Königsberger klopse

29 Jun

Between Swedish meatballs, Italian spaghetti and meatballs and Algerian meatballs with chickpeas (not to mention the pork-courgette meatballs I make for banh mi) we’re pretty well covered on the meatball front.

But this year’s World Cup cook-off is an opportunity to represent Germany with these solid, trustworthy königsberger klopse from Fern’s Food.

The recipe comes from our German au pair Jytte who looked after me when mum returned to work.

I was too young to remember much about Jytte, but she appears in a home movie from that time – dark-haired and model-gorgeous in a bright mini-dress with plastic cutouts at the waist. She must have turned a few heads in our northern BC logging town.

And she was a good cook too. Years after she’d moved on, we doing our best to recreate her delicious königsberger klopse.

Königsberger klopse are simmered (not fried), which makes them very tender. They are rolled gently in caper-mustard sauce before being served with boiled potatoes.

Königsberger klopse
(serves 4)

For the meatballs:

  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 onion, ½ minced, ½ left whole
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 hard roll, or two slices stale white bread
  • 1 egg
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1½ Tb butter
  • 1½ Tb flour
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tb capers, minced
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over a medium flame. Sauté the minced onions until golden. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large pot, bring the water, half onion, stock cubes, bay leaf and peppercorns to a simmer.
  3. In a small bowl, break the bread into large pieces and cover with water. After ten minutes, squeeze the bread to remove  excess water and add it to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the ground beef, cooked onions, egg and anchovy. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Form the mixture into 1″ (2cm) meatballs.
  6. Add the meatballs to the slowly simmering stock and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  7. Strain the broth, keeping two cups of liquid to make the sauce.
  8. In a frying pan, melt 1½ tablespoons of butter over a medium-low flame. Whisk in the flour, then slowly whisk in the reserved broth.
  9. Add the capers, lemon juice and mustard.
  10. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with a tablespoon of water, then add two tablespoons of sauce. Whisk this mixture back into the frying pan. Season to taste.
  11. Add the meatballs to the sauce, roll gently to coat, and heat through before serving.

Family score: 7.5 out of 10


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