This delicious traditional soutzoukakia recipe was introduced to the Greek cuisine in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a popular Mediterranean dish packed with flavour and covered in a rich and thick tomato sauce. This hearty Greek dish is perfect for a big family meal!
What makes these meatballs (soutzoukakia) so unique is the secret ingredient- cumin. Cumin is a very fragrant spice that will soak through the meat and infuse it with its unique aromas.
Traditionally soutzoukakia are made with beef mince, however if you want then to be on the healthier side you can use lean/low fat beef. You can also use a combination of beef and pork mince.
Soutzoukakia is best served with basmati rice, mashed potatoes, fries or Greek salad and extra crusty bread!
Give it a try for yourself by following our easy recipe below.
For the meatballs (soutzoukakia)
- 800g ground beef
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 5 slices of stale bread soaked in red wine and squeezed dry or 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the tomato sauce
- 3 cups tomato juice or tinned chopped tomatoes (800g)
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsps cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- To prepare the soutzoukakia, knead all the ingredients for the meatball together and leave the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Next, portion your meatballs and shape them into oblong meatballs. You can shallow fry gently in oil till golden brown or for a lighter dish, bake the soutzoukakia in the oven at 200C until golden brown.
- While your soutzoukakia are baking, the tomato sauce can be prepared. Start by sautéing the onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin and a bit of salt and pepper and fry for 2 minutes. Add the squashed garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes until the garlic has cooked and its aromas coming through. Finally add the wine, the tomato juice or your tinned chopped tomatoes, sugar and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the Soutzoukakia sauce starts to thicken.
- Gently place the fried/baked soutzoukakia in the tomato sauce and stir gently, being careful not to break them. Cover your pan with a lid and let them simmer on low heat for 30 minutes so the meatballs absorb all the wonderful flavours from the tomato sauce. While they are cooking and add salt and pepper to your taste.
- If the sauce starts to thicken too soon, add a splash of water and stir through.
- Serve the soutzoukakia (baked meatballs) while still hot with some rice or mashed potatoes and lots of tomato sauce. Enjoy!!
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