Friday, 24 February 2017

Greek meatloaf stuffed with eggs and cheese...and fish cakes

Meatloaf (rollo) with a filling of boiled eggs and cheese

This is a greek recipe which my mother-in-law used to make, though I am sure some version is made in many western homes. It has gone out of fashion, a 70s recipe, along with shrimp cocktail and cheese and pineapple on a toothpick and stuck in a grapefruit.  I remember when I served this at a small party just after first arriving here 40 years ago.  K's friends sort of stared at that concoction in mystifying silence and no-one touched those darn toothpicks. I found out later that Greeks did not eat sweet and sour, ie cheese and pineapple, and that also they are not willing to even taste something different.

 I don't experiment when cooking for locals. They do not appreciate it and will suspiciously poke anything unusual on their plate, ask mistrustingly, 'wot's this' and leave it there staring me in the face, reminding me that I will always be a foreigner.

The bottom half of the meatloaf.  This is covered with the rest of the minced beef mixture

Easy, tasty and eaten by traditional persons, if the recipe has not been modified (no soy sauce and don't used marjoram instead of oregano!).  The meatloaf mix is squished together and about one third is laid out on the bottom of an oiled baking dish and formed into a loaf-like shape.  On top of the meat-mix press in as many boiled eggs as will fit.  Then arrange around the outside pieces of whatever cheese you have on hand.  I used Gouda (which melted and disappeared) and another hard, tasty greek cheese, kefalograviera.

Very carefully close the whole thing with the rest of the meat mix, pressing it over the top and around the eggs.  Close it up well so the cheese cannot escape and there are no gaps along the sides.

Fill the pan round the loaf with cubed potatoes and pour over a sauce of wine, olive oil, mustard, hot water and a little honey.

-Minced beef    1/2 kilo (about a pound)
-Onion       one, diced
-Garlic       as much as you dare, diced
-Mustard    a generous squirt
-Bread soaked in water    a thick slice of stale bread, soaked and then squeezed so there is no extra water
-Parsley/mint   chopped
-Thyme/oregano  a little of both or only one, dried or fresh
-Egg ,  one
-Salt and pepper

Mix really well altogether in a bowl.  I put my hands in there and give it a good massage

Boiled eggs
Olive oil
Add also about a cup of hot water so you've got enough sauce to use as gravy or use as the base of a gravy.

Accompany with cubed potatoes, boiled rice or mash

Bake about one hour and baste now and again with the sauce.

Fish cakes.............................

Yesterday I made fish soup and today I made the mix for fish cakes with the leftover fish and potatoes.

This is not a traditional greek recipe.  Traditional people poke these with their fork, eventually push them to one side and ask if there is anything else to eat.  They don't like fish pie either.

I love them.

 -Cooked deboned fish
-boiled potatoes mashed with a fork
-salt and pepper
-one egg
-one spoon of flour, may need slightly more flour if the mixture is very wet
-the zest of half a lemon
-chopped parsley or dill

Mix all this together with a fork till it is really well combined.  Put into the fridge for an hour.  I'm leaving mine overnight.

Form into little patties. Lightly flour and fry.  Delish, with a slight lemony tang.  Add a dollop of  mayo or tartare sauce or whatever your heart desires.  

Serve with a salad and drink a glass of chilled wine, red or white.


  1. Our grandmothers used to make that meat loaf a lot,the same but without the cheese, i shall try it with the cheese.

    1. It is really nice. Get a tasty cheese. A lot of people eat it cold as well or in sandwiches. I prefer it hot.

  2. Won't try anything new? What a shame.
    Put me down for either fishcakes or fish pie, scrumptious! Reading your recipe reminds me that I really should make more use of lemon zest.

    1. I often forget about the zest but it gives such a wonderful lemon tang without bitterness. Much better than the juice.

  3. I would fit in well. We know what we like and stick to it. No fear of disappointment. Rural life! I cook what my mother cooked and have not strayed very far from that. Call us boring if you like but we do well on it. (I will eat anything if I have to and be very polite though! P is more likely to poke things around the plate that he doesn't recognise!). Fortunately, I suppose, my mother prepared fish and meat and vegetable dishes so my repertoire is fairly wide.

    1. Oh you would fit in so well here, I do agree...backing on to the car ferry with narry a care, eating grilled pork chops and greek salad, wearing your bobble hat and solving the Cyprus problem over a glass of local white,

    2. PS do you eat Chinese and Indian?...or are those considered 'local' nowadays

    3. Yes we do eat Indian. I was introduced to curry when I moved to Newcastle in the 1970s and curries were a way of life. I adjusted or I would have starved. I ended up an expert and introduced P to them. Nobody back here in my family would go near a curry house.
      Chinese are a fall back if all else fails but not our favourite.

  4. All of it is yummy. I don't understand people who don't try new things. I told my kids I don't expect them to love everything. Or even like it. But I do expect they try it with an open mind. They always did and mostly like it
    I could jus timagine the looks you would of got in the beginning. Your foreigner you lol

    1. Ahhhh I still get those looks. Fortunately I taught my kids to eat strange things like chutney, fried rice, coleslaw (cabbage with apples and mayo????), Curry, sweet n sour so I have some back-up now