Who said routines are boring? Meatloaf "en croute"

Meatloaf "en croute"

Meatloaf “en croute”

Hello there!

Long time no talk. I hope this finds you all well and enjoying this warm, glorious weather.

My house is finally empty (as in, no more guests!) and I was longing for this to happen. Don’t get me wrong: having family around is fantastic but, after a while, I really miss my routine schedule. Especially my mornings.

After Stefano leaves for work and Her Majesty is off to school, I treasure those precious morning hours when I reconcile myself with the rest of the world. Sipping my coffee, I take care of my house chores, I work on my professional and non-professional projects and I get ideas for new projects. All this in the silent company of Sofia. She never leaves my side but she has learned to be calm and quiet during those hours. It is amazing how she can be more in tune with me than most people I know. She knows what I need simply by instinct. 🙂

This meatloaf “en croute” has been on my mind for quite a while. I have tried a couple of different flavor combinations and the one that I’m sharing with you today is the one that we liked the most.

As often with food, this recipe is just a combination of ingredients that you can adjust and/or substitute so as to satisfy your palate’s liking. You can use different ground meat (lamb, pork, turkey) or different nuts and dried fruits, you can replace the speck with bacon, pancetta, salame or prosciutto and you can add those herbs that you cannot live without. Or you can simply go with your own meatloaf recipe. As always, ideas are meant to flow and in the end it is just a question of taste! 🙂

Meatloaf "en croute" (detail)

Meatloaf “en croute” (detail)

4 Servings


1/2 lb, ground veal
1/2 lb, ground beef
2 eggs
2 slices of speck, 1/4 inch thick, chopped
1/4 Cup, bleached hazelnuts
1/2 Cup, dried apricots, chopped
1/2 Cup, whole milk
2/3 slices, white bread
6 Tbsp, grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
2 yolks
1 sheet, pastry puff, thawed
Ground black pepper


Meatloaf "en croute"

Meatloaf “en croute”

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl, place the bread and pour the milk (except for a couple of tablespoons that you will use later for the egg wash) and let it sit until the bread absorbs the milk.

In a large mixing bowl, put the meat, the eggs, the speck, the apricot, the hazelnut and the Parmesan cheese. Squeeze the bread in your hand in order to eliminate excess milk and add the bread into the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and combine all the ingredients with your hands.

With your hands, form a loaf. Brush the loaf with the olive oil. Place some parchment paper on a baking pan and transfer the loaf on it.

Cook the meatloaf for about 25 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool.

In the meantime, on a lightly floured surface, lightly roll out the pastry puff sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk the yolks and 2 Tablespoons of milk.

Set the cool meatloaf on the pastry puff sheet lengthwise and wrap it with the dough. Cut the excess dough (do not discard it because you can use it for decoration) and seal the edges. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Use the rest of the dough, if any, to decorate the top of the pastry and brush the decorations with the rest of the egg wash.

Cook for about 25 minutes or until golden/brown and crispy. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving it.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Xx

Meatloaf "en croute"

Meatloaf “en croute”

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0 thoughts on “Who said routines are boring? Meatloaf "en croute"

  1. laurasmess

    Beautiful! A completely new take on an old favourite, I love it! The pastry decorations are so beautiful (how precious is that little bird!) and I’m enamoured by those plump olives and the use of the apricots and hazelnuts. So delicious! I will definitely try this Francesca. Glad that you got some quiet moments to yourself, too xx

  2. Karen

    My husband and I love meatloaf and it appears on our table often. You my dear, have taken meatloaf to a whole new level and it sounds wonderful and looks beautiful.

  3. unpizzicodime

    Pure temptation and a joy for all the five senses! I will never be able to cook such a perfect dish (although I imagine this will drive mad the old aunt coming to lunch just to underline that I still need to better my cooking results, so one day maybe I could see her blushing in front of such an amazing recipe…), but among the other things, you gave me a perfect hint to use the cookies stamps I have in my kitchen for salted pastry experiments, too! Grazie Francesca and welcome back! 🙂

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you so much, Claudia. You are way too kind. Actually, your dishes look pretty perfect to me! 🙂
      I’m glad that I gave you an idea. After all, blogging is all about exchanging ideas to me! 🙂 Xx

  4. Just Add Attitude

    Hello Francesca,

    I love your writing style, it is so easy to read. The meat loaf en croute sounds and looks totally delicious, and the pastry decorations are lovely. I too am on a diet – a version of the 5:2 except I am allowing myself a bit more that 500 calories on diet days. Today is one of those days and reading this has really made my mouth water, so I am going to ‘treat’ myself to one dried apricot.

