Soutsoukakia (Minced Beef Rissoles)

For a hearty Greek meal try Loulla Austin's delicious minced beef rissoles in tomato sauce, served with a bulghur wheat pilaff
Soutsoukakia (Minced Beef Rissoles)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 750 g finely ground minced beef
  • 110 g stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flour, for coating
  • 125 ml vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g passata
  • 75 ml dry red wine
  • 75 ml water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • black pepper

For the bulghur wheat pilaff:

  • 6 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 410 g tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 225 g coarse bulgur wheat
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • black pepper
  • 570 ml hot water or stock


1. Soak the bread in cold water for a few minutes, squeeze dry and crumble.

2. Place the minced beef in a large bowl with the bread, garlic, parsley, egg, cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. Mix well to combine. Refrigerate the mixture until required.

4. Take small quantities of the minced beef mixture and shape into small thick sausage shapes as long as your forefinger. Roll lightly in flour.

5. In a large deep frying pan, heat 125ml vegetable oil until hot. Fry the rissoles a few at a time until brown all over. Place on kitchen paper to drain.

6. Pour away the oil from the frying pan. Add the olive oil to the pan with the tomato passata, red wine, water, sugar, bay leaves and cumin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. Carefully place the rissoles in the sauce.

8. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes or transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake at 190°C/gas 5 for 35minutes.

9. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning before serving.

10. Meanwhile, make the bulghur pilaff. Heat the oil in a heavy-based, medium saucepan. Add the onion and chick-peas and fry until the onion has softened.

11. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Mix in the cracked wheat and tomato puree and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

12. Pour in the hot water or stock, stir well, cover the pan tightly and simmer very gently for 15 minutes without stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.

13. Remove from the heat, leave the pilaff for 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork before serving.

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