Provoleta Rellena – Stuffed Provolone Cheese

Provoleta Rellena - Stuffed Provolone

Grilled provoleta is good stuff but sometimes it just isn’t enough to satisfy my melted provolone cheese cravings. With provoleta rellena, or stuffed provolone, you take two tasty slices of provoleta, add a few things such as roasted red peppers, ham, bacon, tomatoes, etc. in between those slices and heat it all up in a dish until the cheese gets all melted and has a nice crispy exterior.

A commenter dropped a note on the provoleta page a few months back about a version of provoleta rellena she had in Uruguay that had bacon along with the other usual suspects (ham, roasted red peppers, oregano, chili flakes). Being one who never had provoleta with bacon before, (I don’t know why so don’t ask) I decided to give it a shot this weekend. Bacon and cheese, can it get any better?

Prov-re-4

Beth, the commenter, didn’t say what type of bacon was used or if it was browned at all beforehand. I rarely come across any dishes in Argentina, and I don’t know what they do in Uruguay, where bacon is browned until crunchy before use. Although not required for a lot of recipes, there are a few that, depending on how strong the bacon is flavored, would be much more enjoyable if the bacon was browned first. Otherwise, it can get lost in the mix. (Like that sandwich the other day) For this occasion, I decided to brown up some streaky bacon and chop it all up into little pieces.

Provoleta rellena is best cooked in a round baking dish that’s just a tiny bit larger in diameter than the slices of cheese. I have these great earthenware dishes, glazed on the inside, that the cheese fits perfectly into. Although the cheese normally gives off enough oil–sometimes more than enough–to prevent sticking, I’ll usually rub the baking dish with a few drops of cooking oil. Into the dish went one 2cm slice of provoleta. Then a one layer each of the chopped bacon and roasted red pepper strips. Decided to leave the ham out this time. Topped all of that off with the other slice of cheese and sprinkled on a mixture of oregano and aji molido. Baking dish set on the bottom of a medium hot oven until the cheese on top was almost fully melted and bubbling at the sides, about 15 minutes. Then, placed under medium hot broiler until the top started to turn golden brown, 30 seconds.

Sizzling Stuffed Provolone

The brand of cheese I used this time released much more oil than usual.(see it pooled up in the bottom pic) Other than that, this was fantastic. Bacon & cheese! The sweetness of the roasted red peppers helped to cut the good-sized dose of salt and fat. I did have a bit of a grease hangover shortly after and I only ate about half. Not something that I would eat very often. Maybe a month or two down the road, when I recover, I’ll include ham or play around with some other fillings.

Baked Stuffed Provolone

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8 Comment(s)

  1. The “provoleta” in your pics looks a lot thicker than the provolone I see at my local chain spermarket deli here in Pennsylvania. Is that generally true? It’d be fun to try to replicate here, but I sort of wonder. Maybe multiple layers in the stack, not just cheese-filling-cheese.

    Cory | Sep 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’m no cheese expert but the provoleta here is a bit different than what is common up there, if you are referring to the style that is often sold in delis for sandwiches. There are even differences between the brands down here. The one in the photos was kind of between semi-hard and hard while others lean toward semi-soft and all melt differently.

    Are there any gourmet cheese/deli shops in your area? Not that the majority of provoleta here is high-quality but you might find something that is a little similar in firmness.

    Either way, give it a try with what you can get. It won’t be the exact same but all melted cheese is good right? Ask if they can give you 2cm slices but if not then just stack them.

    Asado Argentina | Sep 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. I get the deli here in Huntsville Alabama to cut the cheese about 1 inch thick, then let the exterior dry out for a couple of days (rather than an hour) in the refrigerator before baking/broiling. It’s still different than what you get down there, but it’s close.

    Penn | Sep 24, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the tip Penn!

    Asado Argentina | Sep 25, 2008 | Reply

  5. I just tried grilled provolone for the first time last week while I was in Buenos Aires, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. As a serious cheese lover, I will definitely have to try this stuffed version. Some caramelized onions inside could be interesting as well. Thank you for the recipe!

    Katie | Nov 6, 2008 | Reply

  6. Just found your website. Kudos! My twenty year long quest for duplicating grilled provoleta as at Las Nazarenas in b.a. has still gone lacking. I have done the thick sliced provolone with dried outer edge but it does not have the taste of the argentine yellow/orange provoleta. Surely someone can tell us what cheese in Whole Foods is the equivalent?

    Michael | Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

  7. I am in search of the little clay dish the Argentines use to make the proveleta… something that can be used on the grill or the cooktop. Anywhere to get these in the states?? or beyond?

    Gail | Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

  8. I would get provolone from the deli cut thick, then I would use real bacon pieces (not bacos) I buy at walmart and add mushrooms and spinach with the red pepper then bake it for a quick and easy variation. It looks fantastic in you photos!

    Anna | Apr 12, 2013 | Reply

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