Marta’s Meatloaf

  • Posted on 18th October 2009,
  • written by Cindy
Marta’s Meatloaf

“American meatloaf and Cuban meatloaf are light years apart. We Cubans only call it meatloaf to give Americans a frame of reference. We call it Pulpeta.”–Marta Darby, My Big Fat Cuban Family.


  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. Ground pork
  • 1 small can deviled ham (or you can grind your own ham)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 hard boiled egg, peeled
  • another cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 more beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small jar diced pimentos
  • 1 small can sweet peas
  • 1 bay leaf


Wash your hands and roll up your sleeves. Trust me, there’s no better way!

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork and deviled ham. To this meat mixture add 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 2 beaten eggs, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and knead it together until it’s thoroughly combined.
    Shape mixture into an oblong loaf.
  • Take the 2 hard boiled eggs and push them into the loaf, so that they end up right in the center of the loaf, end to end. Shape the meat back into it’s oblong shape.
    Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Put the rest of the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
  • Put the other 2 beaten eggs on another plate.
  • Carefully roll the loaf in the beaten eggs, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat.
  • In a large shallow frying pan, gently brown the loaf on all sides in olive oil. You are basically searing the outside until it creates a nice, crunchy crust.
  • In a pot with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil and add the garlic, peppers and onions. Cook until soft. Add tomato sauce, white wine, pimientos, peas and bay leaf.
  • Gently place the seared meat into this mixture and reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. Spoon the sauce over the meat occasionally as it cooks.
  • Remove the meat to a serving platter and allow to rest.
  • Slice the meat into about 1 1/2 inch slices and be prepared for the ooohs and aaaahs when you slice it to reveal the hard-boiled eggs.
  • Pour sauce over meat if desired.