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Mititei- Authentic Romanian Grilled Sausages Recipe

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Mititei- Authentic Romanian Grilled Sausages are made with ground beef, garlic and other spices. They are served with mustard, bread, and cold beer.

Mititei- Authentic Romanian Grilled Sausages- featured pictures

When in the mood for partying and the weather is fine, Romanians go out for picnics. One of their favorite food out there is “Mititei” or “Mici“.

Mititei are small skinless sausages made with ground beef, lamb or pork meat, garlic and other spices.

The sausages are grilled on charcoal hot grill and served with mustard, fresh bread, French fries and cold beer.  It is a meat dish encountered in multiple countries in the Balkans, but each one of them uses its own mixture of spices.

Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages grilled during a Bucharest city festival

This picture was taken at a summer festival in Bucharest, Romania.

The Mititei are a delicious summer delight. As Americans get together for hamburgers and hot dogs, Romanians get together for Mititei and grilled meats.

We gather together with family and friends, and enjoy the meats with salads, good wine and cold beers.

And we make lots of “Mititei” because they are so good that you cannot eat just a few. They have to be crunchy on the outside, but juicy, soft  and slightly pink on the inside.

Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages in a bowl with hot red pepper

Few years ago, when we visited Maramures, a beautiful region in the north of Romania, we had this:

Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages grilled on a round pan with French Fries in the middle cooking in lard

The grill was made in a round shape and looked like a hat.

Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages grilled together with French Fries in bacon fat - close up

Bacon was cooked first on the edges of the grill and potatoes fried in the rendered fat released in the middle.

Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages made on a grill sitting on open fire

The “mititei” were added to the grill and cooked.

I cannot even describe you the taste of the fried potatoes and the grilled meats cooked like this. Juicy and delicious! Add a summer tomato salad to all this and you will have the best meal you ever had!

How to make the Mititei- Romanian Grilled Sausages Recipe:

Meat: The best taste for these little sausages is acquired when the meat is prepared with a night before, so the ingredients have time to get friendly together.

The meat mixture has a lot of spices and a little bit of baking soda. The baking soda makes them fluffier and easier to digest.

Traditionally, the meat is a mixture of beef and lamb. Pork is accepted instead of lamb for the ones who don’t like the taste.

It has to contain some fat, so for that matter, beef suet is added to the ground meat. If you cannot find that, then buy a pork cut that has more fat in it.

The final product will be juicy and delicious. No fat, and the sausages will be dry and boring.

What kind of spices and herbs you need:

The recipe came to Romania hundreds of years ago from the Turks. Most countries in the Balkans have a recipe of Mititei, even if they call them differently, like Ćevapi or ćevapčići.

However, each country adapted the recipe according to the spices available and the taste they enjoyed.

The rule, in general, when you make sausages, is to use fresh condiments, as they have a more intense flavor than the ones sitting in the back of your pantry cabinet.

Thyme, black pepper, allspice, anise, coriander spices are the traditional ones used for the Romanian Mititei.

a few words about thyme and ingredients in general:

Some of you out there told me that I need to use the so called “cimbru” instead of thyme to make this recipe. Well, Romanian “cimbru” is called summer savory, but to tell you the truth, I never saw summer savory in the stores in Minnesota.

I had to replace it with thyme because this is what is available. I used thyme for roasting meats, to make sausages, cabbage rolls and other traditional Romanian recipes that require summer savory.

You also have to remember that the ingredients for most recipes I share with you on this blog are adjusted to fit the American needs. I know there are a lot of purist out there who would insist that I have to make the recipe in a way or another.

However, for a regular American, who might have some Romanian roots and would love to try some recipes, thyme is a perfect option for this recipe.

If you do not like thyme and cannot find summer savory, use Greek oregano, or even Mexican oregano, which are milder and will not change the taste of the meat considerably.

what other ingredients you will need:

The garlic is crushed and spread through the mixture. I gave you the amount of garlic for the meat, but you can adjust it, according to your own taste. Some people like it more garlicky, some people don’t.

You will also need a concentrated beef broth or plain water.

Make sure is very cold. The idea is to add enough liquid to the meat to obtain a soft mixture.

The mixture has to be mixed really well. For that matter, if you have a vertical stand mixer, you can use it.

Otherwise, use your clean hands to mix and even knead the mixture really well.

When you are done mixing, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator over night.

The ingredients will have time to get friendly with each other and transform the sausages into a symphony in your mouth. 

What size to make the Mititei and how to cook them:

The next day, using your wet hands, form cylinders of about 2-3 inches long and 1 inch thick. Approximately. Try to make them the same size. They will cook even.

Traditionally, the sausages are grilled on a wood and charcoal grill. The grill should not be very hot (the sausages will burn on the surface and stay raw in the middle).

If the heat is too low, the sausages will dry out. Do not flip them unless they come off easily from the grill. If you mess with them, they will break.

The time is approximate 8 minutes, but each grill is different.

