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Author Notes: Legend has it that mititei were invented one evening at an inn called “La Lordache” in Bucharest, well-known for its sausages, when the kitchen ran out of casings.
My mom’s family lived in Bucharest for 18 years, and Romanian recipes were always one of the favorites and most present in our everyday meals and for holidays.
This particular dish isn’t a holiday special; it is usually part of a small, family-owned diners' menus, which mostly offer dishes prepared on the grill.
Food52 Review: Happily surprised when I tasted this recipe. The name is a misnomer in the sense they are spiced, but not spicy. I did not have a grinder and mixed the meat and garlic by hand, then added the salt and spices. Grilled up and served as directed with accompaniments, they were much more that the sum of their parts. Delicious! These could be a great, unexpected addition to a picnic. —Katherine
Makes 12 to 16
- 3 1/2 pounds meat (a combination of equal parts ground pork, lamb, and beef, or only half beef and half pork)
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup sparkling water
- Double-grind the meat and garlic. Include a few fattier pieces in the mixture: it keeps the meat rolls moist and tender.
- Mix all the ingredients together well. Dissolve baking soda in the sparkling water and beat into the mixture.
- Keep a bowl of water nearby to wet your hands. Form the meat mixture into about sausage shapes about 4 inches long.
- Transfer the sausages to the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or ideally overnight. This is an important step that helps the meat come out juicy and tender.
- Grill on a hot grill, turning once (about 4 minutes on each side). Serve inside an oval-shaped bread rolls (scoop out some soft part of the roll) with mustard that doesn’t have a lot of vinegar (like brown mustard), topped with pickled and drained (or grilled) red onions mixed with strips of roasted bell peppers and herbs. Add a cold beer on a lazy summer evening and you are in heaven.
- You can also first brown the mititei in a medium-hot skillet and finish cooking in a 375° F oven for about 15 more minutes—or deep-fry them. It doesn’t which method you use: mititei are tender, juicy and delicious.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Barbecued Meat
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Barbecue
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Street Food