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How to make the perfect keftedes

Try one of our favourite recipes for juicy keftedes, beautifully flavoured with red onion, parsley, mint and oregano with a slightly crispy surface

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You can also serve the keftedes as a starter as part of a mezze platter with pita bread and a yoghurt-based dip.

09 November 2017

This is one of our favourite recipes for juicy keftedes, beautifully flavoured with red onion, parsley, a hint of mint and dried oregano, and a slightly crispy surface.

Preparation time is only 20 minutes; add to that another 12 minutes cooking time for a delicious meal everyone will enjoy that will take you just over half an hour to complete.

You can serve them with tzatziki, plain Greek yoghurt, tangy yoghurt sauce or our favourite wine and tomato sauce.

Ingredients
(Yields five servings. This recipe will make 32 -35 meatballs):

For the meatballs:
1 red onion, grated
500g beef (or lamb) mince
200g pork mince (or more beef)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup / 60g panko breadcrumbs (or use plain)
1 egg
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
6 large mint leaves, finely chopped (spearmint if you can, it's authentic)
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ tsp salt
Black pepper

For cooking and serving:
½ cup plain flour
3 tbsp olive oil
Finely chopped parsley optional, for garnish

Method:
1. Grate the onion straight into a large bowl, then add remaining meatball ingredients. Use your hands to mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is quite smooth and well combined.
Optional: refrigerate for one hour as this makes them easier to roll and retain the round shape while cooking.
2. Measure out heaped tablespoons of the mixture and dollop onto a work surface, and roll into balls.
3. Heat most of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat (medium if you have a strong gas stove). Use enough oil to cover the surface of the skillet.
4. Cooking in 2 to 3 batches: dredge meatballs lightly in flour, shaking off excess, then place in the skillet. Roll them around and cook for 5 - 6 minutes, until nicely browned all over. Remove to a plate, cover to keep warm and repeat with remaining meatballs.

To make the extra dip/sauce:

Tzatziki
2 Lebanese cucumbers (grated with juice squeezed out),
300g plain Greek yoghurt
2 tsp white wine vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

* Note: The dish can also be served with plain yoghurt with a squeeze of lemon, adding a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, plus garlic.

Red wine and tomato sauce
2 cups (500ml) canned tomatoes
2 tbsp diced tomatoes
2 tbsps tomato puree
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
1 bay leaf

Combine all the ingredients in a deep frypan and simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Season to taste, then add the meatballs and simmer for a further 10 minutes, turning to coat, or until meatballs are cooked through.

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