A long time ago, a Romanian Inn known for its delicious sausages, ran out of casings. The chef decided to use the meat mixture and form small sausages and grill them over the fire. His customers fell in love with the little sausages. Mititei is the rough translation of “little ones. Here’s my favorite Romanian mititei recipe: give it a try, I think you’ll love it!
- pounds ground beef (not too lean)
- 1 teaspoon summer savory (you can make the mititei without this, but you’ll miss out on one of the best flavors.
- 2½ teaspoons ground caraway
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large garlic head
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups club soda or seltzer
- Canola oil
- Spicy mustard, for serving
- Place the beef in a large bowl.
- Add the caraway, salt, and pepper.
- Crush the garlic cloves with a garlic press and add them to the bowl.
- Combine the baking soda with 1 cup of the club soda or seltzer in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. Add to the meat and mix well by hand to fully incorporate. Once fully absorbed, mix in an additional ½ cup club soda or seltzer. After that is fully incorporated, add the remaining ½ cup. Continue to mix by hand for 5 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (and as mush as 48 hours).
- When you are ready to cook, preheat the grill to high.
- Oil your hands, scoop ⅓ cup of the meat mixture, and form it into an oblong sausage about 3 inches long by 1 inch wide. Place the sausage on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture to form 15 sausages total. Lower the heat to medium and place the sausages on the grill. Grill for about 15 minutes, gently flipping and turning them often so they don’t burn and are evenly cooked through, until an instant-read thermometer registers the temperature at 160°F.
- Serve with mustard.
If you prefer to cook your mititei on the stove-top, heat a grill pan over high heat, brush the Mititei with canola oil, lower the heat to medium, and cook as directed above.
You can also heat 2 tablespoons canola oil until shimmering in a sauté pan or griddle over high heat, lower the heat to medium, and cook as above. Just know you won’t get that grilled flavor you woudl if you cooked them on the grill.