You thought only your grandmother made the best meatloaf? Well, who knew, Persians make meatloaf too and they are not shy about stuffing lots of flavors into them. The main component that remains consistent is the signature Persian flavor profile; a touch of sweet that is balanced with sour and the refreshing company of fresh herbs.
Disclaimer: my grandmother did not make us meatloaves!
This style of meatloaf is quite popular and highly adaptive to regional tastes, preferences, and traditions associated with each part of Iran.
I made mine with beef, a mix of fresh herbs, a carrot, and a pear. Also in this version, like a game of hide and seek, I hid 3 hard-boiled eggs that are revealed only after slicing the meatloaf. There are no wrong combinations here: you can mix and match your favorite flavors and vegetables to create a meatloaf that is truly personalized to your taste preferences and palate.
Prefer lamb to meat? No problem. Want less red meat and prefer turkey? Also not a problem. Want to swap out the pear for an apple? That works! Carrots in meatloaves won’t work for you? Well, swap them out for parsnips or butternut squash or celeriac or sweet potato or rutabaga or turnip or . . . You get my point!
Dast Peech-e Gusht
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 pear, grated
- 1/2 cup barberries
- 4-5 tablespoons rice flour
- 5 eggs, 3 hard boiled, 2 lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons grape molasses, optional
- 1 tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized frying pan, saute the onions with 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Add garlic and saute for 2 additional minutes. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sauteed onions, ground meat, fresh herbs, spices, salt, pepper, carrot, pear, barberries, flour and the 2 lightly beaten eggs. Mix well.
- If the meat mixture is too sticky and wet feeling, adjust by adding more flour.
- Lightly grease a loaf pan and begin by layering half of the meat mixture in the pan.
- Place the 3 hard boiled eggs in the pan and lightly press down.
- Add the remaining meat mixture and press lightly to combine the two layers.
- Place the meatloaf on the center rack of the oven and cook for approximately 1 hour. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once lightly cooled, carefully remove the meatloaf from the pan and place on a serving platter.
- Brush the meatloaf with grape molasses and sprinkle with pistachios.
- Serve with Persian flatbreads or steamed basmati rice.