This is a classic Czech meatloaf recipe made from ground beef and pork. We call it sekaná in the Czech Republic, and it’s very flavorful and juicy inside.
My mom always adds bread crumbs into meatloaf. The loaf holds better together and has a nicer, smoother texture.
I add soaked white bread to my meatloaf and use bread crumbs to thicken the meatloaf mix if necessary.
TIP: Try out holandský řízek, aka Holland Schnitzel (don’t get confused, it is a typical Czech dish!).
What is Czech Sekaná?
Czech sekaná is a meatloaf made from ground beef and pork (ratio 1:1 in this recipe), with traditional Czech spices, such as dried marjoram, crushed caraway seeds, or ground black pepper.
Sekaná is also flavored with finely chopped onion and smashed garlic clove. Cubed white bread, soaked in milk, also belongs to the sekaná.
Sekaná is baked in the oven, either on a sheet or in a special loaf pan.
Here is another delicious recipe with ground pork, called Cevapcici (easy and quick, worth trying it!)
I recorded a short audio clip on how to pronounce the Czech word "sekaná" (meatloaf).
This is a 1 lb meatloaf recipe, makes a smaller loaf, fits perfect for 2-4.
You’ll need these ingredients:
- Ground pork; fattier for better taste, pork belly or shoulder is a good choice
- Ground beef; lean beef preferred
- Onion; peeled and finely chopped
- Milk; warm, to pour over cubed white bread
- Cloves of garlic; peeled and mashed
- White bread; cubed, better is stale bread 1-2 days old
- Whole egg
- Caraway seeds; crushed
- Dried marjoram
- Black pepper; ground
Have bread crumbs on the ready if the meatloaf mixture is too thin and needs thickening, which will happen by adding the bread crumbs.
I don’t have any special meatloaf pan; I bake sekaná in a small ceramic tray. Feel free and use any baking sheet that works best for you.
Before we start making sekaná, preheat the oven to 340 °F (180 °C).
Pour about ½ inch layer of water into the baking tray. Water and the fat make great dripping, poured over the sekaná while baking.
STEP 1: Peel onions and chop them finely. Peel cloves of garlic and mash them, use a garlic press. Soak diced white bread in warm milk for at least 5 minutes.
STEP 2: Add all ingredients in a large bowl.
STEP 3: Mix all ingredients properly in a smooth mass, it takes about 2-3 minutes. Use your fingers.
STEP 4: Make a loaf shape carefully and transfer it to a meatloaf pan or a baking dish. Smooth the meatloaf surface.
STEP 5: Cook for 1 hour in a pre-heated oven, uncovered, pour over the juice a few times while meatloaf is baked. This method makes even crispier edges.
Czech sekaná meatloaf pairs best with boiled or mashed potatoes. Pickles are also often added to the sekaná. Instead of pickles, try out another favorite side: Czech-style braised sauerkraut, dušené zelí.
As the final step, garnish the dish with fresh herb leaves, for instance, a sprig of parsley.
- If you find the meatloaf mix too thin, add some bread crumbs.
- Mash the sekaná loaf together, so the meatloaf mix holds together without any air bubbles inside. Finished sekaná should be soft, juicy, and flexible.
- You can add dried thyme or red paprika to the sekaná if you want.
- A good option is topping the surface of the meatloaf with slices of bacon.
Czechs love to eat cold sekaná with bread. A slice of sekaná is laid on a piece of bread, and mustard is spread on top of the sekaná.
This variant can serve as a filling family trip snack.
🍲 More Czech dishes:
- Řízek – breaded and fried Schnitzel
- Holandský řízek – small cheesy burgers made from ground meat
- Smažený sýr – breaded and fried cheese, Czech smažák
To get a juicy meatloaf, you need to add high-fat meat. This recipe contains half of ground meat pork, which is usually much fattier than beef. Avoid using only lean meat in the recipe.
Use a baking dish with higher rims and pour about ½ inch water into it. The water makes a perfect dripping while the loaf is baked. Form a loaf shape out of the meatloaf mix and carefully transfer it to the dish—bake in the oven in the method described.
I bake meatloaf uncovered in a small tray. I pour juices over the sekaná while baking. If you bake meatloaf in a loaf pan, you can cover the pan with aluminum foil in the first baking phase. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes for a nice browning and crispy surface.
Beef and Pork Meatloaf, Czech Sekaná
- ½ lb (230 g) ground pork meat (fattier is preferable, for example pork shoulder or belly)
- ½ lb (230 g) ground beef meat (80 - 90 % lean)
- 2 onions
- ¾ cup (180 ml) milk (warm)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 and ½ cups white bread (diced)
- 1 whole egg
- ½ tsp caraway seeds (crushed)
- ½ Tbsp dried marjoram
- ½ tsp black pepper (ground)
- 2 tsp salt
- bread crumbs (to thicken the meatloaf mix)
- Before start making sekaná, preheat the oven to 340 °F (180 °C).
- Pour about ½ inch layer of water into the baking tray. Water and the fat make great dripping, poured over the sekaná while baking.
- Peel onions and chop them finely.
- Peel cloves of garlic and mash them, use a garlic press.
- Add cubed white bread in a shallow bowl and pour over the warm milk. Let the bread cubes soak up all the milk, it takes about 5 minutes.
- Place ground meat, both beef and pork, in a large mixing bowl.
- Add chopped onion, mashed garlic, whole egg, soaked bread. Taste with crushed caraway seeds, dried marjoram, and ground pepper. Add salt.
- Mix everything, preferably with your hands. Start with a fork, continue with your fingers. You need to make a smooth mass out of all ingredients. It takes about 2-3 minutes. If you find the meatloaf mix too thin, add some bread crumbs.
- Shape a loaf, transfer it into a baking tray carefully, smooth the meatloaf surface.
- Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour, pour the dripping in the bottom of the tray over the meatloaf at least twice.
- Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm, sliced, with potatoes (mashed or boiled).
- Czech sekaná meatloaf pairs best with mashed or simply boiled potatoes. Pickles are also often added to the sekaná. As the final step, garnish the dish with fresh herb leaves, for instance, a sprig of parsley.
- You can add dried thyme or red paprika to the meatloaf mix if you want.
- Czechs love to eat cold sekaná with bread. A slice of sekaná is laid on a slice of bread and mustard is spread on top of the sekaná.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart