Soutzoukaki (pronounced soo-tzoo-KAH-kyah) comes from the Turkish word "soutzouk," meaning sausage, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that its spices are more Turkish than Greek. They've nonetheless been adopted by most Greeks as a traditional favorite. The cumin lends the meat a unique flavor.
These spiced meatballs are shaped like little kebabs. They're lightly fried then bathed in a wine-sweetened tomato sauce. They hail from Smyrni or modern day Izmir.
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound loaf crusty white bread (with crusts removed)
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced finely)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups red wine (sweet wine such as Mavrodaphne)
- 1 can/15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Soak the bread in some water in a medium-sized bowl. Add 1/2 cup of sweet red wine and let the bread absorb the liquid for a few minutes.
- Squeeze the liquid out from the bread, then tear it into small pieces and add it to the ground meat.
- Add the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and eggs. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Using portions of the meat mixture about the size of a large walnut, form sausage-like rolls about 4 inches long and 1½ inches thick.
- Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a skillet and carefully add the soutzoukakia to the pan. Fry them until they're lightly browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce in a Dutch oven while the soutzoukakia are frying. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the bottom of the pan, then add the tomato sauce, sugar, cinnamon and the remaining cup of wine.
- Fill the empty tomato sauce can with water and add this to the Dutch oven as well.
- Boil the sauce over medium-high heat until some of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened. Add the soutzoukakia to the sauce when they've finished frying.
- Heat the sauce and the soutzoukakia to a boil and remove from the heat. Allow the sausages to sit and absorb the sauce for a few minutes before serving.
Tips and Variations:
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||43 g|
|Saturated Fat||13 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||21 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|