Königsberger Klopse

Small, delectable German meatballs in a creamy white sauce with capers that add a very unique flavor.

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The star of this recipe is the sweet-sour sauce and it´s taste cannot be compared with any other dish. Every housewife has developed her own little twist of the recipe to the liking of her family and so you will find small differences in the recipes. 

Königsberger Klopse is a truly special dish for me because it reminds me so much of my childhood and the good cuisine of my mother and Oma.The dish is also one of the favorite dishes of my children and even my American husband loves it very much.

Königsberger Klopse Pin

The history of the Königsberger Klopse Recipe

City of Königsberg at night

This dish origins from Königsberg, a former German city that became part of the Soviet Union after 1945 and is now called Kaliningrad. The German community that left the region during World War II took this recipe with them and the dish was introduced throughout Germany, but especially in the Eastern part of Germany (formely GDR).

The term “Königsberger Klopse” was not officially tolerated in the GDR, because the brother country was the Soviet Union, and Königsberg had become Kaliningrad. Therefore in the GDR, the Königsberger Klopse did not appear in most cookbooks, a new name was made up for the dish and the famous Königsberger Klopse is called Kochklopse in the Eastern part of Germany.

Ingredients & Substitutes

Meat: Originally these German meatballs were made from finely ground veal. Nowadays most recipes call for ground beef or a mixture of minced beef and pork, but you can even use ground turkey or chicken.

Anchovy Paste: The secret ingredient for the meatballs are finely minced anchovies or anchovy paste. Some recipes call for herring instead of anchovies. Your first reaction will probably be not excited about that ingredient, but I assure you, you will not taste the fish, it just gives the meatballs a flavor boost. If you don´t like the idea of incorporating anchovies to your meatballs, you can leave them out like my mother did.

Capers: Capers add a unique flavor to the dish. Most recipes add capers only to the sauce. But some recipes add also chopped capers to the meat mixture. In most supermarkets you can find capers in a jar in the area where pickled food and vinegars are stocked. If you don´t like capers or you can´t find them, you could leave them out.

White Wine: The original recipe does not call for white wine and I don´t use it in my traditional recipe. But you can find the addition of white wine in contemporary versions of the recipe.

Heavy Whipping Cream: The cream gives the sauce the creamy texture. There are also some variations that call for sour cream and crème fraiche. But both ingredients are not used in the traditional recipe and I personally think both of these ingredients alter the original taste too much.

Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice adds a hint of freshness.

Egg Yolks: The egg yolks not only add a wonderful flavor to the sauce, they are also add a special richness and a velvet like texture to the sauce. Egg yolks are one of the most important ingredients to this dish and I personally think there is no real substitute for it.

Rolls: Best is to use rolls that are a couple of days old. Instead of the two rolls you can use four slices of white bread. Make sure to cut the crust off.

Recipe

Traditional Recipe for Königsberger Klopse

Königsberger Klopse

Yield: 16 dumplings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The Prussian speciality become famous all over the world thanks to the unique flavor and richness of the special sauce.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 1/2 lbs. ground veal or beef
  • 2 stale rolls
  • 1 cup milk or water
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. coarse Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste

Cooking Broth

  • 5 quarts water or beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. coarse Kosher salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7 whole all spice
  • 3 medium onions

Gravy

  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. capers (jar)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Dumplings
1. Emerge rolls in milk or water. Allow to sit for 10 min. Drain and press out excess liquid.
2. Finely chop onion.
3. To a large bowl add ground meat, drained rolls, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper and knead with hands until well combined and smooth.
4. Shape 16 dumplings and set aside.

Cooking Broth
1. Add liquid and spices to a large pot.
2. Cut onions into quarters and add also to the pot.
3. Bring mixture to a simmer, add dumplings, and cook for about 10 min. or until done. Make sure that the liquid is only simmering not boiling.
4. Remove dumplings from the liquid and keep warm.
5. Strain liquid into a bowl. Remove spices. Keep onions and about 3 cups of the cooking liquid.

Gravy
1. To a medium sized pot add butter and melt.
2. Add flour and stir on medium heat until lightly brown.
3. Add about 2 cups of the cooking liquid and bring to a boil Mix well to remove any lumps.
4. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in heavy cream. Make sure the liquid is no longer boiling.
5. In a small bowl mix egg yolks and sugar. Add to the pot and mix well.
6. Add drained capers, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
7. Place the onions and the dumplings into the sauce and let sit for about 15 min.


Notes

Make sure you don´t boil the sauce after you added the egg yolks, the sauce would seperate.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 292mgSodium: 2379mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 46g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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What to serve with Königsberger Klopse:

Serve with boiled parsley potatoes or mashed potatoes. Some people like to serve the meatballs with white long grain rice.

As a vegetable side red beets or carrots and peas are a great fit.

Serving tipps for Königsberger Klopse

Recipes For Side Dishes