Soutzoukakia (Classic Greek meatballs) in tomato sauce

Soutzoukakia are a classic appetizer or as they say in Greek meze. I’ve been making a version of this for over 20 years and there’s always a chance to get creative. You can choose to substitute veal, venison, ground turkey or even pork. Change up the herbs to parsley or dill instead of mint, add in chilli flakes or cayenne for spice. Double the recipe and use a large crock pot for a big party. You could substitute the cheese to any hard to semi-hard cheese like pecorino, Parmesan, Gruyere, or Romano.

I like to serve this with crusty bread or pita but there are many options as they can be served over rice or pasta, with salad or a side dish with roasted vegetables.

Ingredients for meatballs

250 gr. ground beef
400 gr. ground lamb
5 garlic cloves
1 shallot
2 slices whole wheat bread toasted
1tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp mint chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
Ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp grated Kefalograviera cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil or oregano chopped
1 egg beaten
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
1 onion minced
1 carrot diced
1 rib celery diced
2-3 medium sized tomatoes diced
500 ml Passata tomato sauce
1 tsp each sea salt and pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 cup dry red wine
Pinch of sugar

To make sauce

Heat half the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and tomatoes and cook for five minutes, add wine and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. In with remaining ingredients except remaining oil. Lower heat and cover the pot and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour.

Toast the bread one hour before needed and let sit at room temperature to dry out. For the meatballs, grate in the garlic and shallots in a bowl with meat mixture, mix in remaining ingredients except for bread. Using your hands crumble bread into meat and knead mixture well for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 400*. Shape meatballs to the size of a small egg and place them all on a cookie sheet in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until brown on the outside. Take meatballs out of oven and place them all in the pot of simmering sauce, try to scrape all the bits off tray into pot as this adds tonnes of flavour. If sauce is too thick add some water, turn up the heat and cook sauce for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in remaining oil.

Serve meatballs warm, sprinkled with more dried oregano and enjoy with dry red wine, crusty bread or pita.

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One thought on “Soutzoukakia (Classic Greek meatballs) in tomato sauce

  1. Reblogged this on kefi Chef and commented:

    Try this and let me know what you think

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