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Local FoodTaste of Cyprus

Keftedes (greek meat balls)

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Keftedes are Cypriot meatballs, traditionally made with ground pork, grated potato, onion, parsley, mint, cinnamon, egg and breadcrumbs, for a very tasty, deep-fried finger food, or as part of a meal. They can also be made with beef. Keftedes are often served with bulgar pilaf and plain yoghurt.

Ingredients
1 red onion, grated
500g / 1 lb beef mince (ground beef) (or lamb!)
200g / 6.5oz pork mince (ground pork), or more beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup / 60g panko breadcrumbs (or use normal)
1 egg
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
6 large mint leaves, finely chopped (spearmint if you can, it’s authentic)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
Black pepper
Cooking / Serving:
1/2 cup flour any white
3 tbsp olive oil
Finely chopped parsley optional, for garnish
Tzatziki (Note 5) or Greek yoghurt

Instructions
Grate the onion straight into a large bowl, then add remaining Meatball ingredients. Use your hands to mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is quite smooth and very well combined.

Optional: Refrigerate for 1 hour – makes them easier to roll + retains round shape when cooking.
Measure out heaped tablespoons and dollop onto a work surface – should make around 32 – 35. Then roll into balls.
Heat most of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat (medium if you have a strong gas stove). Use enough oil to cover the surface of the skillet.
Cook in 2 to 3 batches: Dredge meatballs lightly in flour, shaking off excess, then place in the skillet. Roll them around and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, until nicely browned all over. Remove onto plate, cover to keep warm and repeat with remaining meatballs.
BAKING: Alternatively, spray generously with oil (preferably olive oil) then bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until browned. The pan frying method is the traditional way and the meatballs are slightly juicier.