What To Eat: Ña Ever’s Flippin’ Awesome Pan de Carne

A few weeks ago, someone was asking about a breadless meat loaf on the 4HB forum. There were a few suggestions, but I have another.

slow-carb meat loaf recipe

Ña Ever's Pan De Carne

My Paraguayan mother-in-law makes the *best* meat loaf I’ve ever had.

The way she makes it is way better, partly because she’s been doing it forever, but also because of the way she cooks it. You can do it all at once, but she usually makes it the night before so it can set. Then when she’s ready to cook it, she goes outside with her machete, finds sticks, and starts a wood fire in her outdoor oven. The meat loaf comes out with a naturally smokey flavor that is unbeatable.

You could do it that way, but we didn’t for this one (you can bet I will be trying when the weather is better). Follow this recipe and you’ll get a moist, delicious, slow-carb meat loaf in about 45 minutes.


  • 2 lbs ground beef (the leaner the better)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • pinch or two of nutmeg
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (interesting: they say “teeth of garlic” in Spanish)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 or so slices of bacon cut up into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional:

  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 2 or 3 hard-boiled eggs


  1. Mix all of the ingredients except the optional ones in a bowl and mix well. Use your hands – it’s fun!
  2. On a sheet of aluminum foil, spread out the meat mixture (you’re going to roll it in a second)
  3. Lay out in the middle your shredded carrots, peppers, and hard-boiled eggs. Ña Ever leaves them whole, but you can also slice the eggs and lay that out.
  4. Roll the meat up, joining the ends and the seam so it looks like a log. The foil will help you. Use the foil to keep it closed for cooking.
  5. Cook at 350 for 45 mins to an hour. At 40 mins, open the foil a bit to check.
  6. Enjoy!

As you can see in the photo, I enjoyed my pan de carne with a side of lentils cooked with some Indian masala. Between the meat loaf and some type of legume, you’ve got everything you need for a meal.

I’m sure you’ll love this meat loaf, and I look forward to hearing how you like it in the comments!

Buen Provecho!

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  1. Thanks for posting this – i gave it a try and it turned out great. My foil split so some of the fat escaped onto the baking tray, but it was still very moist.

    I added some baby spinach leaves into the middle and served with some white bean (cannelini) mash with a bit of salt/pepper/chili.

    Great because its a bit of a different texture to other 4hb foods ive been eating.

    • Chris, thanks for letting me know! My mother in law is going to be flabbergasted that someone tried it and loved it too. 😉 I like your idea of baby spinach in the middle. I will have to try that next time as well.


  2. Tried this the other day–as usual, I tinkered. Instead of 2# of ground beef, I did half and half beef and sausage. And what did I put in the middle? Spinach and white beans (with a bit of garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg). A complete slow-carb meal (except that it was still mostly meat!). Yummy!

  3. I know this is probably a stupid question, but do you mince the garlic cloves? Thanks!

    • No stupid questions here, Stefanie. 🙂 Just me not being clear on a recipe…

      Yes, you mince the garlic cloves. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated the recipe now. 🙂


  4. Great recipe. Scattered extra herbs and spices over the meat mixture before adding the filling and rolling up – helped the carrot take on more flavour.

  5. I recently had a gastric bypass and I love this recipients its full of protein and low in carbs my question is I ‘m not allowed bacon too much fat so will leaving it out make it less moist ?

    • Hey Sherry – probably, but it’s not a big deal. It’ll still be delicious. 🙂

      I’m really sorry to hear you had to gave gastric bypass! Are there ways you can add things to your meals that allow you to have fats? Or does it not cause too much trouble not to eat it?


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