    Have a lovely weekend. 😉

    1. Francesca Post author

      Wow! 500 calories? It is tantamount to starvation! 😉 I’m not that disciplined. I just try to eat less but I should exercise more. The real problem is my laziness. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the gym gene! 😉
      Thank you so much, B.! It is a great compliment to me!
      Have a gorgeous – hopefully not-that-hungry – weekend, my friend! F. Xx

      1. Just Add Attitude

        Thanks Francesca and I will have a lovely weekend and I definitely won’t be hungry! I only do the 500 calorie two days a week, which makes it manageable, so this morning I am looking forward to a day of normal eating and a glass of wine with dinner.

        I hope you are blessed with better weekend weather than we are having here – I have just woken up to the twin sounds of bird song and rain. 😉

        All the best Bxx

  5. Heather @ Sweet Precision

    Oh Francesca, I’m so happy that you’re having some time to relax! The first thing I thought when I read this was how lucky you are that Sofia will let you have your relaxing mornings 🙂 The day that Maya doesn’t need 100% supervision seems like a far off dream! Your dish takes my traditional vision of meatloaf to an entirely different level. This looks delicious and sophisticated- absolutely wonderful!

    1. Francesca Post author

      Heather, I know exactly what you are going through. The good news is it will get better. The bad news is … Maya must be at least 6 months. At least, this was experience with Sofia. 🙂 Hang on there! 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment.

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, Mary. Amazingly, she is! If you had asked me three months ago, I would have ruled that out without hesitation. Life never stops surprising me. 🙂

  6. chef mimi

    Beautiful! I love your choices of apricots and hazelnuts! Reminds me of some of the terrines I make. You’re so talented. But I wish you could have included Sofia photos in this post!

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you so much, Mimi. You are very kind. Yes, a little post about Sofia is overdue especially after I terrified half the blogosphere talking about my first- month experience. 😉

  7. talkavino

    Francesca, this looks spectacular… I already feel bad, but this might be my special request the next time we get together…

  8. Dina

    This a wonderful recipe, Francesca – with a lot of little extras, it looks smashing. I’ve been studying the photos longer than your recipe, I’ve to admit. I’m on a diet and try not too look too long, sigh…
    I’m so happy to read that Sofia is all tuned to you and your life is back to normal again, that’s great news, indeed1
    We have glorious weather too! 🙂
    Sunny hugs to you all, Dina xo

    1. Francesca Post author

      Hello Dina!
      I’m on a diet too. I will be leaving for Italy at the end of the month and ” the bathing suit test” is waiting for me. This past winter has been a disaster! All that time spent indoor because of the freezing weather with the refrigerator only a step away. 😉
      Yes, Sofia is my perfect companion. I don’t like to talk, she can’t talk … a match made in heaven! 😉
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      Kiss everybody for me, will you?
      F. Xx

      1. Dina

        Being on a diet is hard, Francesca, I’m glad we’re two in this boat.:-) I say to myself; “now listen carefully, you know discipline is choosing between what you want most and what you want now!”. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 😉 I’m off to Norfolk next week and I’ll happily deliver your kisses! <3
        Dina xo

  9. apuginthekitchen

    I love your meatloaf recipe and that you made en croute. Beautifully done Francesca, it’s a wonderful combination of flavors in the loaf and then to wrap in buttery puff pastry, you have made meatloaf an elegant meal.

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you Suzanne! That was exactly my point. I wanted to make this very rustic and simple dish a little bit more chic. As always, you were able to read among the lines.
      Have a great weekend!
      Did you hear from Azita? She hasn’t blogged for a while …

  10. Darya

    This looks absolutely amazing, Francesca. I love meatloaf, but this is really special, and so elegant too. Apricots! Speck! Hazelnuts! So decadent. I think you could almost call this a Pithiviers if you wanted it to sound even more fancy (though the original Pithiviers was made with lark pâté – yeah, gross – but nowadays, any ground meat mixture is acceptable).
    I understand how you feel about going back to “normal”, I start longing for these moments on the second day I have visitors, no matter how much I enjoy having friends and family over!

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you, Darya!
      I have never heard of Pithiviers. I’m so going to look into it. As you may know, I adore anything fancy. 😉
      I’m glad you can relate. You make me feel less … Maleficent. 😉

  11. thesinglegourmetandtraveller

    Wonderful meatloaf recipe and great idea to wrap in ‘en croute’. Perfect for picnics now the summer is here. I know what you mean about the return to quiet, order and routine after the departure of even the most welcome and loved guest. Good to have you back Francesa 🙂

    1. Francesca Post author

      And we love them even more after they have left, don’t we?
      Thank you so much. Yes, you are perfectly right. I haven’t thought about it but this can be a very nice picnic dish.
      Hope you have great weekend! Xx