Romania

Dish

Mititei or “mici” as they are also known are the “hot dog” of Romanian culture, the most ubiquitous form of “the common man’s meat” and are generally extremely inexpensive to buy, often sold in large packs (in grocery stores) precisely so you can cook them on your grill during a summer’s picnic. It is extremely common to eat mici with a healthy dollop of “plain” yellow mustard, usually served on the side so that the eater can swirl each bite of mici in the sauce as desired. If you ever order mici, whether at a fast-food or “proper” restaurant, the mustard will always be served with it. Unlike most of the concoctions you will find at a fast-food restuarants, mici truly are a Romanian, domestic creation, the story of the origin being that many years ago a well-known restaurant in Bucharest ran out of casings and so had to create a “sausage” right there on the spot to feed their hungry customers.

Ingredients

  • 250g / 9oz minced pork
  • 250g / 9oz minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soaked and ground caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp allspice (optional)
  • meat, chicken or vegetable stock, for basting (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients, apart from the olive oil together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Knead together for about five minutes - the ingredients need to be very well combined and the meat broken down into a paste like consistency.
  3. Divide the mixture into small handfuls and roll into small sausage shapes.
  4. Place the sausages on a platter and cover with cling film, leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to firm up.
  5. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle. Cook the sausages over a medium heat for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Turn them several times during cooking and baste with a little oil to keep them moist, if you like..
Serve with mustard.