Czech Food – Sekana
Quite simply Sekana is meat loaf and it’s possibly the most flexible Czech food you can get. You’ll find it as pub food and restaurants will have it on the Czech Lunch Menu because it can be served quickly. Expect a mix of meat formed into a long loaf which is then baked and served in slices. Sekana can be served hot or cold.
What’s in Sekana?
Never let it be said that the Czechs don’t skimp on using the word “Grandmother” when describing this meal which used to be an option for using up assorted small cuts of meat. Historically this would have been popular for using ground lamb or venison. Today the primary ingredient in the Czech version is a mix of pork and beef. For every kilo of meat you need two eggs, two long bread rolls OR four slices of bread cut into cubes and a large onion. Then it’s just what herbs you want to add and usually for us that would be garlic, marjoram and black pepper but other people like to add caraway seeds. The bread is there to both bulk up the meal and to make the meat loaf more moist.
Sekana in a Restaurant
A restaurant is aiming for consistency and the widest possible audience so expect it will have a slightly salty taste because the accompanying potato won’t have any salt in it but they won’t overdo the onion and garlic. It’s popular as a lunch item because a restaurant can cook a fixed amount of servings and it stays warm. Restaurants keep it simple by serving it without anything else except the accompanying side which should be either potato puree (with a knob of butter) or boiled potatoes (with a melted butter sauce) as pictured above. As it will basically be a couple of slices of Sekana with potato it’s really quick to be served hot so expect to see it on Chalkboard Lunch Menus as ready food. The only variant I’ve seen is where some kind of sauce is offered so expect that will be tomato/onion/dill.
Sekana as Pub Food
With homemade Sekana or pub food then you can have a play with it because some people like to encase pickles (gherkins) and even whole boiled eggs into the meat loaf. So this means when you slice the Sekana loaf some slices will be plain, others may have a pickle or part of an egg or both. You don’t often see the egg in the restaurant version and if there are pickles then they are normally on the side. A pub will often expect to serve Sekana as a cold dish just with bread and pickles so expect two questions in the pub environment which will be 1) do you want it heated? and 2) how many slices? Generally in a pub I go for cold and two slices.