German Frikadellen, a flavorful meat patty that is a cross between a meatball and a burger.
Frikadellen are German meat patties made from ground beef and pork, seasoned with different spices. Eggs, onions, day-old soaked bread or breadcrumbs are added too. The ingredients and spices vary from region to region, and so does the name for these tasty morsels. In Berlin, they are called Buletten, and in other parts of Germany they are called Klopse, Fleischküchel, or Fleischpflanzerl. It used to be a poor man’s delicacy that has been around for centuries. In 1790, the German author Theodor Fontane’s mother wrote a recipe for Frikadellen that is basically the same as the ones used today. There is a rumor that the Frikadellle was the inspiration for the Hamburger. Apparently, some immigrants from Hamburg made their Frikadellen in the New World and just put it between two buns.
I love Frikadellen--they are the perfect comfort food. I especially like them cold on a sandwich slathered with mustard. Traditionally, they are served with potato salad, but they are great with any veggie of your liking.
When I talked to my German friends and checked recipes in cookbooks and online, everybody seems to have a different twist to the recipe. The meat and the soaked bread are the same, although in some recipes the bread is soaked in milk instead of water. Sometimes, the onions are sautéed with some parsley. I found recipes with different spices added like mace and cardamon. My girlfriend, Susanne (who is an excellent cook) adds Worcestershire sauce.
Tips for making a good Frikadelle:
Select a ground meat with a good ratio of fat. If you use extra lean meat, the Frikadellen will lose a lot of water and become dry. Use your hands and thoroughly knead the mixture; the more you knead the better the results. Moistening your hands with water before forming the patties will prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands. If you want to test for the correct seasoning, sauté a little patty and taste. Keep the patties in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before sautéing them. Traditionally the Frikadellen are fried in clarified butter.
And they freeze well.
Recipe for Frikadelllen
This recipe makes between 5 and 7 Frikadellen depending on the size. This recipe can be easily doubled.
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
1 slice white bread or bun (preferably 1-2 days old)
2 tsp German or Dijon mustard
2 TBS finally chopped parsley
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp mace
a squeeze of Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS olive oil +1TBS butter
Soak the bun in cold water for about 15 minutes. Finely chop or grate the onion.
Finely chop the parsley. Squeeze all the water out of the bun.
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Mix them with your hands for a while until everything is well combined. Use wet hands to make the patties. I formed six patties, but you can make them smaller. Shape each part into a ball and flatten them with your hands. All patties should be the same size. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and sauté the patties on medium heat until they are browned on both sides (6-7) minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, check the temperature. It should read 165° F in the center of the Frikadellen. Transfer to a plate with paper towels and rest them for a few minutes before serving.
Recipe from sunnycovechef.com
(and many cooks before me )
Are you in the mood for some more German Recipes? The Rouladen are braised meat, flavored with mustard, pickles , prosciutto and a rich gravy.
Königsberger Klopse are German meatballs in tangy white sauce with capers.
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Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.