This Greek meatball dish has to be one of my dad’s favourites and now that I’m adult, it’s one of mine.
Keftedes are a Greek meatball/burger and although the spices and herbs may vary from home to home, it’s basically of ground mince, grated onion, soaked bread and spices.
This dish falls in the Manestra category of Greek dishes. It’s culinary cousin is a Giouvestsi (which is done in the oven) but here, everything’s done on the stovetop. Some folks like a thick sauce, others a little soupier. Some folks like orzo, here we use Kofta Makaronia (Ditalini). The dish is often made with braised poultry, lamb or veal.
Manestra With Keftedes and Kofta Makaronia
2 lbs. of lean ground beef
1 onion, grated
2 slices of white bread (soaked in water or milk, then squeezed of liquid)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 egg, beaten
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
flour for dusting
3 cups of chicken or beef boullion
1 medium onion, diced
1 sweet banana pepper, fine dice
1 cup of strained tomato passata
1 package of kofta makaronia (ditalini)
salt and pepper to taste
grated Kefalotyri cheese
- In a bowl, mix all of your Keftedes ingredients with your hands. Your mixture should stick and easily form meatballs. Adjust with some oil if too dry, add some more soaked bread if too wet. Fry-off or microwave a small meatball to taste-test. Adjust seasoning according to taste. Form into palm-sized meatballs and then flatten into patties. Dust in flour and reserve.
- In a large pot, add your olive oil to medium-high heat and brown your keftedes in batches, reserve.
- In the same pot, add some stock and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add your onions and peppers and saute for 5-7 minutes to soften.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, your remaining stock, keftedes and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes or until you’ve reached your sauce’s desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with grated Kefalotyri cheese (Romano).
. All rights reserved.