There are a lot of variations how to make meatballs. In Greece there are the classic pan-fried burger patties “Bifteki” (μπιφτέκι), round meatballs “Keftedakia” (κεφτεδάκια) which are also simply fried in a pan or cooked in tomato sauce, or “Soutzoukakia” (σουτζουκάκια), formed as small sausages.  The latter are served as grilled skewer “politika” (πολίτικα) or as “Smyrni” (σμύρνη) cooked in an aromatic tomato sauce.

Soutzoukakia Smyrni are very tasty but its also a quite heavy dish. You can serve it with spaghetti, french fries or rice. My kids love it most with pasta.

To reduce the fat I always choose minced meat from beef with low fat. They can also be made from minced pork, lamb or chicken.

Also, I cook the sauce in the same pot as I fry the Soutzoukakia sausages. In this case, you can leave out the additional olive oil mentioned for the sauce below as the meat will let its fat during the frying.

I recommend to prepare the minced meat the prior evening. Like this the meat can rest and it gets kind of marinated by the red wine you add. This has also the effect, that the “sausages” get a nice taste.

As you use beef bouillon for the sauce it is not necessary to add a lot of extra salt.

Tip of Mama Marika, my lovely mother-in-law: when you use fresh or canned tomatoes or tomato juice for cooking always add a pinch of sugar. This neutralizes the sour taste of the tomato.

What you need:

For the Soutzoukakia:
1 kg minced meat (beef)
5 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
1 glass of dry red wine
2 garlic cloves
1 cube beef bouillon
2 onions
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
50 ml olive oil for frying

For the sauce:
1 can tomatoes (400 gr)
1 box tomato juice (500 ml)
1 garlic clove
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp cumin

Some salt
1 cube beef bouillon
(½ cup olive oil)

How to prepare it:

Blend the onions with 2 garlic cloves and 1 cube beef bouillon in a blender until pulpy.

Mix the pulp with the minced meat, breadcrumbs, red wine, cumin , salt and pepper in a bowl. With the help of a small ice cream scoop form  golf ball sized  meatballs, then shape sausages from the balls. They should have appr. 2 cm diameter.

Carefully fry the Soutzoukakia in some olive oil until brown from all sides. Only fry some meatballs at a time and set aside.

Chop 1 garlic clove and fry with ½ cup of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.

Add the canned tomato, tomato juice, sugar, cumin, salt and beef bouillon and bring to boil.

Add carefully the Soutzoukakia and let simmer on medium heat for appr. 30 minutes.

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