Do I have a great recipe for your holiday season? You bet I do! Italians, especially southerners like me, usually have a seafood-based Christmas Eve dinner, but over the holidays we indulge and enjoy all kinds of rich, tasty foods. Here is one of my favorite super flavorful recipes: Meatloaf Stuffed with Mushrooms & Fontina Cheese.
GRAIN-FREE MEATLOAF STUFFED WITH MUSHROOMS & FONTINA CHEESE
Winter is coming, and so are the holidays 🎄 No better time to make my Meatloaf Stuffed with Mushrooms & Fontina. This is my personal update of Nonna‘s traditional Polpettone, using almond flour instead of milk-soaked bread and absolutely NO ketchup or barbecue sauce or anything processed with sugar in it because both my Nonnas would have a stroke in their graves. Italians in Italy don’t ever do that. Trust me. Never, ever, ever! The tradition of hiding sugar in savory dishes is definitely not an Italian one. Rarely, do we mix sweet and savory in main courses. Very rarely! Which is great for our health and does not support the crazy epidemic that sugar addiction is today. So, this Meatloaf is gluten-free, grain-free and sugar-free.
As you can see, my “Polpettone Ripieno” (Stuffed Meatloaf) is like an Italian Yule Log made with beef, pork, herbs, stuffing, and lots of love. Big enough to feed at least 3 generations and overflowing with yummy goodness. This is a meat wonder your family will drool over and it’s totally keto. You could also make it fully paleo by skipping the Fontina cheese and doubling the mushrooms. But I’m like… It’s Christmas! Let’s live a little! (Of course, if you have allergies and/or sensitivities, keep abstaining. Follow your gut, as I like to say).
SHOPPING LIST FOR STUFFED MEATLOAF WITH MUSHROOMS & FONTINA CHEESE
Take a look at these ingredients. Next to the meat, you’ll see an abundance of fresh herbs, as well as half a pound of fresh mushrooms. I’m using Baby Bella, but you can use any mushrooms you like (as long as they’re not poisonous… duh!). You can also see that there are no grains, such as oats (which I use soaked in milk in my gluten-free traditional version of this recipe) or soft bread, such as my grandmother would use. Almond flour is a great grain-free substitute.
Here goes the list of ingredients:
- Ground Beef (here I used sirloin)
- Ground Pork (here I used mild Italian sausage, which adds a lot of flavor)
- Almond Flour
- Fontina Cheese (you can use a different cheese, but Fontina is perfect, even better than mozzarella for this recipe)
- Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Italian Parsley
- Fresh Thyme
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Himalayan Salt
- Black Pepper
HOW TO MAKE MY GRAIN-FREE STUFFED MEATLOAF
Mix the ground meat, eggs, almond flour, mustard, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley in a bowl. Here I’m not adding any chopped onion because I’m stuffing the meatloaf with half a pound of mushrooms sautéed with 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 cloves of garlic (minced) and 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves. Then I added 6 oz of Fontina cheese to the stuffing and 1 cup of chopped parsley to the mix. Also, I’m using loose Italian sausage in lieu of simple ground pork. Adding the onion to the meat might bog down the meatloaf, so I chose to leave it out.
And now, for a thorough visual, watch how I made this Polpettone Ripieno. As a side, I suggest my formidable Italian Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Herbs. If you’re avoiding starch in general, then I highly recommend my to-die-for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bay Leaf Aïoli. Did you say Grazie?? Prego!
MEATLOAF STUFFED WITH MUSHROOMS & FONTINA (GRAIN-FREE)
- 1 ½ lb ground beef
- 1 lb pork sausage loose
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups almond flour
- 1 cup Italian parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt adjust to taste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ lb mushrooms portobello or other
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp thyme fresh leaves
- 6 oz Fontina cheese cubed
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees
- In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, loose pork sausage, almond flour, eggs, Dijon mustard, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Knead until thoroughly combined
- Place meat inside a baking pan lined with parchment paper (this stuffed meatloaf is way too large for a loaf pan, so I don't recommend it). Shape the meat like a boat, carving a hollow space big enough for the stuffing (watch video for visual details).
- Place the sauteed mushrooms and cubed Fontina cheese in the center and carefully tuck it all in, sealing the meatloaf around it with your hands (see video). This is a free-form meatloaf, so it won't be perfectly shaped as when you use a loaf pan. Do your best
- Loosely tent the pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until a golden/brown crust forms
- Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Buon Appetito!
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sautee the chopped garlic until lightly golden
- Add the chopped mushrooms (small chunks) and cook until soft
- Add the thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Set aside
- Cube or chop the Fontina cheese. Set aside
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