understanding……. and the ever wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen…….


* This is quite a detailed recipe for all my new cooks out there doing it for the first time!




Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Medium Easy, could be a challenge for some….





Serves  6 persons







1/2 kilo of good quality mince meat. ( No fat )

4 slices of bread cut 2 cm thick

1 onion finely grated

2 tbs finely chopped Mediterranean parsley. ( Flat leaf )

2 eggs for mince

2  hard boiled eggs for center of mince

2 boiled small to medium sized carrot ( One spare )

1-2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil enough to cover a wide saucepan 1 cm deep

25 g butter (Optional)

Plain flour to dust meatloaf

1/2  medium lemon juice

1 tsp “corn” flour (  This is special flour for thickening )

1- 2 tbs brandy

200 ml stock



A few sprigs of parsley



1. Place eggs in small saucepans, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes.  In a second saucepan place peeled whole carrots, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the carrots fall off  the point of a knife when stuck into the thickest part.

2. Slice bread 2 cm thick and  leaving crusts on, place in bowl and cover with water. After one minute squeeze out water and place in a clean medium sized bowl.

3. Add mince meat, finely grated onion, finely chopped parsley, add ‘only’ the egg ‘yolks’ and reserve the whites in a separate bowl. Kneed together until smooth.

4. Place flour in roasting tin together with a little salt, enough flour to cover the base of your tin. Once your eggs are cooked, plunge eggs under cold running water for a minute or two, so the yolks don’t get a green sulfur ring around them. Peel and roll in flour along with your boiled carrots. Reserve on clean plate.

5. Divide mince into two and shape into rounds on your chopping board. Flatten out each round and place eggs in a channel shaped by your hand down the center. Do the same with the second round of mince meat, placing your carrot down the center. Now fold mince over eggs and carrot and squeeze mince together so that joins do not show. Shape into a nice oblong shape. ( If it doesn’t work out the first time, do it again, remembering to re-flour your eggs and carrots.

6. Once you have two nice uniform oblongs of mince meat, or perhaps three. (** They are much easier to fry if you keep your loaves small.) Roll the loaves in the flour and then beat the egg whites with a fork and rub over, round and under your two loaves. the egg white helps to seal the meat loaves.

7. In a wide low sided saucepan heat the olive oil/butter over a medium heat until the oil begins to move and make patterns, about two minutes, not so hot that it smokes! Lower your meat loaves in carefully and fry, spooning over the hot oil with a large metallic spoon. Once the underneath has a good crust and is nutty brown in color, (this takes about 5-8 minutes,) turn your loaves over and fry the other side. * Never hurry this process, or the meat loaf will disintegrate, if turned over too soon!

8. Once both your loaves are fried, this can take about 10-15 minutes, remove them from the saucepan and place on clean plate.

9. Drain off most of the oil, return to medium heat and once the oil starts to sizzle déglace with brandy.* When doing this always have the saucepan lid near by in case of fire! The brandy will emulsify with the fat and cooking juices and the alcohol with evaporate. Add the lemon juice which you have previously mixed with the corn flour and  200ml of stock. Using a whisk bring to the boil and simmer for two minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to just coat the back of your spoon. If you need it to be a little thicker add another tsp corn flour, always diluted corn flour first in a little water. Simmer for another two minutes.

10. ‘Sieve’ sauce into a clean wide saucepan and place meat loaves into sauce to simmer gently for 20 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little more stock.

11. Remove meat loaves. Allow to rest ten minutes or until only just warm and slice into 1 cm slices. If left to go nearly cold, the loaves are even easier to slice, but you will then need to reheat the slices, before pouring over the hot sauce.

* Re-heat by placing in oven proof dish and covering tightly with tin foil. Place in oven 150.C for ten minutes.

12. Decorate with sprigs of parsley and serve with mashed potatoes.


*****Cook’s Tip. The brandy needs to be simmered at least two minutes for the alcohol to evaporate, or it will be bitter. If too lemony add a few grains of sugar, the tip of a teaspoon.




Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Boil eggs, five minutes after they come to the boil, so that they are hard boiled. Plunge into cold water, so that zinc ring does not form. Boil carrots, (one reserve carrot, incase loaves are more than two.)  The first time you make this you want to keep your loaves small for easier frying.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Soak bread slices in water for one minute. Squeeze out water and place in bowl with the rest of your ingredients.

Finely grated onion, egg “yolks” only, reserve whites in separate bowl and parsley.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Add salt and freshly ground pepper.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Knead well until smooth!


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©



Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Mixture is now well mixed.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Place 2-3 tbs of flour in roasting tin together with a little salt and roll eggs and carrots in the flour. Keep flour to roll your meat loaves in flour too!


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Divide your mince meat into two and on your chopping board shape into two or even three small oblong shapes.

If you keep them small, they are much easier to fry. Approximately 15 cm long and 8-10 wide.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Using the length of your hand make an indentation, like a small canal down the center of your oblong. Now lay your carrot along the one and your eggs along the other……..


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Carrot laid in canal…..

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©


Now fold mince up and over eggs and pinch mince together, so that the joins do not show. Do the same with the carrots. Shape into a nice even shape.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©


Place your loaves in the roasting tin with the seasoned flour and flour all over.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Beat your egg whites in a small bowl for a minute.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Now pour and rub over with your fingers the egg white, to cover all sides of your meat loaf.



Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Once your oil is hot, 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, place loaves into saucepan and fry. Do not be tempted to turn over until the underside is a nutty brown, this takes at least five minutes. If you don’t have a good crust, the loaf will fall apart as you turn it over. While it is frying based with hot oil using a large metal spoon.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Here the loaf has been flipped over.

As these were large loaves they were fried one at a time.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Place on clean plate while you make your sauce.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Pour off most of the oil and butter and place saucepan over a medium heat for no more than one minute. Add brandy.* Always have saucepan lid near by in case of fire!  This will emulsify quickly, stir continuously  with a balloon whisk for two minutes and then add lemon juice, in which you have dissolved your Corn flour and add stock. Bring to the boil and cook for two to three minutes. Taste for salt and if too lemony add a little more stock.

Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Strain sauce into a clean wide saucepan, big enough to hold both your meat loaves.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Simmer gently with the lid on for 20-30 minutes. Sauce should be thick enough to just coat the back of your spoon. Adjust with a little stock if necessary.


Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©

Remove meat loaves and leave to rest until just warm. This way they are much easier to slice. Cut into 1.5 cm slices. Heat covered with tin foil for ten minutes in oven 150.C and pour over hot sauce.




Greek Meatloaf, "Rolo." ©



Final result! Serve with fluffy home made mashed potatoes and the extra sauce on the side.







2 Comments leave one →
  1. annetteobrien1 permalink
    February 2, 2014 5:18 pm

    Lovely photo of Varvara, she was always so kind to me – she has a heart of gold.


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