Piero’s Polpettone

The below will feed around 8 people – halve the ingredients if you’re feeding a family of four

  • 1kg minced pork
  • 100g grated parmesan or pecorino
  • 2 eggs
  • A good handful of chopped parsley
  • Approximately 100g fresh breadcrumbs – 2-3 slices bread whizzed in a food processor or liquidiser
  • Black pepper
  • About 100g grated parmesan, pecorino or strong cheddar
  • 5 or 6 slices of thin ham or mortadella or salami to cover the surface
  • 150g fontina or cheddar or gruyere
  • 100g spinach
  • 2kg potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm chunks.
  • Olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Mix together by hand thoroughly.  It will probably need about ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, but no salt as the parmesan is salty enough  Cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. 

Lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper or clingfilm.  Put the pork mix on it and flatten out to a rectangle about 30 x 20 cm.

Lay 5 or 6 slices of thin ham, or ideally mortadella over the surface.  Slice over the top another 150g fontina  or cheddar.  Wilt 100g spinach and spread this over the top.  Roll up lengthways using the greaseproof paper to help you.  Pat gently to shape and close any cracks.

Grease a large roasting tin liberally with olive oil.  Carefully put the rolled Polpettone in the middle of the tin, again using the greaseproof to hold it together as you transfer it. 

Parboil 2cm potato chunks for 8 minutes or so until nearly tender.  Drain, return to the pan and shake thoroughly to roughen up the surface.  Drizzle over some olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.  Shake again to thoroughly coat the surface of the potatoes with oil and seasoning.   Pour these around the Polpettone in a rough layer. 

Cook for 45 minutes or so in a 200°C oven.  It might need up to an hour, depending on how it is browning.  Turn the potatoes once after about 20 minutes.  If the Polpettone is cooking too fast, cover it with a small piece of foil, leaving the potatoes uncovered. 

Good with green salad or some green vegetables, and a nice homemade tomato sauce.

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