Mititei or mici (Romanian for little or small ones) is a traditional Romanian dish, grilled minced-meat rolls made from beef (usually mixed with mutton and pork), which contain garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory and sometimes a touch of paprika. Sodium bicarbonate (and sometimes broth or water) is also added to the mixture. It is best served accompanied by mustard and beer. Ideally the mustard should not contain too much vinegar, because the sour taste does not fit with the mititei. The mititei are very popular in Romania. Legend has it that mititei were invented one evening at an inn called La Iordachi (At Iordachi) in Bucharest, well-known for its sausages, when the kitchen ran out of casings, although similar dishes exist across the whole of Eastern Europe, such as the ćevapčići in the Balkans. Nowadays, it is very popular sold as fast-food or in restaurants close to traffic. They are also sold as processed food in supermarkets.
Here is a recipe for mici:
One third each ground pork, lamb and beef for a total of 2-2.5 lbs meat
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
10 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water or vegetable/beef stock
Mix well all the ingredients together
Beat either water or vegetable/beef stock into the mixture
Leave mixture in fridge to set for a couple of hours or ideally overnight - this is an important step that aids the meat in coming out tender
Form into little 3-4 inch sausage shapes
NOTE: Keep a bowl of water handy to wet hands (this prevents the meat from sticking to fingers).
Grill on very hot grill, turn once
Serve with bread rolls and light mustard
Add a cold beer and a lazy summer evening and you are in heaven!