Smyra–Style Small Meat "Sausages"

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra–virgin Greek olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 cups canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Soutzoukakia:
1–1/2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1–1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cinnamon
2–1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 to 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra–virgin Greek olive oil
Flour for dredging
Olive oil for frying
Directions:

To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and stir. Add the wine. Squeeze the tomatoes by hand into the pot and pour in their juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and butter, and set the sauce aside until ready to use.

To make the soutzoukakia: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, and spices, and season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to blend. Add the egg and wine and knead well to combine. Add the breadcrumbs judiciously (you want just enough to give body to the mixture so that the soutzoukakia hold their shape when formed). Mix in the olive oil. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up.

Take a golfball-size piece of meat and shape in the palms of your hand into an elongated sausage about 21/2 inches long and 1 inch thick.

Put some flour on a plate and dredge the soutzoukakia. Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Brown the soutzoukakia in batches. As soon as they are browned on one side, shake the pan back and forth over the heat so that the soutzoukakia roll back and forth a little to brown on all sides.

Place the soutzoukakia side by side in one layer in a wide pot and pour in the sauce. Cover and simmer until the soutzoukakia are tender and moist and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put the soutzoukakia in a lightly oiled baking pan in one layer, and pour in the sauce. Bake covered, for about 40 minutes. Serve hot.

 

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