Traditional Greek Meatballs with “zmi”

This food’s recipe comes directly from my Greek mother and the Kozani traditional kitchen, the city where I come from. Back in the old days in the juice(“zmi” in the Kozani dialect) they were using any leftover oil they had from some frying, so the juice itself was becoming tastier and absolutely marvelous. The juice was being used in any kind of meat, just to accompany it and make the whole dish much more tasteful.

Ingredients (for 30 small meatballs)

For the meatballs:

500gr beef smashed meat

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup bread crumbles

1/3 cup red vinegar

1 big onion trimmed

3 eggs

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp mint

Some parsley

Some water

Salt & Pepper 

For the juice

Olive oil

3 – 4 cloves of garlic

Salt

Some sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 cups tomato juice (not paste)

 

Procedure

For the meatballs, you put all the ingredients together and you mix them really good. Taste the mixture if it needs a bit more salt. *Its texture has to be soft and not stiff. To achieve that you put a bit of more water at the end, if they are too firm. If they are too wet, then put more crumbles. 

Put the mixture for 30 minutes in the fridge, so that all the ingredients will stick together.

Put some oil in a baking pan and start making small meatballs with your hands.

Make them as big or small you want, it’s up to you to decide.

Spread them nicely on the pan, with some distance between them.

Cook them in the oven for about 30 minutes in 200 C.

For the juice (Zmi)

After you have smashed the garlic cloves, put salt and mix them together.

In a frying pan, put some olive oil (or if you want to do it traditionally, any leftover oil you have from other cooking).

Let it fry and put some sugar.

Put the flour and stir it good. Pour the tomato juice.

Let it boil for about 10 minutes, until it is thick and firm.

Once the meatballs are cooked, pour the juice in a plate and dip the meatballs inside. They will be softer and juicier, full of all the aromas and flavors of the juice. You can serve with fresh Greek yogurt.   

Enjoy your meal!

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