Mititei

The Romanian Kabab

Kababs are very popular in our region, they’re easy to make, easy to make different and stand out by using a different mix of herbs and spices and are great as an entree or a starter when you’re out grilling meats with friends.

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If you arrive at a barbecue party and they’re serving the store-bought kind, the kabab’s are usually the first thing to fly off the grill, in an attempt to make you full by eating junk before the good stuff comes out, but when you make your own, you can choose a tasty cut of meat, work it with lots of love (and garlic) and bring out some serious mouth watering, finger lickin’ treats.

You will automatically know to recognize the Romanian kabab by it’s rolled tube shape instead of the small patties or right on the skewer, but much more than the shape, texture is the name of the game.
The Mititei is known for its soft texture and moisture that are the result of grinding the meat 2 or 3 times and then adding in broth and seasoning slowly (2 tbsps at a time) while kneading the meat for at least 15 minutes, until the texture resembles a paste.

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The problem with a proper made Mititei and probably the main reason for its low popularity is that at this point you have to let it rest in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours, you can’t be spontaneous about Mititei, and I know that’s a big deterrent for many people, but for the few brave cooks who can plan a day ahead, the reward is guaranteed.

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LET’S COOK

1kg ground beef or veal, ground 2-3 times. preferably chuck steak, or any other cut that is rich in flavor, but too hard to eat if not minced. make sure you have enough fat, around 10%, like you want to have with burgers.
1 cup beef stock – (if missing stock, you can use water instead)
1 flat teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
1 flat teaspoon of fine ground allspice
1 flat teaspoon of fine ground black pepper
1 flat teaspoon of fine ground caraway
1 teaspoon of salt
15 cloves of garlic

mititei-ingridients

Mix all the spices in a bowl, add two tablespoons of the broth

In a large bowl, mix in the spice mix with the ground beef

on a counter or large flat work area, start kneading the meat while adding the broth, two spoonfuls at a time. keep on kneading until the the meat becomes a paste.

When done, place in the large bowl again, cover and allow to rest for 8-12 hours.

Use a large spoon to scoop out equal amounts of the mixture for each kabab, and roll them slowly into a tube shape, each kabab should be about 2.5cm thick and 8-10 cm long.

At this point, you can also freeze the kababs until you are ready to grill them.

Lightly coat them in olive oil and place on hot grill. turn once in a while to sear the meat and leave them moist inside.

They’re ready when turn from soft to bouncy, make sure you don’t overcook

Enjoy, and try avoiding close conversations and/or kissing with anyone who may find the smell of garlic offensive.

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