Mititei (Mici)

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Mititei (Mici)

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700 g Beef
300 g mutton or pork (fatter - breast, neck)
250-350 ml Bone soup or very cold water
22 g Salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated dried thyme
5-6 juniper berries
½ teaspoon coriander beans (about 30 small beans)
1 teaspoon grated cumin seeds
2 teaspoon paprika
5-7 cloves of large garlic
1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Medium




One of the benefits of making this dish at home is that you have total control over what goes in it. Mici is what I consider to be a ‘social’ food because most Romanians prepare it when they have a get-together barbecue. It is also perfect for the summer time and pairs excellently with a cold beer.

Mititei or Mici (both meaning “little ones”/”small ones”) is a Romanian dish consisting of grilled ground meat made from a mixture of beef, lamb and pork with spices, such as garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory, and sometimes a touch of paprika and formed into cylindrical rolls.

Sodium bicarbonate and broth or water are also added to the mixture. It is similar to cevapi and other ground meat based dishes found throughout the Balkans and Middle East.

It is often served with french fries, mustard and pickles (green pickled vegetables).

Recipe provided by the amazing gals behind Savori Urbane.

How to Make Mititei them:

  1. First, cut the beef into cubes. Cut the pork breast into pieces and place it next to the beef.
  2. (COMMENT: Are we assuming everyone has a meat grinder? If not, give an alternative of using minced meat?) Put in the finest cutting plate (with smaller holes) in the meat grinder and put all the meat through it, including the garlic cloves.
  3. Crush all the spices (except the baking soda) in a pestle and mortar, making a floury and flavorful powder.
  4. (COMMENT: What happens to the baking soda?)Prepare a teaspoon of baking soda.
  5. Put the minced meat into a food processor (equipped with the dough kneading hook).
  6. The mixture needs to be kneaded hard for a few minutes. The machine will make your work easier. You can also do it manually. In fact it would be good to call the man of the house to work a little on these nice little mici that go so well with cold beer. Okay, this is true only for large quantities… at 1-2 kg we women can manage.
  7. Put the ground spices and baking soda over the meat and start the food processor.
  8. At first, the homemade mici paste is very thick and hard to knead. Gradually add cold bone soup (or cold water) and knead everything for about 7-8 minutes.
  9. The mixture becomes fluffy and soft.
  10. Do not put in all the liquid if you feel that 250 or 300 ml is enough.
  11. Put the mixture into a clean bowl, cover it with plastic or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge overnight.

How to form beautiful and equal cylindrical mici?

  1. Take the mici mixture out of the fridge and leave it on the side for 30 minutes to warm up a bit. Then kneaded the meat for 2-3 minutes by hands to aerate it. 
  2. Take a confectionery bag and cut its corner to 4 cm. Fill it with the meat paste, then draw long lines with it on an oiled plastic cutting board. Very easy and fast work! Don’t make them too thin because they dry up when fried!
  3. Then cut the mici to 10 cm. Brush them all over with oil (you can also use a spray).
  4. Grease a baking tray with oil and place on the mici, smoothing the tops a little so they look beautiful.
  5. Place foil over them and put them back in the fridge. The mici should be put on the grill when they are still cold. This does not apply to slices or large pieces of meat that need to sit before being fried.
Mici; Photo credit: Savoriurbane

Grilling homemade mici with charcoal or wood embers:

I make a fire on the grill in the garden and when the embers are ready (with no open flames) I grease the grill well with a piece of bacon and put on the mici. The heat must be medium to high: if it is too high the mici will burn on the surface and remain raw in the middle, if it is too low they dry out and shrivel up.

Each chef has his own theory for turning the mici on the grill and frying them on either 2, 3 or 4 sides. I fry them on 3 sides. However, you cannot flip the mici until they are done on one side and come off on their own. Do not insist on turning them early because they will break. I move the fried ones to a clean tray and lightly cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm. You should not cover tightly because they need to breathe.

Now all we have to do is eat these delicious homemade mici with mustard and fresh bread. And let’s open a cold beer – those who want to, of course.


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