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Milk Street Recipe

Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

40 minutes

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Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

These Greek cigar-shaped meatballs are known as soutzoukakia smyrneika. The spicing reflects the dish’s origins in Smyrna, a former Greek settlement and now the Turkish city of Izmir. Soutzoukakia often are made with beef or a combination of beef and pork, but we preferred the subtle sweetness and tender texture of all-pork meatballs. An instant thermometer is the best way to check for doneness; alternatively, cut open a meatball—if done, the center should no longer be pink. Soutzoukakia often is served with tiganites patates (potatoes fried in olive oil), but roasted potatoes, crusty bread or a rice or orzo pilaf also are delicious accompaniments.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t skip the step of allowing the breadcrumbs to hydrate for 5 minutes. The softened crumbs, called panade, help create a soft, tender texture in the meatballs.

40 minutes

Reviews
Dee M.
June 30, 2022
Cumin?
The overall recipe/method is very good, but why put cumin in a Greek dish? Especially so much. It overpowers any other taste and does not taste like a Greek dish. I’ll make it again, but this time, no cumin.
Estelle B.
June 28, 2022
Superb!
We made the recipe exactly as directed, except for using ground wild boar instead of pork. It was delicious--exceeding expectation--and we've bookmarked this recipe to make again.
Melissa D.

Rave reviews from my husband for this dish-I served it with herb rice pilaf. The flavors were great and I was able to make it a little ahead and then warm it back up.

Fred A.

Really easy and was a bit more heat than I expected. The fresh oregano really dominated the flavor but the cinnamon and honey come thru. I might 1/2 the oregano next time.

A J M.

Are there handy tips for making the cigar shaped meatballs?

April D.

Here's how to get that distinctive cigar shape: Just start by dividing the meat mixture into 12 portions and rolling each into a ball. Then, roll the ball between the palms of your hands, pressing slightly, until the ball elongates and takes on a cylindrical shape, slightly tapered at each end. That's it!
- The Milk Street Team

Kathy B.

Delicious! After reading comments, I used only a teaspoon of (dried) oregano and lowered the pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon as we like less spicy food. Served over brown rice, pasta would also work well too. It’s a keeper! Love the unique recipes on Milk Street.

Jennifer B.

I found the meatballs a bit fragile, so was careful. The sauce was good, I wouldn't change a thing. I served it with spaghetti and will serve leftovers with rice.

COURTNEY R.

Love this recipe! Any suggestions for a gluten free substitute for the bread crumbs?

Lynn C.

Hi Courtney -

There are several brands of gluten-free panko breadcrumbs on the market - Kikkomen, 4C and Ians are all widely available brands.

Best,
The Milk Street Team


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