baked greek meat balls

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I found a recipe for baked Greek meat balls on the food blog The Mediterranean Dish, however, I thought: Isn’t it more Greek if there is also some feta involved? So I started my own version w/ additional feta sealed up in the meat balls.

 

 

When starting you’ll need some onion, some garlic & a bay leaf to be fried in some olive oil until soft. (It’s only about 10 min or so.)

So you trim & chop the onion, press 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, add a bay leaf & start frying softly.

Don’t forget at this point in the process to preheat your oven to 180° C w/ fan.

Now there is this wonderful casserole… white & clean & shiny…

 

 

… where we mix:

  • mashed Italian tomatoes (out of a can)
  • about 50% of the fried onion mess (w/o the bay leaf!)
  • some red wine
  • dried oregano
  • cumin
  • cinnamon (if you like!)
  • some sugar.

 

For the record:
I skipped the cinnamon because my better half isn’t so fond of cinnamon…

 

 

 

Now the basis for our baked meat balls is ready!

 

 

We mix some cream w/ some bread crumbs. Rather soon we’ll get a stiff sticky mess.

Then we grab a bowl & add our (organic) minced beef.

 

 

To prepare the meat balls we add the rest of the onion mess, the bread crumbs mess, an egg, chopped flat parsley, cumin & dried oregano, salt & pepper… & we knead it thoroughly.

(I also skipped cinnamon here because of my better half…)

 

 

Once everything is fine for baking we cut the feta into 8 pieces & divide the meat mess into 8 parts. Each part gets its piece of feta & is sealed  afterwards.

 

 

Finally the meat balls are lined up in the casserole. Distribute some tomato sauce over them before they enter the preheated oven.

 

 

About 40 min later… voilà!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

baked greek meat balls
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 8 pieces
ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fine white bread crumbs
  • 40 ml cream
for the meat balls:
  • 400 g minced beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon - optional!
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 100 g feta aka Greek sheep's cheese
for the sauce:
  • 400 g tomato pulp (1 can)
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon - optional!
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
in general:
  • salt & pepper to taste
how to...
  • Preheat the oven to 180° C w/ fan.
  • Cut the feta into 8 pieces.
  • Combine cream & dried bread crumbs - it'll stiffen rather soon!
  • Trim & chop the onion, press the garlic, add the bay leaf & start frying in some olive oil; salt & pepper to taste. It'll be ready after about 10 min.
  • Mix tomato pulp, red wine, spices & herbs, sugar, salt & pepper in a casserole.
  • Add half of the fried onion mess; discard the bay leaf.
  • In a bowl knead minced beef, the bread crumb mess, half of the onion mess, the egg, spices & herbs, salt & pepper until well done.
  • Divide the meat mess into 8 parts, roll each, put a piece of feta in it & seal it.
  • Arrange the meat balls in the casserole & cover w/ tomato sauce.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 min.
  • Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
  • Sprinkle some chopped flat parsley on top - optional.
Notes
Prep time: The frying of the onion messes included.
Cream: You may also add milk or even water.
Minced beef: You may also work w/ 50% beef & 50% pork - not to mention minced lamb.
Feta: You may use feta made w/ 100% sheep’s milk, however, it’s also fine if you use a feta made of sheep’s milk & goats’ milk. 
After the oven session there seems to be a lot of liquid in the casserole. Don’t worry: it’ll be soaked up rather soon & the sauce will be nicely sticky.
You may store leftovers in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.
Sorry - no experience w/ freezing.

 

(information on equipment)

 

Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top!

The top of any meat ball is a little crispy, but nevertheless delicious! (The rest of the meat balls is very soft & crumbly!)

 

 

If you cut a meat ball into 2 halves you’ll see that the feta didn’t escape – of course, the feta should never do this.

What else?

  • You may serve the meat balls hot, warm or at room temperature.
  • You may add potatoes, rice, pasta or simply fresh bread.
  • You may prepare some tsatsiki, some green or black olives, some grilled vegetables to accompany the meat balls.

 

 

The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks 

I simply added some fresh baguette… for our dinner after the meat balls had been baked. Half of them remained… in the fridge… & then we had another dinner w/ plain pasta & meat balls on top.

 

 

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