Sunday, September 19, 2010

Carmela Soprano's Polpettone and Anna Sultana's Pulpettun, Meatloaf, Maltese Style

Okay.  Even though I've finished and returned Julia Powell's latest book Cleaving, I'm still under the influence of her obsession.  

Meat.  Meat.  Meatloaf.

Carmela has a meatloaf recipe - Polpettone - she must have cooked up lots of times when Tony was just a button in the mob. 

Then again, it's a bit Carmela-esque. 

The recipe in Entertaining with The Sopranos has Carmela's special little touches: 
4 slices of day-old Italian bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces, then soaked in 1/2 cup milk. 

What is her problem with crusts?  What does she do with them? 

And, along with the 1/2 pound of ground pork, the recipe calls for 1 pound of ground beef sirloin.


If Paul saw me take a pound of sirloin and grind it up for a meatloaf, he'd call on Paulie Walnuts to pay me a visit.

I mean, who grinds up sirloin?

Maybe Carmela figured Tony would have the same reaction, because she throws
in 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano along with 3 ounces each of sliced prosciutto
(or mortadella) and provolone to throw Tony off the scent.

Ma had a similar recipe, Pulpettun.  But it's way more practical.


This can also be prepared by placing half of the meat mixture in a 9 x 5 loaf pan, placing the 2 eggs in the centre, then topping off with the rest of the meat.
If you prefer a crusty top, don't cover the meat.

preheat oven to 400º           
bake 60 min.

Place in a large bowl
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef  (just beef - as cheap as you want to go)
1/4 pound ground pork liver (to sneak some liver into the kids)
5 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
1 cup breadcrumbs
Season with
salt and pepper
4 eggs
Stir into the meat mixture
Place half the meat on a piece of foil
and put
2 hard-cooked eggs
on top
Put the remainder of the meat on top of the eggs
Form into a loaf
Roll the loaf in the foil and bake

To be on the safe side, the internal temperature should reach 155ºF.

The trick of Polpettone/Pulpettun is the hard-cooked eggs in the middle of the loaf.  Maybe it inspired Hostess to put the creme filling in their cupcakes.  A bright spot in the middle of all that dark.

Anyway, to my way of thinking, Ma's meatloaf makes sense.
Ground beef?  Burgers, meatballs or meatloaf.
Would I make Carmela's meatloaf again.
Would I grind sirloin?
No way.

Another recipe down.  Forty-five more to go.

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