Updated: Jan 17
A traditional Italian favorite made with meats, fresh herbs, cold cuts, cheese, eggs, and spices!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10 people
Gluten/ Soy Free
Polpettone Ripieno, a favorite of mine from childhood. Very easy to make and it always delivers. It is moist and full of flavor. It is a crowd pleaser and a life saver when in need of a simple recipe for family dinners. In my humble opinion, this is the king of the dinner table.
What is Polpettone Ripieno?
It is just a loaf stuffed with a protein, fruit, vegetable or a combination of those. In this case, the main ingredient is meat and it is prepared with bread crumbs, bread, cheese, or eggs as binding agents and it is given extra moisture with added milk.
What does Polpettone Ripieno mean?
Polpettone means "meatloaf" and “Ripieno” means stuffed in Italian. It is known in the United States as "Meatloaf" and in Latin American cuisine as "Albondigón".
Are Polpettone Ripieno and meatloaf the same thing?
Well...Yes and no.
Most people think Polpettone Ripieno and meatloaf are different. Others think they are the same. Neither one is wrong. However, although Polpettone Ripieno may look similar to meatloaf it doesn't have the same ingredients. Polpettone Ripieno is stuffed with vegetables, boiled eggs, cheese, herbs, or cold cuts. Meatloaf is not.
What are the origins of Polpettone Ripieno?
It is believed it originated in Northern Italy in the 6th Century as a peasant dish. From its humble origins it has now become a favorite winter treat.
What is the flavor profile of Polpettone Ripeno?
It varies depending on what ingredients you use. Flavor develops differently depending of what is used.
What proteins can be used in Polpettone Ripieno?
Beef, veal, pork, venison, boar, turkey, chicken, buffalo, etc... The sky is the limit. You can mix and match proteins. However, you must adjust the fat content in the recipe when using lean proteins otherwise you will end up with a very dense consistency.
What will I need to make Polpettone Ripieno?
You will need the ingredients listed below, a mixing bowl, some parchment paper, plastic wrap, and a deep baking dish.
2.5 pounds of ground beef or veal
1.5 pound of ground pork
1 large onion (chopped)
5 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
1/2 tablespoon of rosemary
1 teaspoon of thyme (optional)
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of 4C Crumbs Plain
3 slices of stale gluten free bread (chopped into small squares)
1/2 cup of fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
2 whole eggs
2 boiled eggs
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
6 OZ of Prosciutto
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
Start by placing two eggs in a saucepan with cold water and the vinegar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let it rest for 13 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, rinse the eggs with cold water and gently peel. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, and using your hands, mix the following: meats, chopped onion, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper, bread crumbs, parsley, Italian seasoning, 2 eggs, cheese, bread, milk, salt, and pepper. Make sure you incorporate well and form a ball.
Lay two pieces of plastic wrap on a flat surface (figure 1). Place the ball on it (figure 2). Flatten the ball and layer the prosciutto (figure 3), followed by the salame (figure 4), and boiled eggs (figure 5). Close the Polpettone by folding the plastic wrap away from you and then towards you until you create a loaf (figure 6). At this point you could place the Polpettone in the refrigerator and let it rest for 20 minutes or move onto the next step. By letting the Polpettone rest the fats will solidify and help to keep its shape.
Line a deep baking dish with parchment paper, creating a "nest for the Polpettone, and gently transfer the Polpetonne (figure 7). Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and use the turkey baster to extract any juices that have accumulated in the dish. Return to oven and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and extract again any juices that have accumulated. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.
Once the time has elapsed, remove the Polpettone from the oven, extract any accumulated juices, and set aside to rest (figure 8).
Remove from the baking dish and serve.
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