I have vicariously been living in a Berlin state of mind. It all started when I picked up Douglas Kennedy’s new book The Moment. Set during the late cold war era of the 1980’s when East Berlin was the GDR – German Democratic Republic and there was THE WALL running through the city separating communist east from the capitalist west. I have been caught up in this bittersweet love story which is full of nail-biting intrigue, Stasi (secret police) double-crossing spies and the conflict of the choices we make in one moment which change the course of our journey. This book is one of those stories that stays with you for days after you have finished the last page. I then happened to pick up a copy of the latest NZ CUISINE magazine to find this gorgeous recipe for true Berlin soul food. These pork meatballs caught my eye immediately, especially as I have a weakness for meatballs. Originally these were a specialty of ancient Prussia (East Germany). My husband’s family also originally came from Prussia – The Hanns.
Königsberg Klopse – Königsberg Meatballs with Cream Sauce – this recipe was by Ray Vinnie from Cuisine magazine.
Ingredients – 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs (made by crumbling or processing), 1/4 cup warmed milk, 800grams pork or veal mince, 1 egg beaten, 2 rashers bacon, finely chopped, 1 onion, 2 litres vegetable stock (I used Rapunzel brand of German powdered organic vegetable stock), large pinch of ground allspice, 2 bay leaves, 4 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons flour, optional 4 tablespoons capers, 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped curly parsley, plus extra to serve, 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup cream, 2 egg yolks.
- Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and mix well so the breadcrumbs absorb the milk. Add the mince, egg, bacon and half of the onion, finely chopped. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix well then, using wet hands, form into 24 golf sized balls. Set aside.
- Put the other half of the uncut onion in a large, wide saucepan, along with the bay leaves and allspice. Bring to the boil. Add the meatballs and bring back to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon. Keep them warm. Strain the stock then measure out 4 cups and pour into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile in another saucepan, gently melt the butter over medium heat then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant but not browned. Whisk in the hot stock, making sure there are no lumps. bring to the boil, stirring then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir the capers, parsley, mustard, lemon zest and juice into the stock mixture. Place the cream and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine. Take the sauce of the heat and whisk in the cream mixture. Gently mix in the warm meatballs. Taste then season and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. I served with mashed potato.