If you don’t know this by now, the recipe I’m about to share is THE BEST selling street food in Romania. Forget about, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, doughnuts or any other food combinations you can think of, park your food truck or grill in the middle of the street and you will attract every soul in a 10 mile radius, running out of ingredients in no time.
The main ingredient is usually ground beef with a lot of fat but a certain percentage of ground lamb is accepted as well if the meat does not have an enough content of grease. This is where any comparison with the North American hamburger, ends. This little thing that takes the shape of a sausage is loaded with herbs and spices and it will be probably the most flavored grilled meat you will ever have.
When I started researching this recipe I thought things would be as easy as making a hamburger but I was wrong. Most of the recipes I found require few days of preparation, time I wasn’t ready to invest so I tried to simplify the whole process. Enough said this is not my first attempt, I made a couple of tries in the past but the end result wasn’t what I wanted, though edible. In all cases I kind of screwed up the spice quantity or the meat was not fat enough, pretty difficult to accomplish when all you can find in the stores is “lean” or “extra lean”. Whatever happened with the rest of us looking for an easy way out, like a heart attack or something similar.
Anyway, as I said, the very traditional recipe of making “mici” will probably take you about a week because you have to boil them in some sort of beef stock and then freeze them and then shape them and freeze them again and I was baaaaah, enough with this and took the matter in my own hands. The end result is what you see in my picture though I wished I had a charcoal grill instead, because the smoke will double the addictive flavor of the damn things. Another thing I noticed was that meat is actually easier to shape and more flavor intensive after few days resting in the freezer but maybe it was just me because after I grilled my initial batch and stuffed my face with it, the rest went into the freezer and I kept dreaming of it for few days when I couldn’t take it any longer and grilled the rest. I hope you guys enjoy it, at least those of you that are in the middle of nowhere and cannot find this in the local store.
- 750g ground beef
- 500g ground lamb
- 11/2 tsp fine ground pepper
- ¾ tsp fine ground thyme
- ½ tsp fine ground juniper berries
- 1 tsp fine ground coriander
- 1 tsp fine ground cumin
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp salt
- Place all the ingredients in a big bowl and give them a serious mix for at least 15-20 minutes; sorry but you have to use your hands.
- If you are patient enough you can let the meat rest in the fridge over night, covered with plastic wrap for spices to work their magic.
- Start making little sausages using your hands, wet hands work a bit better and place them onto a high heated grill. They need to be watched though because the grease tends to start a fire pretty fast.
- Grill them according to your own taste and serve with loads of mustard and mandatory cold beer.