Soutzoukakia – Greek meatballs in rich tomato sauce
Soutzoukakia: delicious beef meatballs in rich tomato sauce spiced with cumin and cinnamon. Perfect for sharing as meze or as a main meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
- 450 g | 1 lbs minced beef
- 100 g | 3 1/2oz stale bread cubed
- 120 ml | 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 large egg
- 2 shallots peeled and finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 onion granules optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp light olive oil to fry
- fresh thyme to garnish
For the tomato sauc
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 red onion peeled and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- red wine see method
- 400 g | 14oz tin tomatoes in tomato sauce
- 80 ml | 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Soak the bread cubes in the wine. Leave to stand for a few minutes then squeeze dry and put the bread in a large bowl, reserving the wine to use in the sauce.
Add the mince, egg, shallots, garlic, cumin, onion granules, salt and herbs in the bowl with the bread and mix together thoroughly.
Form the meatballs with slightly wet hands – about the size of a walnut. You can form them into little balls or rugby ball shapes.
Put the flour on a large plate and roll the meatbals in it to coat. Roll them in your hands again to remove excess flour.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then fry the meatballs, in batches in necessary, until browned on all sides. Use two tablespoons to gently flip the meatballs over – they can be a little delicate.
Remove from the pan, set aside on a plate and clean the pan to use for the sauce.
Heat the oil for the sauce and then cook the onion and garlic over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the cumin and cinnamon sticks.
Add the reserved red wine and increase the heat until it is boiling.
Blitz the tomatoes in a blender for a smoother sauce (or you can also use passata) and add to the pan together with the water, sugar and vinegar.
Simmer for 15 minutes then add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for a further 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.
Serve garnished with fresh thyme, with steamed rice, mash or fries as a main or with pitta bread as a meze.
Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 13.3mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 5.8mg