I love chifteluțe, ever since I was a little girl, I love those flavourful meatballs. Either dry, just off the pan… or marinated and served with mashed potatoes and murături (pickled vegetables). An my nieces often order this for sunday dinner… It is fairly easy to make, but it takes time.
- 700 g minced meat
- 1 egg
- 200 g of grated old bread
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons of chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
- 1 cube of meat stock
- salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 800 g coking potatoes
- 50 g butter
- 150 ml milk
- salt and pepper
Take the bred, cut it in cubes and grate it in a food processor. In a pan add a little oil and blanche the onion and the garlic, 2-3 min. In a bowl mix the minced beef, with the grated bread, the egg, the chopped onion and chopped garlic. Add the thyme and the chopped dill, salt and pepper and mix well. Let the mixture stay and infuse for about 20 minutes.
Pre-heat a large pan on medium heat. On a large plate put the flour. With a spoon take from the mixture, make into a ball in your hands, roll through the flower and tap lightly on two sides to get rid of the extra flour. Put it to be fried in the pan. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Continue until you finish all the meatballs
In another pan, put 100 ml of water, mix with the tomato paste, melt the stock and add 400 ml of water together with salt and pepper. Not too much since the meatballs are salted too. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes and then add all the meatballs to the pan. You might have to add some more water until the meatballs are covered. Let the meatballs simmer for about 30-35 minutes.
Peel and cut the potatoes in cubes. In a pan add the potatoes with salt and water and boil for about 30 minutes. Test with a fork if the potatoes are cooked. Strain the water and in a bowl add small cubes of butter, salt and pepper and the milk and mash into a creamy consistency.
Serve hot with either a nice green salat or very traditional Romanian – with pickled cucumbers.
Other serving ideas: serve the chifteluțe marinate with pasta, couscous or rice.