Scrumptious German Meat Patties: A Flavorful and Hearty Taste of Tradition
My original German Meat Patties – Frikadellen are a classic German party food. Frikadellen are seasoned meat patties that are equally good hot or cold and have been popular for both mealtimes and picnics for centuries. You can find in Germany different regional preparations and names like Fleischküchle, Bratklops Fleischpflanzerl and Buletten.
Frikadellen & Hamburger
While the the origin of German Meat Patties – Frikadellen isn’t entirely clear, what we do know is that the Frikadellen of north Germany, of Hamburg specifically, were the inspiration for what became known as Hamburgers.
German immigrants from Hamburg took their Frikadellen with them to the United States. The unofficial story goes that once a man from the German city of Hamburg made Frikadellen for a local food fair. They smelled delicious and many were interested in buying them but they were also hot and he wasn’t very well prepared to serve them to the customers.
He decided to sandwich them between pieces of bread. That way the customers could easily hold them and enjoy them while still hot. His Frikadellen were very popular and people started referring to them as the hamburger sandwich, meaning the sandwich made by the man from Hamburg.
Key Ingredients of German Meat Patties - Frikadellen
You can find many slightly different Frikadellen recipes out there depending on the region or family traditions. Nevertheless, German Meat Patties – Frikadellen generally all have the same core ingredients in common: Ground meat, onions, bread, egg and seasonings. The regional differences vary in the specific seasonings.
- Typically they are made with a ground beef and ground pork mix. If you make them with all beef they will be leaner.
- Traditionally day-old white bread soaked in water or milk is added but you also can substitute bread crumbs
Both regular sized and smaller bite-sized German Meat Patties – Frikadellen are commonly served in German beer gardens. It is up to you how big you will shape them – the recipe is exactly the same. The larger ones are flatter like patties. The smaller ones are rounder like meatballs. You just need to adjust the cook time accordingly depending on the size.
German Meat Patties - Frikadellen
- ½ lb. Ground Beef
- ½ lb. Ground Pork
- 1 Yellow Onion medium, finely chopped
- 2 oz slightly stale Bread equals roughly 2 slices, use bread crumbs as alternative
- ¼ cup Milk warm
- 2 Egg large
- 3 tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley finely choped
- 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- ½ tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Marjoram
- Cooking Oil for frying
- Soak the stale bread in warm water or milk. If you use the bread crumbs skipthis step. After 10 minutes squezze out the liquid and crumble the bread in a mixing bowl.
- While the bread is soaking, saute the onions in a pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over low heat until soft not brown. Set aside to cool them down.
- Add all the ingredients (ground beef & pork, parsley, onions, egg, mustard, spices) to the soaked bread and mix together until well blended and the meat is smooth.
- Wet your hands with water and form large patties or smaller bite size meatballs to the desired size and slightly flatten them. Cover and chill the meat balls in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan to a medium heat. Once hot add the Frikadellen and fry on both sides until nicely browned, then lower the heat and continue to fry over until cooked through according to desired doneness.
- Serve warm or cold. Traditionally served with potato salad or a crusty bread roll slathered with mustard.