Meatballs Simmered With Leeks (Keftedes Prassoselino)

Recipe by Chef Kate
READY IN: 2hrs 25mins


  • For the Meatballs
  • 1
    lb ground veal
  • 1
    large onion, minced
  • 2
    tablespoons rice, raw
  • 2
    tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 12
    cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2
    teaspoons sweet paprika
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2
    large eggs
  • For the Leeks
  • 4 -6
    tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 3
    leeks, large, white and light green parts, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 -4
    celery ribs, leaves and strings removed, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 -2
    teaspoon sweet paprika (if you like the extra heat, use hot)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • Make the Meatballs:
  • Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and knead well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  • When ready to cook them, shape into golf ball sized portions (around 30).
  • Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the meatballs and brown them on all sides; do this in batches (do not over-cook, they will cook further with the leeks).
  • Remove meat to a plate and pour off all the accumulated fat in the skillet.
  • Reduce heat to low, add 4 tablespoons of butter and scrape up any bits of fond.
  • Add the leeks and celery and slowly saute, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Add the meatballs and stir everything together.
  • Add just enough water to come about two thirds of the way up the meatballs.
  • Cover and simmer over very low heat for about an hour, checking occasionally to make sure there is sufficient liquid to prevent scorching.
  • If you like (it does add amazing richness to the dish), swirl two tablespoons of butter in the pan, tipping it to distribute the butter throughout the meat and leeks.
  • Remove from heat, rest briefly, and serve.