Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frikadellen (German Meat Balls)

OK, I confess I didn't stumble across this on my own. With Jim still in Germany, I turned to help from German friends for suggestions on traditional dinners. All of the ideas had the same theme - cooked meats & potatoes. One interesting option jumped out at me was "frikadellen" though I had absolutely no idea what "frikadellen" are until I looked it up for myself. It seemed to be somewhere between a meatball, hamburger and a meatloaf. And, they are small, and small food is just cute. Especially when you are serving small children, which was my audience for the entire week.

My favorite trick that I've recently embraced for making any type of meatball/meatloaf/etc. is to be sure it includes a panade, which is a fancy word describing a mixture of bread and milk. From the science editor at America's Test Kitchen we learn that:
"Starches from the bread absorb liquid from the milk to form a gel that coats and lubricates the protein molecules in the meat, much in the same way as fat, keeping them moist and preventing them from linking together to form a tough matrix. Mixing the beef and panade in a food processor helps to ensure that the starch is well dispersed so that all the meat reaps its benefits."
This step ensure that the meat does not become tough when it is fully cooked through - important as no one likes rare meatball, especially ones that include pork. Unsafe, to say the least.

Frikadellen (or Frikadeller or Frickadelle)
Inspired by Nicolé and adapted from Live Like a German

1 pound of mixed ground meat (3/4 beef, 1/4 pork)
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
pepper and salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1 slice of bread
1-2 Tablespoons milk

Use a food processor to finely mince onion and garlic. Set aside. Add torn up bread to food processor and pulse a few times to make crumbs. Add milk and pulse a few more times to form the panade. Add meat, paprika, egg, salt & pepper and pulse a few times to incorporate. Do not over process. If necessary, remove from processor and finish mixing by hand.

Form into large golfball-size balls and flatten. Place on heated griddle. Cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bonnie!
    They look very very nice and pretty much how they looked done 'living like a German'. What happened to the Kohlrabi? Did you roast it eventually?