Ann made this massive polpettone, meatloaf stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and provolone, for a dinner party and it was fantastic. Adapting a David Tanis recipe from The Times, she uses 1 part each ground beef, ground pork, and Italian sausage. That amounts to three pounds of meat, plus nearly a pound of other ingredients, so we froze the uneaten half for a full dinner later in the week.
It can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. The dish was preceeded by Genovese-style artichokes, also fantastic to eat.
Part of what made this meal special was the fact that two of the guests, Chris and Michael, were the last people to eat here before lockdown and this was their first dinner party since that night. They live an hour and a half away and so dinner parties here are uncommon. Yet they had their last pre-lockdown dinner party with us, and their first post-lockdown dinner party with us.
What a pleasure it is to be able to hug friends on their arrival and to share a cocktail and then a meal and to linger over dessert. It's been far too long.
- 1 cup diced bread, toasted till dry in a 225˚F oven
- 1 cup cream
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound loose Italian sausage
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- pinch of cayenne
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp chopped rosemary
- 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- ½ cup Parmasan
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, coarsely chopped
- ¼ pound prosciutto
- 1 pound spinach, blanched in boiling water and squeezed dry
- 3 ounces provolone slices
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- Soak the bread in the cream. (This is called a panade, which helps to keep the meatloaf juicy.)
- Heat your oven to 350˚F.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a big bowl if mixing by hand), combine the beef, pork, sausage, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, parmesan, and mix on medium, for 20 seconds or so. Then add the bread and cream and the lightly beaten eggs. Continue to mix on medium till it is all well combined.
- On a sheet tray, on parchment paper, spread out the meat into a rectangle about an inch thick (see photos below). Put a layer of prosciutto across the entire rectangle. Distribute the spinach evenly across it.
- Distribute the chopped egg and provolone over the spinach.
- With the long edge of the rectangle closest to you, fold ⅓ of the rectangle over on itself using the parchment to lift it. Pull the parchment back and fold the top third over to enclose the filling and pinch the seams together.
- Coat the entire monster with bread crumbs.
- Bake until it reaches a temperature of 140˚F to 145˚F. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing into slabs and serving. This is excellent cold as well.
That looks like proscuitto in the photo. Should it be pancetta or proscuitto?
I can tell these posts don't get proofread quite as well as the cookbooks 😉
The ingredients list calls for Italian sausage and Pancetta, but I see neither of those in the directions. Instead, there are references to veal and Prosciutto. From the pictures, obviously you used Prosciutto. I'm less clear, though, about whether you used veal or Italian sausage as the third meat.
Arrrgh! So sorry and I'm very grateful you all wrote. I used Italian sausage, though you could certainly use veal. I love the way the sausage tastes. And not pancetta! Prosciutto. Though in The Times, David Tanis suggest mortadella. Or I'd say use both mortadella and prosciutto.
Huge fan Michael. I have all of your books, and I mean ALL. The binding on "Charcuterie" is disintegrating from years of use. At 3 lbs of product, for me freezing is a must. Any advice how to re-heat the defrosted meatloaf?
I would cut it into slices and heat in a pan with a little butter.
The polpettone looks incredible but Michael you lucky dog, you're friends with the great actor Chris Cooper! Must have been an excellent dinner party!