The Greeks are masters when it comes to putting mince into its culinary best. Whether keftedes or bifteki – the spicy minced meat variations are evergreens of Greek cuisine.

In keeping with spring, a traditional meatball recipe that actually contains plums is given a new lease of life. Apricots give the meatballs a fresh touch.

Greek meatballs are wonderful to combine with rice or bulgur, but also go well with a tomato and cucumber salad. For six servings of meatballs with sauce you will need the following ingredients.

For the meatballs

1 kg minced lamb or veal50 g peeled walnuts, ground1 small onion, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, finely chopped½ teaspoon chili flakes2 teaspoons cinnamon2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley1 egg (size M), lightly beatenOlive oil for frying

For the sauce

1 large onion, finely chopped3 garlic cloves, finely grated400 ml chicken or lamb stock150 ml wine (red or white)1½ tablespoons red or white wine vinegar1½ tablespoons honey150 g dried apricots, coarsely chopped3 bay leaves1 lemon, squeezedChopped parsley and/or torn mint

Put all the ingredients for the keftedes in a bowl and mix well. This is best done with your hands. Season the molasses well with salt and pepper. With moistened hands you can then begin to form the meatballs into small balls.

Then cover the balls airtight (cling film works well) and chill the balls in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The resting time causes the keftedes to gain strength. You can then fry them in a pan with a little olive oil until they have a rich brownish color on all sides. Tip: The meatballs don’t have to be cooked through yet.

To make the sauce, heat some oil (one tablespoon) in a new pan. Sauté the onion over medium heat until lightly golden and soft, then add the garlic. After about two minutes you can also add the broth, wine, vinegar, honey, apricots and bay leaves.

The meatballs can now go back into the pan with the sauce. Let the whole thing boil briefly. Reduce the temperature and adjust the seasoning. Cover and simmer the stock for about ten minutes, then add the walnuts and simmer for another ten minutes. The ground nuts thicken the sauce.

The meatballs are ready to serve when the sauce has thickened and is creamy. If necessary, you can round off the flavor with a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with garnish and chopped parsley and mint.

What: telegraph