Mititei Romanian Grilled Sausages served with French Fries and mustard on a white plate

Serve them with mustard, fresh buns or French Fries. A beer is always a perfect addition to them.

Enjoy and happy grilling!

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Yield: 40

MITITEI- Authentic Romanian Grilled Sausages Recipe

Mititei Romanian Grilled Sausages Recipe

Mititei- Romanian Grilled sausages are made with ground beef, garlic and other spices. They are served with mustard, bread, and cold beer.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2.2lb ground beef(1kg)
  • 1lb ground pork or lamb
  • 1/2 lb beef suet
  • 1 garlic head minced
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried summer savory or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth or plain water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Dissolve baking soda in the beef broth or the plain water. Set aside.
  2. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic cloves.
  3. In a large bowl place the meat with all of the ingredients, including the garlic and mix throughly. (If you have a stand mixer, this would work too. )
  4. Add the broth in stages, mixing well after each addition.(The meat mixture needs to get to a smooth consistency, like a paste, but not too loose.) You might not need to use all the broth/water.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight for the meat to absorb the flavors.
  6. The next day, line a tray with foil and set aside.
  7. Take the meat out of the refrigerator and with wet hands, form the “Mititei” in a cylinder shape 2-3 inches long and 1 inch thick.
  8. Place them on the tray. Continue until you finish all the meat.
  9. Grill them on high heat, preferably on coal, not gas. Flip them to cook on both sides and cook them to your desired doneness.(around 8 minutes)
  10. They are very good when done with just a little pink inside and very juicy.
  11. Serve with mustard, fresh bread or French fries next to a cold beer.
  12. Notes: The “Mititei” meat is supposed to contain a pretty good amount of fat. The original recipes use beef suet, fat pork meat(usually shoulder) or lamb. You can use only beef, but you will need to add oil to the mixture, to replace the fat. If you do not use fat, the Mititei will be dry.
  13. The baking soda is mandatory, so do not omit.

Notes

If you do not have summer savory use thyme or Greek oregano.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

40

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g

Did you make this recipe?

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Karen Weiss

Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Hi, delighted to find your website and looking forward to trying out your recipes. My mother-in-law was Romanian and a brilliant cook and so I have eaten many of these dishes you describe. My husband has a yearning for his mother’s dishes ( sadly she passed away many years ago) so I look forward to giving him a treat. There was a cake she used to make and I wonder if you might have a recipe for it as it was quite delicious. It was a hazelnut torte with hazelnut ganache . The cake was sliced several times horizontally with the ganache in between each slice and used as icing as well. If you know of it I would be grateful for the recipe. Thank you, Karen

Katy

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Really yummy recipe, thank you for sharing!

Mr Mihai Ionita

Wednesday 26th of September 2018

This one here it's quite similar. https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Bayou-Classic-7488-17-Cast-Iron-Campfire-Griddle/2256065649?iid=352426447091&chn=ps&ul_ref=https%253A%252F%252Frover.ebay.com%252Frover%252F1%252F710-134428-41853-0%252F2%253Fmpre%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.ebay.co.uk%25252Fp%25252FBayou-Classic-7488-17-Cast-Iron-Campfire-Griddle%25252F2256065649%25253Fiid%25253D352426447091%252526chn%25253Dps%2526itemid%253D352426447091%2526targetid%253D142405561506%2526device%253Dm%2526adtype%253Dpla%2526googleloc%253D1007144%2526poi%253D%2526campaignid%253D207297426%2526adgroupid%253D13585920426%2526rlsatarget%253Dpla-142405561506%2526abcId%253D%2526merchantid%253D118930063%2526gclid%253DCj0KCQjw3KzdBRDWARIsAIJ8TMQ6IrMBSgYp5POLDLmun-TmxgJsbEzOk1UNqgoHjy5Iopcl_hCd66MaAmX0EALw_wcB%2526srcrot%253D710-134428-41853-0%2526rvr_id%253D1682622246946%2526rvr_ts%253D180c16801660ac84d00643faffe76f6d

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 26th of September 2018

Yes, you are right.

Stephanie

Sunday 20th of May 2018

I lived in Cluj-Napoca when I was 10 for about 6 months and these little guys were one of the many highlights. Thank you for sharing!!! Do you happen to know what that circle grill is called? I’d love to ship one in but I have no idea where to start. Great blog!!!

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 20th of May 2018

Hi Stephanie, I am happy you liked the recipe. Let me know if you make it, I am curious if they taste the same as the ones you used to eat as a child. As for the circle grill, I am sorry, I have no idea how to buy one. The closest I was able to find on Google is on this website, but I don't think you can ship one in the States. Here is the link: http://magazinproduse-fonta.ro/disc-fonta-picnic-gratar-barbeque Most of the time, these grills are made by locals and it is not easy to find one in the stores. I agree with you, they are awesome and the food that comes out of these grills is out of this world. I looked on Ammazon, hoping to find one here, but with no success! :-(

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