(Romanian grilled fresh sausages)
These tasty sausages, also known as mici (pronounced "meech"), are a must-have item at a Romanian barbecue, or grâtar. The story goes that mititei were created one night at a restaurant in Bucharest when the owner ran out of casings. He just formed the meat mixture into a sausage shape and cooked it directly on the grill. Patrons loved these "little ones," which is what their name means in Romanian, and mititei have been popular ever since.
Makes 20 to 25 sausages, or 6 to 8 servings
- Ground beef or lamb -- 1 pound
- Ground pork -- 1 pound
- Garlic, minced -- 3 or 4 cloves
- Paprika -- 1 tablespoon
- Coriander -- 1 tablespoon
- Caraway seeds -- 2 teaspoons
- Baking soda -- 2 teaspoons
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Lemon juice -- 1 tablespoon
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and knead until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight, to allow flavors to meld.
- Using wetted hands, form small sausages about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick with the meat mixture.
- Grill the sausages over hot coals until browned on both sides and cooked through.
- Serve with mustard and cold beer.
- Other cooking methods: Mititei can also be grilled on the stove top in a grill pan or pan fried in a skillet or even baked in a 400°F oven.
- Spices and other flavorings: While garlic, paprika and coriander are the most common spices for mititei, other flavorings can be used as well. Try minced onion, thyme, hot pepper flakes, dill, cloves, cumin or marjoram.
- Mititei can also be formed into patties and cooked as burgers or rolled into balls for tasty meatballs.