Il polpettone della domenica


This is my mum’s recipe for “polpettone”, as we call a meat loaf with an oval shape, very popular in the South of Italy. Tasteful and extremely “scenographic” if you put the hard boiled eggs in the middle, it is perfect for lunch or dinner when you have guests. Also because you can prepare it in advance, let’s say…. the day before as I did 😉 and just heat it in oven before serving. Of course you can skip the hard boiled eggs thing, and just form a normal meat loaf using the same recipe.

1 and 1/2 lb ground beef and pork (I do half and half, but do ratio to your taste)
4 eggs (two for the mix and two hard boiled)
1 big clove garlic minced
3 handfuls bread crumble
1 handful pine-seeds
1 handful parmigiano cheese
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 tsp. salt
a pinch of black pepper (optional)
6 spoonfuls olive oil
1 glass white wine
3 cups vegetable broth

Mix together well the two types of meat, add 2 beaten eggs, garlic, parsley, bread crumble, pine-seeds and parmigiano, and pepper if you like. Mix all ingredients very well. Meanwhile, hard boil two eggs and shell them. Form the meat mix into a thick layer,  roughly rectangular. Place at the center of it the two hard boiled eggs, and wrap the meat layer around them. Continue pressing on all sides the meat to obtain a regular oval loaf.

Chop the onion, carrot and celery extremely fine (if you use the blender is perfect), and toss on very low heat into a large pan with the oil, add a couple spoonful of water if it dries, and stir frequently. After about 15 minutes, place the meat loaf into the pan and turn up the gas at medium-high. Keep turning the loaf until the whole surface is brown. Add at this point the glass of wine and let it evaporate on a medium heat.

At this point you can continue cooking the meat loaf on the stove or transfer it into the oven.

If you continue the cooking on the stove, add two cups broth, cover it, put the heat at medium-low, stir every five-six minutes and cook for about 30-40 minutes. If you put it in the oven, add two cups broth and bake uncovered for about forty minutes. In both cases, add some more broth, in case the meat loaf dries too much.

When you slice the “polpettone”, you will see the nice effect of the eggs in the center.

I served it with fried eggplants and bell-peppers, but it goes perfectly with potatoes, green salad, and any other kind of seasonal vegetables.


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