Today I decided to share with you my meatloaf stuffed with ham and cheese. For me it’s quite an easy way to put dinner on the table without spending too much time in the kitchen. Mainly because the oven does all the work 🙂 The meat mixture can be as simple or complex as you want. Basically, you can use just simple minced beef seasoned to taste and stuff it, or you can mix other ingredients as you please and even change the stuffing. It’s a dish where you can just change the ingredients and make your own work of art 🙂
I found out that, although it’s a very popular dish in America, meatloaf has European origins that back as far as the 5th century! Nowadays it’s a traditional dish in Germany, Scandinavia and Belgium. But each country has it’s own ingredients with the common base being the minced meat that is stuffed, shaped into a loaf and baked. For example: the Germans stuffed it with hard boiled eggs, in Scandinavia it’s not stuffed but different ingredients are added to the minced beef mixture and in Belgium is served cold.
During the Great Wars or the Great Depression, this was an even more popular dish as you could stretch it a long way using cheaper meats and any available ingredients. If we think about it, even today, we can say that this dish is a cheaper way to put dinner on the table particularly if you are cooking for guests. Definitely cheaper than buying a piece of beef to roast and you can put so much flavour into it.
My meatloaf is the Italian version usually called “Polpettone“. I’ve tried other stuffing but ham and mozzarella are still the wining one for us 🙂