I did an inventory the other weekend and discovered that I have a lot of ground beef in my freezer. I'm always looking for new ground beef recipes, so I figured this was a great time to branch out. My friend Elly had linked to these Soutzoukakia in a recent post, and they sounded so simple and delicious I put them on the menu.
These were a big hit with the whole family. Baby Girl usually eats a day behind us (although we're trying to change that, depending on when SP gets home from work), but she asked for a taste of mine and ended up inhaling two meatballs from my plate. I saved two meatballs for her for next night's dinner and again she inhaled them and asked for more. This is a big deal because she's been off meatballs for awhile now. I really enjoyed the flavors in the meatballs and loved the tomato sauce over the mashed potatoes. Delicious and easy. Thanks for helping me branch out, Elly!
Elly Says Opa!
1 medium onion, divided
1 lb. ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, pressed
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs (optional)
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can water
2 bay leaves
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cumin (start with 1/2 and taste-test)
1 pinch sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Finely mince or grate half of the onion into a large bowl. Mix in the beef, salt and pepper, oregano, garlic, parsley, egg, and breadcrumbs (if using). Form the mixture into elongated/oval-shaped meatballs. (I got 14 meatballs).
Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a medium Dutch oven or pot over medium-high. Pan-fry the meatballs, in batches, until they are browned on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pot and drain the oil.
Put the pot back over the heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Dice the other half of the onion, and add it to the pot; cook until translucent. Add the tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, cumin, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a low boil and add the meatballs. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, but longer is fine too. Add the corn starch slurry at the end. Remove the bay leaves and serve over mashed potatoes.