Soutzoukakia from Smyrna (Traditional Meatballs) by Sotiris Evangelou

“Spicy and tasteful is the absolute dish, that comes from Smyrna, Minor Asia, and has Greek and eastern roots. We accompany it with a velvety mashed potatoes puree and its delicious red sauce. The unique aromas from the garlic, the cumin and the cinnamon make it even more tasteful and seductive enough to taste it’s sauce with fresh bread attacks.”

Servings: 4-6
Preparation Time: 15′
Waiting Time: 60′
Cooking Time: 20′


For the soutzoukakia

  • 1 kilo ground beef
  • 3 slices bread (without the crust) soaked in red dry wine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for the mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Fleur de sel & freshly grated pepper
  • 1 cup flour for frying

For the sauce

  • 1 kilo tomatoes (peeled, deseeded & chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 60gr butter
  • Fleur de sel & freshly grated pepper

For the mashed potatoes

Servings: 4-6
Preparation Time: 10′
Cooking Time: 30′


  • 1 kilo potatoes
  • 200ml milk (lukewarm)
  • 120gr butter
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper


Wash the potatoes well and put them in a big saucepan with their skins to boil in cold salted water for about 30′.

When they are done, wash them well with cold water and peel their skins.

Put them in a saucepan and mash them. In low heat add 2-3 doses of butter and stir continuously. When they are mixed well with the butter add the lukewarm milk, the nutmeg, salt, pepper and stir. When the puree becomes fairly thick remove from the fire.

For the frying

Extra virgin olive oil


Put the ground beef in a bowl with the bread, after having strained it well from the wine, the olive oil, the egg, the spices, salt, pepper and the garlic.
Mix the mince well with all the ingredients and leave it covered in the fridge for about 30′-40′ before frying.
Take the mince out of the fridge and start making the soutzoukakia in the size we want.
Put the olive oil in a saucepan to heat, powder slightly the soutzoukakia with the flour and fry them until they take a brownish color and line them on a platter.

For the sauce

In a wide saucepan heat the olive oil and simmer the garlic until it takes out its aromas, add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, stirring continuously. Add the sugar and the spices and cook for another 10′.
Then low the fire, add the soutzoukakia in the saucepan and cook for another 10′.
Serve the soutzoukakia with the mashed potatoes.