Last week Luis & Albert requested that I made Frikadellers for them.
They have in the past feasted on Seafood Frikadeller, same idea, but made with a “white” fish. I typically will make it with Halibut.
But this story is about “my mom’s frikadeller.”
My mom’s Frikadeller
Frikadeller is not just another meatball; a fried dumpling of minced meat is often referred to as the danish meatball. But they are also popular in other Nordic countries as well as in Germany.
Meatballs are not exclusive to any culture. They’re one of those dishes found in many kitchens around the globe. It’s the challenge of using minced or ground meat – usually trimmings from the moresuperior cuts – by mixing it with seasonings from a given region and combining it with eggs, flour, breadcrumbs or other grains. Then typically streched with moisture; in most recipes with milk, though even mashed potatoes can do the job.
Many variations of frikadeller exist, but traditionally they are made from ground veal and pork, with beef a not uncommon additional ingredient.
For a Danish frikadeller; one uses veal and pork, roughly chopped onions, whole eggs, flour, milk, salt and pepper.
What separates a frikadeller from an ordinary meatball is the way it’s shaped and cooked. Meatballs are often rolled into a ball and oven baked, then transferred into a sauce and simmered.
A frikadeller is shaped in the palm of the hand with a soupspoon coated with warm sizzling butter from the waiting frying pan. The size and shape resembles an egg.
In the olden day’s it was fried in beef or pork fat; frying in butter is the modern way.
Frikadeller is typically served along braised red cabbage, boiled “new” potatoes and pan gravy.
My favorite way, at 3 o’clock in the morning, is cold with a dunk of Dijon mustard.
Frikadeller also makes a great buffet item, for lunch or dinner, served on top of Danish Rugbroed (pumpernickel) with a smear of the aforementioned Dijon mustard.
My Moms Frikadeller
1.5 lb. Ground pork
1.5 lb. Ground veal
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
6 whole eggs
3 cups of flour
3 cups of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb. butter and a soup spoon of olive oil (for frying the frikadellers)
In a large bowl mix the pork and veal, using your hand as the mixing tool, add salt and pepper (don’t be skimpy).
And work the meat for a minute or so.
Add the onions along with the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Add flour and mix until completely absorbed.
Add the milk and mix.
Do a final taste test with the salt and pepper (yes, taste the raw mixture a.k.a the “farse”). If possible refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add butter and olive oil. Bring to temperature; the butter will foam and sizzle.
With a large soup spoon first dip the spoon in the melted butter to coat the spoon, next spoon a portion of the farse into the palm of your hand, mold to the shape and size of an egg and place in the frying pan.
Fill the frying pan with a batch of frikadeller as fast as possible, so all will finish at the same time.
Brown on one side for about 5-6 minutes, flip, then brown the other side and cook until done.
Remove the first frikadeller, cut in half, and check that it is cooked thru..
Trick of the trade:
By adding olive oil to the butter will allow the mixture to reach a higher temperature, achieving the nutty “Umami” taste.
“Braised red cabbage with prunes and a splash of Brandy”
1 head of red cabbage (sliced as thinly as your knife skills allow)
2 cups of dry prunes (no pits)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 cup chestnuts (chopped roughly)
Salt and pepper to taste
A generous splash of your best Brandy (added in the end)
Simply add all ingredients to the pot and simmer for about 1 hour, stir occasionally.
Season with salt and fresh peppermill, and finish with a generous splash of brandy.
Cook for another 10 minutes, serve family style.
And if you REALLY want to treat guests or yourself. Then treat yourself to:
Redwine Poached Pears and a slice of “Stilton”
Red wine poached pears and a slice of Gorgonzola (serves 2).
1 Bosc pears (peeled, cut in 1/2)
2 cups of red wine (don’t be cheap)
2 bay leaves
Pinch of salt
Tsp of sugar
5 pepper corn
Slices of Stilton Cheese (2 slices per serving)
Place all ingredients in a small pot, bring to a simmer and poach for approx. 20 minutes until pears are tender.
Set aside (this can be done a day ahead, in fact best done a day ahead).
Remove pears from liquid, reduce the liquid into a syrup, set aside.
Place 2 slices of Stilton ( consult your local market for cheese selection ) on 2 plates, arrange pears on top, drizzle with the syrup.
And serve with warm bread and maybe a small tossed salad.