Soutzoukakia. Greek meatballs in tomato sauce
I've added more garlic than usual and for a change, added the cumin and a good pinch of freshly ground fennel directly to the meatballs instead of the sauce. I think it's more traditional to add them to the sauce, but I'm putting chilli in the sauce.
- 50g [2 oz] dried breadcrumbs like Panko. About a cup full
- 75ml [5 tbsp] milk
- 450g pork mince - usually sold as sausagemeat
- 2 small onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - plus more for frying the meatballs
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Good pinch of freshly ground cumin seeds
- Good pinch of freshly ground fennel seeds
- A saucer of plain flour or yellow cornmeal for dusting the meatballs before frying
- 1 400g can of peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small red chilli pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped [optional]
- Add a good pinch of black pepper to 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan
- Gently fry the onions for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring now and then
- Add the garlic and fry until it takes a little colour - remove the pan from the heat
- Squeeze and discard any excess milk from the breadcrumbs and add them to a mixing bowl
- Add the pork sausagemeat to the bowl and add the fried onions and garlic
- Sprinkle with a little salt and add any other herbs you are using in the meatballs
- Mix together with your hands until well combined and refrigerate until ready to fry
- Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan, form the mixture into small balls, roll in the cornmeal or flour and fry until browned nicely
- Drain any excess fat and set aside.
- Pop the tin of peeled tomatoes into a small pan together with a teaspoon of sugar, a bay leaf and any herbs or spices you want to add
- Simmer gently for about 40 minutes then remove the bay leaf and puree using a stick blender. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and heat for the last 5 minutes.
These meatballs would be great on a pizza!
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