Comfort food is taken to the next level in my spin on this classic dish. It is an indulgence and full of rich ingredients. Hey, we all deserve a splurge every now and then. The best part about this recipe is it yields two good sized loafs AND freezes like a dream. So if you are as busy as GF Mike, you can pull one of these out of the freezer in the morning to defrost and re-heat when you get home – it actually tastes better the second time around as the ingredients get a chance to really meld together. Sorry for the lack of photo but this is one of my old standbys. I should be making it this weekend and will snap a pic.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl first combine the wet ingredients: Eggs; ketchup; mustard; diced olives; and capers. Mix well until combined. Next, incorporate the meat into the wet ingredients. Before mixing, add the garlic powder and salt and pepper. You’ll now need to get your hands dirty in order to mix well. I prefer to wear rubber gloves for this bit as they make life so much easier. Get in there and work all the ingredients. I like to mix while rotating the bowl clockwise. I cannot stress how important the mixing is – you need to make sure the three types of meat and other ingredients marry together. Now for the bread crumbs. This bit can be tricky because it is all about consistency. Start adding some of the bread crumbs and mix. You want the consistency to not be runny but also you do not want a dry dough-like result. Keep incorporating bread crumbs until you have a moist (not wet) mixture. You might need more or less bread crumbs than I listed depending on your ingredients and location. The mixture should be firm (not hard) and all liquid should be well incorporated. Split the mixture into two equal sized portions (these will become your loaves).
Prepare a large baking sheet, preferable one that has a bit of depth to it, (non-stick or simply line with foil as I do) and give it a generous spray of canola cooking spray. Take one portion of the meat mixture and form it a large ball being sure to work it so that there are no air pockets. Please the ball onto the baking sheet and press it down while forming into an oval-like loaf shape. I prefer to flatten the top so that the loaf has a relatively uniform height for even cooking. Repeat with the second portion of the mixture. Note: you can also make one large loaf as well if you are feeding a family or guests.
Finally, take your slices of prosciutto and wrap each loaf. Tuck the ends underneath the loaf but do ensure that they are well tucked. Sprinkle each loaf with a dash of paprika and you are ready to bake.
Place the baking sheet into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 1- 1 ¼ hours but check it regularly as ovens do vary. While I do like it well-done you do not want to burn it or dry it out too much. The prosciutto should be wonderfully crisp and there should be no pink in the loaf itself.
I love to serve this with a creamy horseradish sauce, though it is just fine plain as well. Also, you can try adding ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano to the mix. It not only helps bind but also adds a bit of kick to the loaves. Again, just a personal preference.