Koenigsberger Klopse Recipe

One of our family traditions back home in Germany was to cook something special on Sundays.

Some of you already know that our dad is a chef and so he was in charge for weekend meals while our mum took care of us hungry girls after school.

One Sunday, our dad who is a chef, cooked and I remember saying, “How nice, it is Sunday and it tastes good!” referring to all the “fancy” meals he prepared the previous weeks.

We were young and didn’t know better, sorry Papa.

He made a classic German recipe, Königsberger Klopse.

WHAT ARE KOENIGSBERGER KLOPSE?

Königsberger Klopse has its name from the city Königsberg, which is now Kaliningrad, in Russia. Traditionally, the Klopse were made out of veal. After boiling them in a broth, they are served in a creamy-caper sauce.

You can’t go wrong serving them with boiled potatoes and a side salad. Red Beet salad goes very well with its freshness and brightness.

 

Ingredients for the Klopse

  • 500g ground meat (around 12 meat balls – for 4, depending on how hungry you are. You can always freeze them as well) traditionally veal, but you can use beef, pork, or a mixture
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped. Caramelized in butter/ghee before adding to the mix
  • 1-2 slices of stale white bread (German bread roll, French baguette or breadcrumbs) soaked in milk and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg from a happy chicken
  • spices: salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons of capers, you can use more if you love the taste of them drained. Keep some of the sauce.
  • anchovies and mustard (my dad’s touch to the recipe)
  • easy broth to poach the meatballs in: Salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, anis, and juniper berry. Or any stock if you have any.

 

For the creamy caper sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp flour 1 cup (250 ml) poaching broth 1 cup (250 ml) milk or cream 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp capers, drained Salt and pepper to taste 1 pinch of sugar (optional)

 

Sides – Kartoffeln/Potatoes

  • a classic, pealed potatoes, boiled, rolled in butter and freshly chopped parsley

 

Sides – Rote Beete Salat/Red Beet Salad

  • either fresh red beets which have been cooked or pre-cooked once from the store
  • shallots, finely chopped
  • dill, freshly chopped and a bunch of it
  • lime juice of 2 – 3 limes seasoning,
  • salt and pepper
  • chop up the beets, add to a salad bowl, and mix with the ingredients.

 

Making the Klopse

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, finely chopped onion, egg, soaked and squeezed bread, chopped capers, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well incorporated. Form the mixture into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
  • Bring the “easy broth” to a gentle simmer in a large pot and add the yummy Meatballs Poach the meatballs for roughly 15-20 minutes until fully cooked.
  • Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon. Keep some of the broth for the sauce.

Making the Sauce

  • Make a roux: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1-2 minutes until slightly golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the reserved poaching broth and milk. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  • Add to taste: lemon juice, capers (I love plenty of them), salt, pepper, cream, and a pinch of sugar if desired.
  • Once all done, add the Klopse to the sauce and reheat for a little bit. Serve in a deep dish over the potatoes, and a side of the red beet salad. Don’t forget the German Wine!

WINE PAIRING

Go for an acid-driven wine with texture. I would choose a white wine and nothing too aromatic.

I suggest the Sauvignon Blanc Vogelfrei Reserve from Siegloch. I know, that Sauvignon Blanc is typically very aromatic, but this one is pretty settle due to its aging time on full lees in puncheons (132 gallons).

My other choice would be Bettina Schumann Pinot Gris Famose Schose A La Pink—a skin-fermented Pinot Gris, hence the rosé color. It has a great phenolic structure and complexity that is totally able to accompany the creamy and meaty dish. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Prost and Guten Appetit, Lisa

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