We have two lovely Americans staying with and they cooked us meat loaf. This inspired us to include this recipe from Mario Batali.
2 large carrots, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices
4 cups spinach, thick stems discarded (85 grams)
1 kilo lean beef mince
1 kilo pork mince
2 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese (170 grams)
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 thin slices of prosciutto (113 grams)
225 grams caciocavallo or provolone cheese, cut into twelve slices
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 sprigs rosemary
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the carrots until tender, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook just until wilted; drain well and add to the carrots.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef with the pork, 2 cups of the bread crumbs, the pecorino, eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper; mix well with your hands.
- Line a work surface with a 40 centimetre long sheet of plastic wrap. In a bowl, mix the flour with the remaining ½ cup of bread crumbs.
- Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture all over the plastic wrap. Transfer half of the meat loaf mixture to the plastic and press it into 30 by 25 centimetre rectangle, about 1.5 centimetre thick. Lay half of the spinach leaves over the meat, leaving a 2.5 centimetre border on the short sides.
- Arrange half of the carrots over the spinach, and top with half the prosciutto and sliced cheese. Starting from the long end of the plastic wrap closest to you, tightly roll up the meat loaf, tucking in the filling and using the plastic wrap to guide you; discard the plastic. Repeat with another 40 centimetre sheet of plastic and the remaining bread crumbs, meat mixture, spinach, carrots, prosciutto and cheese. Drizzle each meat loaf with 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Put the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a broiler pan and pour in the red wine. Cover with the broiler pan grate. Set the meat loaves about 5 centimetres apart on the grate. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. Turn the broiler pan around and pour the water through the grate.
- Continue baking for about 35 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centre of each meat loaf registers 74 C.
- Transfer the meat loaves to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Discard any cheese from the bottom of the pan and strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Boil the pan juices over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the meat loaves and serve, passing the pan juices at the table.