Soutzoukakia Smyrneika – Greek Meatballs with Red Sauce2011-06-20
- Servings : 3-4
- Prep Time : 20m
- Cook Time : 30m
- Ready In : 60m
Well, the following is a recipe that comes from Asia Minor and Ismir, or Smirni as they used to call the city. It’s the Greek way to make meatballs with red sauce and it’s called Soutzoukakia Smyrneika.
As I said, my father’s family was coming from Smyrni or the city that is called now Ismir and it’s in the middle of Asia minor, or else Turkey. Couple of years ago a lot of Greeks used to live over there but after the Greek Turkish war (one of the many we had) they had to leave and come to Greece. But enough with history and politics… this is a recipe that the Greeks did in Ismir and its there version of Meatballs with red sauce. That’s why the full name is “Soutzoukakia Smyrneika” as they were cooked in Smyrni.
There are some different kinds of versions on the net regarding the recipe for Soutzoukakia but since my Grandmother was from Smyrni, this is as traditional recipe as it gets. After all when I asked my mother specifically if that’s the way my grandmother was doing them, her answer was pretty clear…
“If I dared to change the recipe of your father’s mother, he would kill me…”
So let’s try to see
- 500 gr. finely minced beef
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ onions chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 fresh tomato chopped in small pieces
- chopped parsley, to garnish
- Red Wine
Mix the minced beef in a big pot adding 2 teaspoons of cumin, a little bit of olive oil (one table spoon), salt and pepper and a little bit of red wine. Use your hands and continue mixing it until the minced beef becomes nice and soft
When it’s properly mixed and soft you take it and make long thin shapes more or less like the length of your fingers. Extra tip…before you do it make sure to put some vinegar in your fingertips as this will give extra taste and make it more crusty. When you created couple of them you fry them on medium heat. Make sure they are nice and crisps.
As you are doing it, put olive oil in a saucepan and when its warm, add the tomatoes (the can and one fresh chopped tomato) , the chopped onion and 1 teaspoon of red wine. Add a little bit cumin also in the sauce, just half of tablespoon. When it’s warm, add it to the soutzoukakia you have just fried and cook for 10-15 mins adding water if you have to. If you like it you can garnish it with parsley.
Typical way to serve it is together with plain rice but there are different versions. Either with fried potatoes or mashed potatoes, or by itself!
Another way to do it is not to fry the soutzoukakia but try to bake them in the grill for some minutes. Its supposed to be more healthy. Peter G has a really nice similar recipe over here where he prefers to bake them. But as I have already said, in this blog I describe the way that my mother taught me to do them, soooo…J