These little meaty, garlicky, juicy, melt-in-the-mouth rolls are a Romanian street food staple. So much so that we even eat them while waiting for the bus to arrive. When the weather turns warm, it’s impossible to resist the smoky aromas rising from the mici cooked on huge grills set up along the streets. They are usually served on paper plates with a generous dollop of mustard and a slice of crusty white bread to mop up the juices.
Ask your butcher to grind the meat together with the fatback for you, so you won’t have to grind it separately at home. The fat is key to the juiciness and texture of the mici—it can be made with less but the texture will be slightly drier.
Makes 15–20 sausages
- 10 1/2 ounces ground beef
- 1 pound 2 ounces ground pork
- 7 ounces pork fatback or lardo, diced and briefly ground in a food processor
- 3 slices white bread, soaked in milk
- 1 garlic bulb, peeled and cloves crushed to a paste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/3 cup cold concentrated beef stock, made from 1/2 stock cube dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or sunflower oil, for frying, plus extra for greasing
Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil together in a bowl. Knead by hand to an almost bread-like dough, resembling a paste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Grease a baking sheet or large tray.
With wet hands, shape about 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of the mixture into a chunky little sausage, approximately 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Place onto the prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, ideally, overnight.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the mici on all sides, turning them 6 times in total, until browned on the outside and soft and juicy in the middle. Alternatively, cook on a hot grill, brushing with a little oil first. Serve with bread and mustard, if desired.
Recipes reprinted with permission from “Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania” by Irina Georgescu. Published by Interlink Publishing.