Sicilian Meat Roll

2 beaten eggs
¾ c Italian bread crumbs
½ c tomato juice
1 t dried Oregano
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
¼–½ t garlic powder
2 lbs lean ground beef (10-15% fat)
8 slices deli ham
6–8 oz shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese (sliced diagonally)

Combine eggs, bread crumbs, tomato juice, and spices in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. In a large pan or bowl, mix hamburger with egg mixture. Mix well. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil about 15-16 inches long. Place meat mixture in center of foil and flatten out to a rectangle measuring about 10×12 inches. Large meat sheet should be about ½-inch thick. Arrange ham slices atop meat, leaving a small margin around the edges. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over ham. Starting from narrow end, lift foil and use it to fold the edge of the meat over on itself. Continue to roll the meat and cheese into a log. Seal the ends and long seam by molding extra meat to cover inner ham & cheese. Place log in high-sided pan (loaf pan) with sealed long seam down. Bake at about 350° for 1¼ hours. About 5 minutes prior to finish, pull out and layer top of roll with sliced cheese. Replace and allow to finish cooking another 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Notes: Beef will still be pink in the middle due to ham. Serve Meat Roll sliced with Tomato Caper Sauce poured over top. Goes well with broccoli and baked or roasted potatoes. May also be served with pasta and extra Tomato Caper Sauce. Meat Roll will sweat and drip extra cheese. These cheesy, fatty cholesterol-rich drippings may be used (as they are by my father) to make a sort of gravy which may be ladled out over the Meat Roll in place of the Tomato Caper Sauce.

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