Summer is in full swing! If you can stand the outside heat, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and have a fantastic backyard barbeque.

If you’re tired of store-bought hamburger patties or hot dogs with a funny aftertaste, I’d like to present one of my favorite things to grill! Mititei (pronounced mee-tee-tay) is a blend of ground meat and seasonings and formed in a sausage shape. However, the meat is never placed in a traditional “skin” that most sausages have which makes this an easy sausage to make because it doesn’t require any special equipment.

Without any further ado, enjoy:

Romanian Skinless Sausages (Mititei)*

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork

2 tbsp. water

5-6 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. crushed hot red pepper

½ tsp hot Hungarian paprika

2 tsp caraway seeds

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

  • Place beef and pork in a large mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients in the order listed. Mix well and knead mixture with your hands for at least 5 minutes, wetting your hands frequently. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • With damp hands, make large meatballs. Then roll them between your hands into sausages about 4” long and 1” thick.
  • If grilling, place on hot grill over medium-high heat. Using tongs (do not pierce them), turn the mititei frequently so they cook evenly. While cooking, baste with water or beef stock to prevent them from drying out. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • If preparing in a frying pan, melt 3 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat on stovetop. Place mititei gently in skillet, and turn them frequently so they cook evenly. I have found it’s helpful to place a lid over the skillet to help them cook all the way through without burning the outside. Cook for 12-15 minutes until they are no longer pink inside.
Mititei are the perfect addition to any backyard barbecue!

Mititei are traditionally enjoyed with high quality mustard, no ketchup. However, you can experiment and find your own favorite way to eat them.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicolae Klepper in his excellent book “Taste of Romania”.

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