See the big pot in that picture? That was the amount of Ukrainian meatballs, or Котлети that Alona‘s babusya made for a holiday party. No, wait, that’s just one pot, there’s another of equal size just outside the frame. These are some of my favorite things to eat when going to grandma’s house. Or maybe it is Stockholm syndrome since as soon as I walk in the door I get inundated with requests to eat as much as I can. Well, nothing a cold glass of traditional Kompot can’t help wash down.
We made these meatballs by grinding our own meat, but you could easily buy regular ground meat from the store. This recipe is such commonplace in Ukraine that most families have their own meat grinder, so usually people just buy large chunks of beef or pork. We used pork for this recipe, but you could easily substitute beef if you prefer.
When making Ukrainian meatballs there really is not much different than making other country’s style meatballs, except these ones do not tend to be round. As you can see in the picture they are a bit more like a pressed oval. This is because as they cook in the pan, you slightly press down on them with a spatula or spoon. If you prefer round meatballs you can of course make them that way.
One thing about this Ukrainian meatballs recipe that may seem weird to some people is the use of white bread soaked in milk. I know many meatball recipes that use breadcrumbs, but I do find that regular old bread soaked in milk makes these so moist.
Ukrainian Meatballs котлети
- meat grinder (optional)
- 500 grams Pork or beef or chicken, up to you. Minced/ground
- 200 grams White Bread
- 150 ml Milk
- 1 large Onion minced
- 1 cup Flour more or less, for breading
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Black Pepper or to taste
- Oil for frying
- Assuming you are not using a meat grinder, take the ground meat and place into a bowl with the minced onion.
- In another bowl soak the white bread in milk for 5 minutes. Add to the meat bowl.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands and then form into golf ball sized balls
- Roll each ball in some flour and shake off excess.
- Heat up some oil in a pan. Fry the meatballs in the oil, flattening slightly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Flip to cook both sides. About 5 minutes per meatball (you can do a bunch in one pan, just don't crowd).