Smyrna Meatballs or Soutzoukakia Smyrneika 

Famous in Smyrna and adopted from Greek people who took it to Greece after the 1921 war in Turkey.

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1 kilo of minced beef 
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup of white or red wine
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/4 bunch of parsley finely chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tbsp of cumin powder
1 egg lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Sauce Ingredients

3 cups of water
1 onion, chopped
1 can (400 gr) chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato paste.
3-4 tbsp oil
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 tsp of clove powder
1 tbsp of fresh(or dried) basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • In a large bowl, place the minced meat, breadcrumbs, wine, garlic, parsley, onion, cumin powder,egg, salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you knead well all the ingredients.

  • Using your hands mould the mixture into small balls. 

  • Place enough flour in a plate and roll the meatballs in it to get coated.

  • Heat up the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs all over for about 15 minutes, over medium heat.

  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce in a different large frying pan.

  • Over low heat, sauté the onion into the oil. Then add all sauce ingredients together and bring to boil.

  • Before the sauce thickens, place the fried meatballs in it .

  • Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

  • Traditionally, served on a bed of white rice.

Serving Suggestion

A great week day dish, make double quantity and freeze half.

Could also be used with pasta instead of rice.

Good enough on its own but could add "fasulia"or "calavasa"

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