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Greek Smyrni - Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce

What's The Big Idea?

There's nothing particularly "Greek" about this recipe; it uses beef instead of mutton or lamb, and originally had hardly any herbs or spices in, so we did wonder about its authenticity. However, it tastes great, especially since we added one or two ingredients to enhance the "Greek" flavour a little. Goes particularly well with rice, and is good either as a main course on its own, or as part of a buffet-style meal.

Our Rating (1 - 5): Bulletpoint Bulletpoint Bulletpoint

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 250g fresh bread crumbs
  • 1kg lean minced beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

What To Do

  • Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little water
  • Add the minced meat, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and mix well
  • Using your hands, form the mixture into meat balls, roughly 4-5cm in diameter
  • In a large frying pan heat the olive oil and fry the meat balls until browned all over
  • Remove from the pan and set aside
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes
  • Return the meat balls to the pan and mix with the tomato sauce. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes
  • Check that the meat balls are cooked through, add the basil, mix and serve

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