Ever since I saw Burekaboy’s recipe for Mititei, Romanian style mini sausages, I’ve been intrigued, and wanted to try them. Maybe because they reminded me of another mini sausage, very popular in my part of the world – ć e v a p č i ć i ! (In fact, Wikipedia also says they’re similar dishes.) But that’s another post. This one is about mititei, meaning “small things”. After a bit of a search, I managed to track down allspice, and I’m making them tonight, for a friend who appreciates this kind of food! I’m serving them with my Catalan Chickpeas, a fine beans and egg salad and a Croatian-style mixed salad, along with some ajvar, a delicious spread/relish made with red peppers and aubergine! Ajvar also deserves a separate post, so I’ll leave that for next time!
See below for the recipe, a verdict and a comment on how it all went!
Romanian style mini sausages
Perfect for grilling outdoors, these can be made also on a grill-style cast iron pan with very acceptable results. Served alongside pickles and good mustard, these are incredibly good for either a snack or part of a supper or picnic barbeque.
Source: Burekaboy (verbatim)
Makes: approximately 10 – 12
Preparation time: 5 – 10 min maximum
Cooking time: about 10 min
1 lb medium ground beef, not lean
3 – 4 cloves garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda (do not omit)
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh
1 tsp dried summer savoury or marjoram (if unavailable use oregano)
1/2 – 1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp hot paprika or harissa or dried red chillies
1/2 tsp mild smoked paprika, if available
(or use smoked hot paprika and omit the other 2)
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin, optional
1/3 – 1/2 c cold water
note: try to use the spices listed without substitution; they are sausage spices and make a world of difference in the final flavour.
1. Place the meat in a large bowl and set aside. You need medium and not lean meat for this to work properly. The lean just doesn’t have the fat content to produce a nice sausage.
2. Process garlic and salt to make a paste. You can also chop it extremely fine and then place 1/2 tsp of the salt on it and smear it with the side of a knife over and over again to break it down to a paste, chopping in between. It’s extra work but it gives a good result.
3. Place the garlic in with the meat.
4. Add the rest of the spices & seasonings to the meat. Do not omit adding the baking soda, the “secret” ingredient. It helps with the final texture of the meat and keeps it juicy.
5. With your dominant hand, start to squeeze the meat over and over again to incorporate the ingredients. Do this for about five minutes, adding the water in between squeezes. The texture of the meat needs to be a paste to get the right results.
6. Now either refrigerate the paste until the next day or shape it right away and then refrigerate it. It is easier to do it right away than the next day in that you already have the meat in front of you!
7. With wet hands, take a heaping tablespoon of the meat and roll it into a sausage with is the length of your middle finger, more or less, and a good inch or so thick.
8. Place these on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This is to let the spices permeate the meat. Don’t skip this either!
9. When ready to cook, heat the pan or grill. I use a cast iron grill pan over medium heat, which I leave for about 10 minutes to heat up. If it is not hot, the meat will stick. Cook the mititei without any oil for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on all 4 sides. The mititei will shorten and fatten up as they cook.
10. I like to place them in a bowl with a plate over it to cover for about 5 minutes to let the juices settle and keep them hot. This helps a lot.
Mititei were extremely quick and easy to make, and smelt wonderful! Can’t wait to taste them!
Having tasted the mititei, here is the verdict! They were even more similar to ćevapčići than I expected! Very juicy and tender, so I guess burekaboy’s secret ingredient did its job! 🙂 Tasty! The combination of flavours works really well, but for my taste, I would increase the amount of spices next time, to make them even more piquant! It is such a lovely combination of spices, that it would be a shame not to make it more pronounced! Another variation would be to use lamb mince, instead of beef, and even add a bit of mint perhaps. (My friend makes lovely lamb and mint kebabs!) I will be making this again!
I used a grill pan, and that seemed to work fine, though I think they would be absolutely perfect barbequed, with the added smokiness that would make it absolutely irresistible! In short, now you know what you’re doing for your next barbeque! The amount of work is minimal, and the results are great!
My friend really liked them, and took the recipe to prepare it for her next barbecque! So, we’re spreading the word! Thanks, burekaboy!