The story has it a popular mid-19th-century Romanian inn, famous for its sausages, was out of a customer favorite. To save time, the chef formed the unstuffed meat mixture into sausage-shaped cylinders and grilled them over charcoal. The customers delighted in "the wee ones without skin," and so these casingless sausages became known as mititei or "the wee ones."
Mititei also can be made with lamb or pork or a combination, and formed into patties or meatballs and grilled, broiled, pan fried or baked in the oven. Indoor grills work great, too.
Makes 6 servings of Romanian Mititei Sausages
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly, wetting your hands frequently to keep the meat moist. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Using slightly dampened hands, divide mixture into 18 equal portions and form into oval sausages about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Grill, broil or pan fry 7 minutes per side or bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Serve with tomato and green onion salad, sour cream sprinkled with paprika, baked potato or french fries, or rice.
- "Mititei" make great appetizers and are wonderful cold the next day in a sandwich.