I used to make these often, especially when George (Calombaris) was little. They’re really nice served simply with a rice pilaf, chips and salad, or bottom of the salad oils and vinegar, and George used to love the leftovers the next day wrapped in crusty bread. Take care that you don’t fry the keftedes too hard – gentle is the way to go. 






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (257 votes)


  • 250 g coarsely minced pork
  • 250 g coarsely minced beef
  • 1 large brown onion, grated
  • 2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp roughly chopped mint
  • 2 tsp salt flakes
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 potatoes, grated, excess liquid squeezed out
  • vegetable oil, for pan-frying
  • flat leaf parsley and chervil, to garnish (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place all the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl and mix together well. Leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then form tablespoons of the mixture into football shapes (you should have enough to make about 16 keftedes).

Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan to a depth of 2–3 cm and place over medium heat. Add the keftedes and cook for 10–12 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towel, then serve hot, garnished with parsley and chervil (if using).


Recipe from Greek, by George Calombaris, with photography by Earl Carter  (Lantern, $59.99, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.