Königsberger Klopse, Königsberg meatballs are the flagship of the prussian cuisine. The unusual mixture of minced meat with anchovies and capers turns ordinary meatballs in white sauce into something remarkable
Königsberger Klopse were not part of my childhood diet. I first came across them during my university time in Saarbrücken, when a friend of mine invited me for lunch in the railway station restaurant. The meatballs were inedible but I was hungry and broke and had no choice but to eat them.
After the incident in the station restaurant, I have been traumatized for years and had to avoid Königsberger Klopse under all circumstances. I only gave them another try in the “Butcher’s” here in Sofia, the predecessor of today’s LOMO because I have great confidence in the capabilities of owner and chef Carlos Porten, and his Königsberger Klopse justified this confidence.
There are as many recipes for Königsberger Klopse as there are cooks preparing them. The only constants seem to be the anchovies and capers. Beyond that there are variants with and without flour, with veal, with beef, with pork or mixtures of it, with or without cream. There are no limits to fantasy and good and bad taste.
The best recipe for Königsberger Klopse is by far my own one. So believes at least Aleko and he should know because he eats them several times a month with great delight. Not only because of the intended audience my recipe has a clear focus on the sweet and sour note with just a tiny little bit of heat.
So here we go, as an exception and on special request a recipe with meat. It does not really fit into the category of speed cooking. That is why I usually prepare a bigger quantity and deep-freeze in smaller portions. That not only saves time, the sauce also improves in consistency and taste by warming up after it has thickened in the refridgerator.
Serves 10-12, prepares in 90 minutes.
- 600 g veal
- 400 g pork
- 125 g white bread
- 250 ml hot milk
- 1 onion (ca. 75 g peeled)
- 1 red hot chilli pepper
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 20 g butter
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 heaping tsp mustard
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 level tsp salt
- 1 egg (size L, ca. 60 g)
- 6 anchovy filets
- 40 g capers (do not throw away the juice!)
- 2 l water
- 2 heaping tsp salt
- 60 g butter
- 50 g flour
- 200 ml dry white wine (Chardonnay)
- 180-200 g capers (do not throw away the juice!)
- juice of one lemon (ca. 55 g)
- 1 heaping tbsp of starch
- 3 level tsp of sugar
- 1 bunch of dill
- Cut the white bread in cubes, put it into a cup and pour the hot milk over it.
- Grind the veal twice with the 4 mm disk of the meat grinder.
- Cutter the pork. If you do not have a cutter grind the pork twice with the 4 mm disk of the meat grinder.
Chop the onion into small cubes. Chop the chili. To reduce the heat you may remove the rips and the seeds.Mise-en-place
- Heat the butter in a pan, add a pinch of sugar and caramelize it. Sauté the until they are slightly soft but not brown. Add the chopped chillies for half a minute, transfer everything into a bowl and let it cool.
- Chop the anchovies. No, no, no! You must under no circumstances omit them! They are an integral part. Chop 40 g capers. No, no, no, ... they are also an integral part. Finally chop the parsley. Do not throw away the juice of the capers! You need it for the sauce.
- Squeeze out the bread and mix it with the meat, the egg, the mustard, the chopped anchovies, the chopped capers, the parsley, black pepper and salt. Finallyadd the onion and the chillie, season it and knead well for at least five minutes.
- Boil two liters of water with two heaping teaspoons salt.
While waiting for the water to boil, form meatballs of approximately 40 g each.Preparation of the Meatballs
- When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest level. Slide just as many meatballs into the water that they do not touch each other.
- Simmer the meatballs for about 25 minutes in the hot water. The water must not boil but only slightly simmer. The meatballs will rise to the surface when they are done, in doubt use a meat thermometer to measure the core temperature. It is important that the meatball are not cooked dry.
- Transfer the meatballs with a skimmer onto a pre-heated plate and cover it with cling film or put them into an airtight plastic box. They quickly oxidate when exposed to the air and become unsightly.
Repeat the procedure with the other meatballs, reusing the same broth. When done, pour the broth through a sieve into a bowl.Garen der Fleischklopse
- Drain 180 g of capers (probably several glasses) with the help of a sieve, preserving the liquid.
- Melt 60 g butter and add 50 g flour at once. Stir heavily until the flour browns. It is normal that it sticks to the pot.
- Deglaze the roasted flour with a little bit of white wine. Little by little, add the white wine, the juice form the capers, the lemon juice and finally 1 liter (about the half of it) of broth from the meatballs in small quantities. Always add just a little bit of liquid, stir it, wait until the sauce comes to boil and thickens again. The order of the liquids does not matter. When you have children at the table, deglaze with the wine first so that the alcohol boils away.
- After the entire liquid has been used up the sauce will be relatively thin. Stir one heaping tablespoon starch in one or two tablespoons of liquid, add it to the sauce and wait until it comes to boil for the last time. If you think the sauce is too thin, cook it for a maximum of 20 more minutes stirring regularly because it easily sticks to the pot.
Once the sauce has the right consistency, wait until it stops boiling and add 200 ml of (whipping) cream, stir it, and add the drained capers. Season it with 3 level teaspoons sugar, salt and pepper by taste. Finally add the meatballs and let everything cool over night.From roux to sauce
- Serve warmed up with potatoes, mashed potatoes or rice, and dill.
You should really give the anchovies and capers in the meat a chance. They give the metaballs a discreet kick. Around last christmas I have experimented with cloves and pimento in the meatballs. Poor Aleko ate it all up but it tasted horribly. Do not repeat!
If you want more sauce just use more of the broth from the meatballs, and prepare a little bit more béchamel and add more cream.
By the way, size matters for capers! The smaller, the better. On the other hand, 240 g of capers can quickly become a serious investment, when you have a small budget. In doubt go for quantity, not quality. It does not matter all that much, when the capers are cooked in the sauce. Keep the good ones for eating them cold in a salad!
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