Smyrna Soutzoukakia

Soutzoukakia are small seasoned sausages without a casing. These sausages are served with a wonderful tomato sauce.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1⁄2 cup white wine, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, peeled (1 grated, 1 diced), divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1⁄2 tsp. plus 1⁄8 tsp. ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, puréed
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon


  • Soak the bread in 1⁄4 cup wine, squeeze out the liquid, and crumble the bread. In a large bowl, mix the beef, soaked bread, grated onion, 1 teaspoon garlic, parsley, 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper, and the egg. Mix well and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the diced onions, bay leaf, tomatoes, remaining garlic, remaining cumin, cinnamon, and remaining wine. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Form the meat mixture into 3-inch meatball-shaped sausages. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Place the sausages on the grill and grill them 3 to 4 minutes a side.
  • Add the sausages to the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf and serve hot.