Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce)
There are a lot of variations of this recipe but this is the one we always make.
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, finely minced or grated (reserve 2-3 Tbsp).
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried
1-2 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs
1/4 inch Olive oil
1 large (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 can water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. cumin
1 (good) pinch sugar
salt and pepper
1 tsp. flour
A splash of dry wine, whatever you have left over – red, white rose, anything is fine
Mix together the beef, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, parsley, egg, pepper to taste and Panko. Form the mixture into elongated oval-shaped meatballs.
Heat olive oil in a pan and pan-fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides (you don’t have to cook them through). Remove. You can probably bake the meatballs instead if you want, but simmer the sauce longer and maybe use a little beef broth in place of the water to add some depth to the sauce.
To the pan, add the 2-3 Tbsp onion (and more oil if necessary) and cook until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, water, wine, bay leaf, cumin, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a low boil and add the meatballs. Simmer about 10-15 minutes.
Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta