Recently I was honored to be asked by my friend PolaM from “An Italian Cooking in the Midwest” whether I wanted to join a cultural blog swap group she was forming, “World on a Plate”. All of us have one thing in common: we are expats blogging about our native cuisine(s), and so this promises to be a delicious, colorful and exciting culinary journey around the globe. You can see all blogs linked at the end of this post, but I’d like to introduce them to you briefly, before I get to my part of this month’s post on meatballs (we are posting the last Sunday of each month from here on out):
If you are a food blogger and are specializing in a particular ethnic cuisine (especially one not represented, yet), I encourage you to get in touch with our “chief”, PolaM! I am proud to be part of this group and excited to present to you my contribution this month, “Mom’s German meatballs” (Fleischküchle/Fleischfrikadellen). Literally translated, Fleischküchle means “small meat cake” and just like “Fleischfrikadelle” refers to a small hand-shaped cake made, in this case, out of ground meat.
This is another staple in my mother’s cooking, and the best part is, they can be eaten hot or cold. We used to make them ahead of time and then take them on picnics a lot. In a smaller size, they become the perfect finger food. As the German terms in parentheses suggest, it is a dish that has as many regional and personal variations as there are people in Germany making it. Simply because you may have been introduced to one version doesn’t mean you will eat it the same way someplace else.
Many of us have a family recipe like what I am listing below that they have been making for years. With onions, without onions, adding herbs etc. The possibilities are endless, and my mom’s are made without a sauce and usually eaten as a meat entrée. I have also seen these offered as a sandwich, basically one bigger, slightly flatter Frikadelle with condiments on a German bun.
Do you have a special way to make meatballs? With/without sauce?
- 500 g ground meat, preferably beef
- 10 g (1½ tsp) salt
- 3 g (1½ tsp) ground pepper
- 5 g (2½ tsp) curry powder or paprika
- 5 g (5 tsp) mixed herbs
- 75 g (2/3 cup) bread crumbs
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 – 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 – 3 eggs
- With a fork, break up the ground meat. Add the salt, pepper, spices/herbs and all the other ingredients.
- Mix well until all is thoroughly combined and there are no big chunks of meat left.
- With an ice cream scoop, portion out the meat dough into equal size scoops, then roll them by hand and flatten them slightly.
- Heat up oil in a frying pan, preferably lined with Teflon.
- Turn down the heat slightly and add raw meatballs to the pan. Fry on both sides for about 5 – 10 minutes per batch or until completely done in the middle. (Slightly pink is OK, raw meat is not.)
- Remove from pan and set on a plate with some kitchen towels to drain the excess grease.
- Serve by themselves just with a side of salad and some bread or as an entrée. They are perfect as an accompaniment to Rahmkartoffeln.