The best biftekia with the most lemony roasted Greek potatoes
Hearty, easy, humble food! That is what this meal is. Biftekia sto fourno (or meat patties baked in the oven) are like mini meatloafs or large meatballs. These oval shaped hamburger patties are perfectly Greek, and our recipe is perfectly delicious!
Growing up our parents would sometimes take our biftekia and serve them in a hamburger bun, their oval shape causing a bit of dead space resulting in bites of plain bread with ketchup. Most often however, biftekia were served just as they are here – no bread and with a side of slow roasted, creamy and lemony potatoes. So good!
Although biftekia can certainly be shaped into round patties, our parents have always made them into ovals, the way they shape soutzoukakia. Regardless of how they are formed, they are just delicious, especially when served with some lemon wedges to squeeze over top!
Why do you brown the biftekia before baking them?
This is really an important step. By taking the time to brown the biftekia before adding them to the roasting pan you are enhancing the flavour that they will have by given their exterior a nice, crispy texture and pronounced flavour. Browning your biftekia will also help prevent them from sticking to the bottom of your roasting pan.
Can I make the biftekia larger or smaller than you describe?
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you make them smaller – keep in mind that the biftekia will shrink a bit while baking and you don’t want to end up with meatballs! If you would prefer them larger, that is fine, but adjust your cooking time accordingly.
I don’t really like mint. Can I exclude it?
Sure you can. In fact, you can use any herbs that you happen to enjoy – but mint is quite common in Greek cooking and it’s definitely worth a try!
Do you serve biftekia with ketchup or mustard?
Although we would sometimes do this when we were kids, these days we have learned that the most delicious way to enjoy biftekia is with a fresh squeeze of lemon. So good!! If you do want a dipping sauce for the bifetkia, how about keeping it Greek and serving alongside our homemade tzatziki.
What kind of potatoes are best for Greek lemon potatoes?
We usually use yellow fleshed or Yukon Gold potatoes, and these make for very delicious Greek lemon potatoes. But, we have also used red-skinned potatoes, russets and anything else that we have found on sale. The secret to the best Greek lemon potatoes is to roast them for a long time, to use plenty of oil (don’t worry, most of it gets drained off) and to of course use plenty of lemon.
Looking for more oven baked, one pan meals? Here are a few of our favourites:
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Biftekia with roasted lemon potatoes
- 10-12 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges we prefer to use yellow flesh potatoes
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 to 1 cup (250 mL) olive oil
- 3/4 to 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil we use corn oil
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground veal
- 2 medium yellow onions, grated
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- fresh lemon juice, for serving optional
For the roasted lemon potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a large roasting pan. We use a 15-inch round roasting pan. (If you are using a smaller pan, you would use a little less oil than what is indicated in our recipe.)
- Place in the bottom rack of your oven and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.
For the biftekia
- Combine pork and veal and mix gently until thoroughly combined. Then, add all of the remaining ingredients (except for the vegetable oil for frying) and mix well.
- Let the meat mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Taking 1/4 cup at a time, shape the biftekia into oval shapes; try to shape so that they are all equal.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep frying pan so that it is 1/2 inch deep. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil is ready (see Recipe Notes) add your biftekia to the pan so that you can just brown them. Be careful not to crowd your pan; you will have to brown in batches.
- As your biftekia are frying, gently turn them over so that all sides get browned evenly. Remember, you just want to brown them, not cook them all the way. They will finish cooking in the oven.
- Carefully remove the biftekia from the oil and drain them on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat cooking process with your next batch. Set aside.
- After one hour of roasting your potatoes, remove your pan from the oven and carefully mix the potatoes well. Add the biftekia to the pan with the potatoes and carrots. If you find your pan is getting too dry, add a little more oil. Return to oven.
- Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, remove from oven, and check to make sure potatoes are done. If not, return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so, until they’re ready.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat. Transfer to a serving platter carefully (you don’t want to break apart the potatoes) using a slotted spatula to help drain off any excess oil.
- Serve with wedges of lemon for the squeezing over the biftekia.