No Romanian worth his (or her) salt would ever throw a barbecue without mititei, or mici as they're more popularly known. Made with beef and A. N. Other meat, usually pork or lamb, they are flavoured with paprika, a tonne of garlic and eaten with soft bread and mustard. Though they are very easy to make they're surprisingly hardly ever prepared from scratch, they're only ever cooked on a barbie yet you can buy them ready made from pretty much any food shop at any time of the year. Barbecues are serious business in Romania.
Living in London it is very easy to find pre-prepared mici, we have cooked them on many occasion and they taste great. But you just cannot beat the homemade version and if you're cooking to feed an army it's cheaper to boot.
Cosmin took the lead on our mici, getting his hands all gooey mixing the meat and painstakingly rolling them by hand. The barbecue work was all his as well, a couple of our guests tried to impart their bbq wisdom but Cosmin wasn't having any of it. Just as in England and probably every country in the world the chosen barbecue-er at a Romanian party is very protective over their fire, I'm just thankful he didn't poke anybody with the tongs.
- 1.5kg minced beef
- 750g minced pork
- 1 large onion peeled and grated
- 1.5 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 10 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 tsp paprika
- 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
- 225ml sparkling mineral water
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 91
- Fat | 2.7
Makes | 44
Prep Time | 45 minutes
Cooking Time | 5-10 minutes
- In a large bowl, mix together the beef, pork and onion until fully incorporated.
- In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda and stir well.
- Add the garlic, paprika, pepper, salt and thyme to the lemon mix together with a tablespoon of the mineral water and grind with a pestle or the back of a spoon until you have a thick paste (this can also be done in a food processor). Slowly stir in the rest of the mineral water.
- Add the wet ingredients into the meat, stir with a spoon and once it starts coming together knead with your hands until fully incorporated and the meat becomes 'paste like'.
- To test for seasoning, take a small piece of the mix, roll it into a ball, fry it in a little oil until browned on all sides and cooked through.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste then form into 2cm x 10cm sausages, either with wet hands or with a large piping bag with the tip removed (as per our Serbian Cevapcici recipe).
- Chill in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, or ideally overnight.
- Cook on the bbq, turning to ensure they're brown on all sides and cooked through to the centre. Alternatively they can also be grilled/broiled in the same manner.