For some it does not start until the end of March, others are almost in the middle again: the barbecue season. While this country mainly grills sausages, steaks and vegetables, no barbecue is lit in Romania without at least a handful of mititei being placed on top. It is minced sausage made from beef or a mixture of beef, pork and lamb, depending on the recipe.
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Mititei, also affectionately called Mici (the little ones), are incredibly juicy and aromatic and best of all: they are also quite easy to make. At least if you have the right recipe. As with all traditional dishes, there are quite a few of them. This one comes from my grandfather in Romania.
Ingredients for Romanian mititei
You need 500 grams of ground beef, 300 grams of minced pork, 200 grams of ground lamb, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 6 cloves of garlic, 150 milliliters of nut broth, 100 milliliters of mineral water, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 2 teaspoons allspice, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper , olive oil.
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The recipe for delicious Romanian mititei
Here’s how: Chop the garlic and add the minced meat together with the spices, baking powder and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything together. Then add the beef broth and the mineral water and knead everything with your hands into an almost smooth meat dough.
Like dough made from flour, the mititei dough must first be fermented in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Some recipes even mention 24 hours.
Then, with moistened hands, they can be shaped into small thick sausages, no longer than a forefinger, before being fried. Mititei tastes best from the grill, but they can also be cooked in a pan.
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It is important to get the grill and pan on high heat if possible. You should also have a bowl of (garlic) oil and salt water ready.
Now brown mititei on all sides and brush all sides first with the salt water and then with the garlic oil after browning. Finally, add the minced meat to the ends. Traditionally, mititei is eaten with a light pink middle. But if you do not feel comfortable with minced meat, feel free to fry it well. They should still be juicy.
Mititei is traditionally served with feta cheese, pickled vegetables, mustard and fresh peppers. Red cabbage and potatoes (including french fries) are also good.
Have a nice meal!