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Pulpeta (Cuban Meat Loaf)


INGREDIENTS (should serve 6)

* 3/4lb. of ground beef

* 1/4lb. of cooked ground ham

* 20 olives

* 4 eggs

* 3 boiled eggs

* 2 tablespoons of olive oil

* 2 cups of cracker meal

* 1 teaspoon each of oregano and cumin

* 1 tablespoon of minced garlic

* 1/2 a teaspoon of minced garlic

* 1/4 of a teaspoon of pepper

* salt to taste


For the sauce, combine:

* 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce

* 1/2 a teaspoon of minced garlic

* 1/4 of a teaspoon of oregano

* 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground bay leaves

* 1/2 a cup of cooking wine (white)


Without doubt, meatloaf ranks up there as one of the world’s most popular dishes – and in Cuba they feel no different. To prepare Cuban meatloaf – or pulpeta as it is known locally – you need to mix your ham and beef together with two well beaten eggs. Add salt, pepper, onion, garlic and oregano to flavor. Mix these up well and add enough cracker meal so that the meat contents hold their shape. Once you have this, you can form the contents into a large loaf-like shape. You then need to open the loaf by cutting across it, when you can then insert three hard boiled eggs and a line of olives down both sides. Close the loaf tightly, and then roll your loaf in the remaining two well beaten eggs. Add the remaining cracker meal. Place your loaf in a large skillet and brown the loaf in some pre-heated heated oil. Once you have a browned loaf, you need to prepare the sauce to go with the loaf. In Cuba this sauce is known as the salsa (like the dance), which you pour over the loaf and leave to simmer at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for three-quarters of an hour. Make sure to look in on the loaf and turn every now and then (probably not more than twice). Once the meatloaf has been well baked, allow the loaf to cool before slicing and serving.

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