Romanian MITITEI (SMALL GROUND BEEF SAUSAGES)

Romanian miitei

Mititei or mici is a traditional Romanian dish of grilled ground meat rolls made from a mixture of beef, lamb, and pork with spices, such as garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory, and sometimes a touch of paprika. Since I am in a region where lamb meat is scarce or is hard to find/buy, I needed to find a version of mici that did not need the lamb. I was able to find a recipe that just required beef and although it was a little time consuming to make it was something that everyone seemed to enjoy. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed into a paste
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crumbled
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet(your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine beef, oil, garlic, baking soda, thyme, red pepper, paprika, caraway seeds, and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and knead for 5 minutes, wetting your hands frequently to help keep mixture moist.
  3. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
  4. With wet hands, roll meat, 1 tablespoons at a time, into small balls, then shape balls into sausages about 3” long and 1” thick. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
  5. Cook sausages in batches, turning frequently, until well browned and cooked through about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve as an hors-d’oeuvre or with potatoes as an entrée.