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"Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy. Seated at Life's Dining Table, with the menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrées, the hors d'oeuvres, and the things à la, though you know that Roast Beef, Medium, is safe and sane, and sure."
Edna Ferber (1887-1968), U.S. author. Roast Beef, Medium, Foreword (1911)

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Although polpette means meatballs in Italian, generally in America polpette refers to smaller sized meatballs of more than one meat, often used in soups and generally shaped into oblong torpedoes rather than round balls. This recipe produces some of the most flavorful moist polpette in the world!

Preparation Time: 40 minutes    Serving Size: a lot of polpette

  • 2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs from either Italian of French bread
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck
  • 3/4 pound ground veal
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • oil for frying

Mix coarse bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the three ground meats, garlic, pecorino, parsley, salt and pepper and mix by hand until blended. Do not over mix. Slowly pour beaten egg over the mixture. Allow to settle for a minute into the meat. Mix gently again by hand to just combine.

Form approximately 1 tablespoon of meat mixture by hand into an oblong torpedo shape and place on a baking sheet. Once all polpette have been formed, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry polpette in batches until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve with an antipasto salad or with spinach and cannellini beans or with marinara sauce. Cooked polpette may be frozen for later use.

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