Crispy, juicy and absolutely delicious! Give this traditional Keftedes (Greek meatballs) recipe a try and add a Mediterranean twist to your plate! Keftedes (Greek meatballs) is a famous Greek appetizer, commonly served as part of a meze platter, with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads. Keftedes can also be served as a filling meal with some basmati rice and a nice Greek feta salad. Leftovers (which is a good thing in this case!) make a delicious brand new dish, added in a tomato-based sauce with some mashed potatoes, or pasta.
One of my personal favourite variation is the traditional fragrant soutzoukakia recipe! An amazing Greek recipe introduced to the Greek cuisine in the beginning of the 20th century and has its origin from the city of Smyrni or modern day Izmir. The secret ingredient that makes these oblong-shaped Greek meatballs really unique is nothing else than cumin. The perfect match for the cold winter’s day is nothing else than the traditional Greek meatballs soup recipe! A classic delicacy made basically with boiled juicy Greek meatballs (youvarlakia) and rice and finished off with delicious egg-lemon sauce. Least but not last, a very unique variation of the traditional fried Greek meatballs (keftedes), served as a main dish, is keftedes giouvetsi (Greek meatballs in tomato sauce). The traditional diced beef of the giouvetsi is substituted with crispy fried meatballs (keftedes) and then baked in a rich tomato based sauce and orzo pasta or chilopites. Just too good to miss out on!
500g ground beef (18 ounces)
200g ground pork (7 ounces)
1 large red onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 of a cup chopped fresh parsley
6-7 leaves fresh spearmint (chopped) and a pinch dried (optional)
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
oil for frying
flour for dredging
To prepare this traditional Greek meatballs recipe (keftedes), add all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well (for about 5-10 minutes), squeezing with your hands, to allow the flavours to blend. (If the mixture isn’t firm enough, add some more breadcrumbs). Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Turn the mixture for the keftedes out of the fridge and roll into meatballs the size of a walnut (or bigger if you prefer). Dredge the rolled meatballs lightly in flour making sure to shake off any excess. Fry until nicely browned on all sides.
The traditional way of cooking Greek meatballs (keftedes) is frying them. Fry the keftedes in batches of 10-15 at a time, until nicely browned on all sides.
Instead of frying you can bake / grill the keftedes in the oven. Preheat the oven at 200C, place the keftedes on greased baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the meatballs upside down midway through cooking time. The grilled version is much lighter than the fried so theres not excuse to not trying it now!
Keftedes (Greek meatballs) are ideally served as an appetizer (meze) with some creamy tzatziki sauce and pita breads or as a main course with some basmati rice and a Greek salad. Enjoy!