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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This is my great grandmother's recipe for Greek meatballs.  I debated whether or not to put the recipe on my blog, because it is very special to me.  I have had several people ask me for it and I don't mind sharing with my friends.  It makes me happy to know that others are enjoying Giagia's meatballs as much as I do.  So, I figured I'd put it up here so I can have it for myself and also so I can share it with you. (all 10 of you!!)

Giagia and Pappous

I don't have any pictures of the keftedes.  I have made them so many times, I just never thought to pull out my camera and take a picture.  They look like meatballs.  Ha!  I will be sure to add pictures to this post the next time I make them.  I need to get the recipe posted quickly for a friend, though.  I actually have a copy of the original recipe written in my great grandmother's handwriting.  That is something that is priceless to me.  She didn't include exact measurements, and I don't use them either, so the amounts here are my best guess.  Please let me know if you make these and how they turned out or if you have any questions. 

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)

  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c of milk
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 whole onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint or 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • 3-4 fresh lemons or more if you like lemon!
  • flour for dusting
  • LOVE

  1. pour milk over slices of bread and then squeeze out excess milk
  2. combine beef, bread, eggs, garlic, onions, mint, parsley and salt and pepper and mix well
  3. If you aren't sure about the seasoning, form a small ball of the mixture and cook it in a bit of olive oil and taste.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. cover meat mixture with a wet paper towel and refrigerate overnight
  5. with oiled hands, roll meat mixture into equal sized balls
  6. roll the meatballs in flour
  7. saute the meatballs in a mixture of butter and olive oil, cooking in batches so as not to over crowd the pan
  8. when browned, move meatballs to a warm oven or a slow cooker
  9. squeeze half a lemon over each batch of browned meatballs
  10. when done sauteeing all the meatballs, deglaze the pan with another half lemon, scraping up all of the brown bits and pour over meatballs
  11. keep in oven or slow cooker until cooked through (no longer pink)
I like my meatballs very lemony, so I serve them with extra lemons on the side.  Also, I eat my keftedes without any sauce.  Some like them with a tomato based sauce and others serve them with cucumber-yogurt sauce for dipping.  These are great for a party because the longer they sit, the more flavorful they are.  Also, they can be made ahead, which is always nice.  They are different from regular meatballs in their flavor, but not so different people are afraid to try them.  I've never made them for anyone who didn't like them, but I can never seem to make them as well as my Mamaw and Giagia did.  They must be made with love.   


1 comment:

  1. These meatballs sound great! I love the old photograph.