Meatloaf, cucumber & brown sauce

Meatloaf, cucumber & brown sauce

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

I don’t know why rissoles and meatloaf get such a bad rap; they are so good! They have a tender, light texture that is a delight to my palate, and they are more easily digested than whole meats. Veal mince is commonly used in traditional Nordic home-cooked meals, and it makes for an even lighter meatloaf, especially when mixed with breadcrumbs and milk. This recipe also uses the classic gravy-like ‘brun sauce’, typical in traditional Nordic cooking.


Quantity Ingredient
500g new potatoes, unpeeled
25g salted butter
1 quantity brown sauce, (see note)
1 Light pickling solution, made using carrot


Quantity Ingredient
35g dry breadcrumbs
100ml full-cream milk
1 teaspoon salt
pinch white pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 onion, peeled and grated
3 slices prosciutto or smoked bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon thick cream
700g minced veal
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, for frying
1 tablespoon salted butter, for frying

Lightly pickled charred cucumber

Quantity Ingredient
1 large cucumber
1 teaspoon cider vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 25 cm x 10 cm loaf tin with baking paper. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk in a blender for 3 minutes. Purée with the remaining meatloaf ingredients except the oil and butter.
  2. Scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, then place in a deep roasting tray. Transfer to the oven and pour cold water into the roasting tray so that it comes at least halfway up the sides of the loaf tin. Cook for 30–40 minutes, or until a probe thermometer inserted into the middle reaches 70°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, slice into the loaf and make sure it’s cooked through. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool in its tin for at least 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove from the tin and slice into 12 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm batons.
  3. While the meatloaf is cooling, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water for 10 minutes, until a knife passes through them easily. Drain well, and allow to cool and dry out. (Returning them to the hot pan can help with this.)
  4. Preheat the grill or a chargrill pan until hot. Halve the cucumber and scrape out and discard the seeds. Cut into batons a similar size to the meatloaf slices. Cook the cucumber briefly, just until they take on some char marks; do not cook them for so long that they collapse. Transfer them to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. When cold, toss with the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  5. Press down on the potatoes using the palm of your hand until they crack slightly. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the potatoes for a couple of minutes on each side until their skins take on some colour. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  6. Fry the meatloaf batons in the same pan, in the butter and oil. Turn them over once so that at least two sides caramelise slightly and develop a crisp edge.
  7. Reheat the brown sauce and aerate it using a coffee frother or whisk, if you like. Divide the potatoes, meatloaf batons and cucumber between serving plates and pour over the sauce. Top with the lightly pickled carrot.


  • For the brown sauce, bring 600 ml beef stock (preferably homemade) to a boil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons plain flour into a dry saucepan over a medium heat. Using a wooden spatula, stir the flour for a few minutes, until it turns golden brown. Be careful not to burn it, or you will have to start again. Quickly stir in 2-3 tablespoons salted butter until the flour is fully incorporated; you may need extra butter. Immediately pour in the hot stock, a little at a time, stirring to ensure the mixture is smooth. Strain through a sieve if there are any lumps. Wipe the pan clean, return the gravy and continue cooking over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Add a little more stock (or water) if it is too thick. Stir in 1 tablespoon orange juice, check the seasoning and set aside.
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