Aunty Gabrijela’s Meatloaf | Mesna štruca od Tete Gabrijele

Teta (aunty) Gabrijela is a culinary genius from the northern Croatian city of Varaždin who married one of my dad’s best friends, Zvonko. So technically she is not really an aunty, but in Croatia every woman who is older than you is an Aunty, Teta.

She would make this meatloaf whenever we visited and then my mum learnt how to make it (because it was so good) and so we got to enjoy Gabi’s meatloaf in Australia even after she and her husband left to go back and live in Croatia.

 You can also wrap the prosciutto around the eggs on the inside and leave the outside just to the mince, but it’s a lot prettier with the prosciutto on the outside. And you can let your creativity run wild with how you wrap it around the loaf.

Also, please cover with foil! I completely forgot to cover with foil and then 30 minutes later realised when all the edges of the prosciutto had burnt up. Sigh. Cover with foil and then in the last 15 minutes of baking, remove it to get the top crispy.

Ingredients:

~ 200 grams thinly sliced prosciutto

~ One kilo minced beef

~ Two slices of bread, chopped

~ Half a cup of milk

~ One tablespoon olive oil

~ One medium brown onion, finely chopped

~ Three cloves of garlic, minced

~ One carrot, grated

~ Quarter cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

~ One egg, lightly beaten

~ Two tablespoons tomato paste

~ One tablespoon Vegeta

~ Five boiled eggs, shells removed

~ Quarter cup tomato sauce

~ Pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 °C (fan forced)
  2. Place the chopped pieces of bread into the milk, and let all the milk soak up
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat sauté the onion and garlic until softened, set aside to cool
  4. In a large bowl, place all the remaining ingredients expect the eggs, prosciutto and tomato sauce. Add the onion garlic mixture and the bread/milk mixture. Using one hand, mix everything really well and add a dash of pepper to taste.
  5. Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Shape the mince into a rectangle shape on the baking paper. It needs to be a length that will hold five eggs placed over it lengthways, tops and bottoms of eggs touching each other.
  6. Place the boiled eggs along the length of the rectangle. Then using the remaining mince mixture, fill in around the eggs to create a log shape. Try to make sure there are no weird air pockets between the egss and mince.
  7. Cover the log with the prosciutto slices. You can do this in any pattern you like and be a creative as you like. Lengthways, sideways, diagonal – it’s up to you.
  8. Brush the tomato sauce all over the prosciutto. Lightly grease some foil paper, cover the meatlof and place in the oven cover for 45 minutes. After that, take off the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Let me know if you tried this meat lovers delight and what you thought

Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)

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