Yield: 8-10 pieces; Total time: 30 minutes
350 grams (¾ pound) pork shoulder, finely ground
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for sautéing onion and garlic
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying meatballs
1 large egg
1 onion, minced and sauteed
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced, and sauteed
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 bread roll (or a sliced bread) soaked in milk then squeezed dry
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs, into meatball
½ cup breadcrumbs, to roll meatballs
Step 1: Heat three tablespoons oil in a pan over medium-high, then add minced onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Then add minced garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Turn off heat.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, egg, breadcrumbs (1 tablespoon), soaked bread roll, salt, pepper, paprika, ground caraway seeds, and the sautéd onion-garlic mixture. Mix very thoroughly with hand so that all ingredients disperse evenly, then form with wet hands round and flat meatballs, about 7 cm by 2 cm (2 ¾ by 1 inch). Add the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl, then lightly coat the meatballs in breadcrumbs.
Step 3: Heat 2 cups oil in a large pan over medium-high to 190 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit), then carefully slide meatballs into the hot oil. Fry until a crispy, golden-brown crust develops, about 3 minutes each side. Take care not to overcrowd the pan (depending on its size, you may have to do two or three batches). When ready, transfer meatballs to a container lined with paper towel to soak up extra oil and let them cool for 5 minutes.
Words of advice
The temparature of the frying oil will drop after you place into it the meatballs; try to keep it around 190 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit) — an instant-read thermometer is of great help here.
I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day. Do you have any feedback? Please let me know!