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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)

I remember when I was young my mother would make these meatballs for guests.  They are flavorful and great with catsup or a marinara sauce.  If you make them small, they are a perfect appetizer, roll them larger for a main dish.  My version is not fried mostly because I like the flavor better when you bake them in the oven.


1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
3 slices bread (optional)
1 sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
2 eggs
large handful each fresh mint & parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preparation:   Heat oven to 375

Quarter the onion add it to a food processor along with the garlic cloves.  If you don't have a food processor, finely chop or mince the onion and garlic.  Add the herbs and pulse.

Put bread slices in a flat bowl and pour a little water to wet them.

You will need to squeeze the excess liquid before adding it to the meat.

I have also made these meatballs without bread for dietary reasons, they are tasty this way too.

In a large bowl with the ground meats:  1.) crumble the wet bread over it.  2.) add eggs 3.) add onion, herb, garlic mix 4.) salt & pepper.

Mix well.  Now you are ready to ROLL!

1 to 2 inch balls should suffice, smaller for appetizers and larger for a main dish.  Whichever you prefer.  Larger ones will take longer to bake.

There are two ways you can do this.  I prefer a large pan fitted with a rack.

You can also put parchment on the bottom of the pan and do it that way.

Brush or spray the meat balls with olive oil.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes and turn them halfway through the cooking process.  May sure they are nicely browned on the outsider.

We eat them with catsup drizzled over the tops or add them to a pasta dish with marinara.

Also try putting a few in a pita with lettuce leaves, tomato slices and a couple spoonfuls of Tzatziki     YUM!