Polpettone Di Carne (Stuffed Meat Loaf)

Polpettone Di Carne (Stuffed Meat Loaf)
6 servings

Recipe Courtesy of Giuliano Bugialli from “Foods of Naples and Campania.”This is very good served with some preserved papacelle.



slices white bread, crusts removed
cup milk (125 ml)
sprig Italian parsley, leaves only
clove garlic, peeled
1 ½
lb(s) ground beef (681 grams)
heaping tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano (60 ml)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra large eggs
oz mozzarella (fiordilatte), cut into about ½-inch cubes (170 grams)
lb(s) boiled ham, sliced about ½-inch thick, then cut into thin strips (113 grams)
About 6 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour (90 ml)
Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (60 ml)
cup extra-virgin olive oil (60 ml)
extra-large egg white


Step 1

Soak the bread in the milk in a crockery or glass bowl for 30 minutes. Then transfer the soaked bread with all the milk to a small saucepan, and set the pan over low heat. Cook the bread, breaking it up in the milk and mixing constantly with a wooden spoon until a very smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes. Let it rest until cold, about 30 minutes. (Making a paste from the bread, instead of adding the bread when it is just soaked, makes the meat loaf much lighter.)

Step 2

Finely chop the parsley and garlic together on a cutting board. Put the meat, parsley mixture, Parmigiano, and the bread paste in a large bowl and mix very well. Season with salt and pepper and add the eggs. Mix again to be sure all the ingredients are well amalgamated.

Step 3

Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper. Shape it into a rectangle about ¾-inch thick. Distribute the mozzarella cubes over the mixture. Scatter the ham on top. Holding the parchment paper on the narrow side, use it to roll the meat around the cheese and ham stuffing into the shape of a salami. Lay the parchment paper flat again, and sprinkle the flour all over it. Roll the loaf in the flour to coat it evenly.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the butter in a glass baking dish (ovenproof), then pour in the oil. Carefully transfer the meat loaf to the baking dish. Use a fork to lightly beat the egg white. Then, with a brush, coat the meat loaf with the egg white. Bake for 20 minutes for medium-rare, basting the meat with its juices two or three times.

Step 5

Remove the dish from the oven. Transfer the meat loaf to a cutting board, and cut it into 1- inch thick slices. Serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.

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