Soutzoukakia are delicious meatballs flavored with fragrant cumin in a sweet and slightly spicy red sauce. My grandma Evgenia’s soutzoukakia were legendary in our family. They are a favorite food of almost any Greek person I know. I have not met one person that will not have a second round of soutzoukakia when they have the chance.
Soutzoukakia is a dish with a middle eastern influence. The use of cumin, ouzo and fresh mint give a distinct fragrance and flavor to these meatballs. I love how tender they are, they literally melt in your mouth and only make you want more.
I usually double the recipe and make enough to be able to enjoy leftovers. They go well over buttery mashed potatoes or basmati rice. Add a green and tangy salad and you have the meal of your dreams.Print
Delicious meatballs with cumin and mint in a spicy sweet red sauce.
Makes 4-6 servings
For the meatballs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic finelly minced
- 0.5 lb ground beef
- 0.5 lb ground pork
- 1 cup white bread, torn into very small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk 2% fat
- 1 egg
- pinch of chili flakes
- 2 full teaspoons ground cumin
- a handful finally chopped mint
- 1 shot of ouzo
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup light olive oil, for frying
- sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup water
- 1 –2 pinches of red chili flakes
- 1 organic chicken bouillon cube
- 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Make the sauce
- In a large pot heat the extra virgin olive oil in medium heat. Add the onion and the sugar.
- Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and sauté for at least 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and the cinnamon, bay leaves, the bouillon cube and the cup of water.
- Stir well and let it simmer while you make the meatballs.
Make the meatballs
- Beat the pieces of bread in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
- In a bowl mixture olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili flakes and the finely chopped mint. Add the milk, ouzo, the egg, and mix well.
- Add the ground beef and pork .
- Mix all together really well.
- Add a generous pinch of salt and sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.
- Mix again until all of the ingredients are very well combined.
- Take a full tablespoon of the mixture and shape in to long oval shapes, like the shape of a football. This is the traditional shape of these meatballs.
- Roll each meatball in the flour, shake off excess and set them aside on a plate.
- Place a frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add the light olive oil and let it heat for 1 minute.
- Add the meatballs to the pan one at a time. Brown them on both sides for about 2 minutes each side.
- Place meatballs on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Set aside until needed.
Assemble and finish cooking
- Add the meatballs carefully one by one in the sauce.
- Cover the pot and simmer in low heat for 15 minutes or until he meatballs are cooked through.
Serve 2-3 meatballs with sauce over mashed potatoes or rice with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh mint.