What is Bavarian Meat Loaf?
While meatloaf is commonly considered a classic American dish, similar dishes exist all over the globe. One age-old favorite is Bavarian meatloaf, also known as leberkäse (or liver cheese, even though it contains neither liver nor cheese). The dish is incredibly popular in Germany, Austria, and some areas of Switzerland. But what is Bavarian meat loaf, and how does it differ from American meatloaf?
Bavarian meatloaf emerged as a popular dish during the Middle Ages among German peasants because it was hearty, practical, and used readily available ingredients. Over the years, it evolved and became popular across Bavaria and beyond as comfort food and a large part of Germany’s culinary identity.
Bavarian meatloaf is a mix of finely ground beef and pork mixed with herbs, spices, onions, and bread to create a dish that melts in your mouth. The mixture is packed into loaf pans and then baked in the oven until it is golden brown, so you get a crispy exterior and a flavorful and juicy interior. Different parts of Germany have different ingredients they like to add, such as mustard seeds, garlic, and even cheese sometimes. When German immigrants came to America during the Colonial era, they brought the recipe over with them, which is why Bavarian meatloaf recipes have a lot of similarities to American meatloaf recipes.