Why should the Italians have all the luck when it comes to meatballs, delicious as they may be ? I say let others get a look in, and here we have a recipe from Germany which is easy and utterly delicious. And not a tomato in sight!! These are known in Germany as Konigsberge Klopse, or sometimes as Konigsberger Klopsies !!
Konigsberg, also now known as Kaliningrad is, somewhat disappointingly, not in Germany at all but is in the Russian exclave (whatever that is!!) between Lithuania and Poland, but was formerly a part of the German province of East Prussia.
Whether the meatballs should thus be renamed "Russian Exclave meatballs" is a subject for those more qualified than I to discuss !! My view is that "Konigsberger Kloepse" or even German Meatballs sound rather more palatable.
- 8 oz (225g) of low fat minced beef
- 8 oz (225g) of minced pork
- 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
- 5 anchovy fillets chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ¼ bottle of Riesling white wine
- 6 fl oz of crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 - 3 slices of brown bread or a roll, soaked in water
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 2 limes
- 2 cloves
- ½ tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon of flour mixed with water to form a roux
- Finely chop the onion and fry it until translucent making sure it does not brown in any way, and then add to the minced beef and pork mixture.
- Soak the brown bread or roll in water, and then also add to the minced meat.
- Add Pepper, salt, chopped anchovy fillets, egg and mixed herbs to the mince, mix everything together by hand and start forming little meatballs about ¾ inch in diameter.
- To make them, take a quantity of the mince mixture in your hands and form it into a round shape. Then gently roll them between your palms so they become as round as possible. Don't become obsessed with shape here, it doesn't matter if they are neither symmetrical or the same size as each other.
- Bring at least 2 pints of water to a rolling simmer, and add the lemon juice, the cloves, the olive oil to it, and gently drop in the meatballs. Don't overcrowd the pan, if need be drop the meatballs in in 2 goes.
- As soon as the meatballs rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside keeping warm.
- Now add the wine, the crème fraîche and the flour mixture (called a roux) to the water and reduce a little and thicken. There should be plenty of sauce for this dish, so rather than rely on reducing the sauce to thicken it, don't be afraid of adding more roux to achieve this.
- As the sauce begins to thicken, return the meatballs to the sauce and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so.
- At the last moment add the capers and the zest of the limes.
- Adjust your seasoning to suit your taste.
- Pour the entire contents of the pan through a semi-fine sieve which will get rid of the "bits".
- Heat up the sauce again if needed, add the meatballs in the sieve, and a handful of capers (they don't actually need cooking) according to your taste and you are ready to go.
This version of meatballs are best served with boiled, waxy potatoes which can be scrunshed into the sauce to make it all the more delicious.