Authentically known as hackbraten, German meatloaf is easy to make and sure to be a hit at your dinner table.
If you are craving an exciting twist on classic meatloaf, this delicious German meatloaf recipe uses the tangy flavor of pickles, and smoky strips of bacon to pack each bite with huge flavor.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Ground beef - 80/20 beef or leaner is recommended.
- Ground pork - Additional ground beef can be substituted instead.
- Plain breadcrumbs - Diced bread can be substituted, but you can also make meatloaf without breadcrumbs in a pinch.
- Yellow onion
- Beef broth - Milk can be substituted.
- Large eggs
- Pickles - I like the flavor of dill pickles, but bread and butter pickles are popularly used.
- Sour cream
- Fresh parsley
- Brown mustard - Yellow mustard can be substituted.
- Table salt
- Garlic powder - Two cloves of minced garlic can be substituted.
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Bacon - I recommend regular cut bacon rather than thick cut bacon, which will be more difficult to crisp fully.
- Optional - Hard-boiled eggs can also be added, but this is more common with falscher hase (false hare).
How to make it
To make this hackbraten recipe crumble the ground meat in a large bowl, then add the bread crumbs, minced onion, beef broth, raw egg, chopped pickles, sour cream, parsley, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well until throughoully combined.
Line a baking dish or rimmed pan with parchment paper and place the meatloaf mixture on it, then form into a loaf. Lay the strips of bacon across the top of the meatloaf.
Bake the meatloaf in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees until it reaches 150 degrees, then set the broiler to high heat and continue to cook until the bacon is golden brown and crispy. The meatloaf should stay on the middle rack during all of this.
Once the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees and the bacon is crisp, remove the German meatloaf from the oven and let rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover hackbraten should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to one week. The leftovers make wonderful meatloaf sandwiches.
Reheat the leftover meatloaf as individual slices in a hot skillet set over medium low heat, or gently in the microwave until warmed through.
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German Meatloaf - Hackbraten
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper
- 1 pound ground beef (80/20 beef recommended)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pickles (bread and butter pickles or dill pickles can be used)
- 1 tablespoon pickle brine
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 bacon slices (halved)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine all of the meatloaf ingredients, except the bacon slices.
- Set the meat mixture on a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper and form into a loaf shape. Lay the strips of bacon evenly across the top.
- Place the meatloaf in the oven on the middle rack for approximately one hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, then set the broiler to high heat and broil with the oven door shut for 5-10 minutes, or until the bacon is brown and crispy. The internal temperature should have increased to 160 degrees while broiling, if not, shut off the broiler and bake a few minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for approximately five minutes, then slice and serve.