(Frikadelle (Cologne), Fleischpflanzerl (Bavaria)) Buletten, also known as meat Frikadellen are made of ground meat mixed with softened Brötchen (bread rolls), and are one of Berlin's favorite dishes. Served hot or cold, with a pickle, with or without mustard, eaten plain by hand or on a Schrippe (another word for roll) —egal (doesn't matter) — as long as it tastes like Mother's. They're served in corner bars, at snack stands, or at home. In one variation, they're called Pferdeäppel auf Heu (Road Apples on Hay) — meatballs served over sauerkraut — and in another, they're naturlemeng — with fried potatoes.Tip: The "mushier" the softened bread, the lighter the meatballs will be. The harder the bread is, the firmer the meatballs' consistency will be — but that's a matter of taste in Berlin, or, in the spirit of Prussian King Friedrich II, a.k.a Old Fritz, "To each his own."
- 1 pound of a mixture of ground beef and ground pork or just ground pork
- 2 rolls sliced or in strips, 1 to 2 days old
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 2 small eggs
- Salt pepper
- 8 tablespoons vegetable oil approximately
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place the bread strips in a bowl and pour in about 1 cup of lukewarm water, cover with a dish cloth. Peel and dice the onion.
Knead the ground meat with the eggs, parsley, and the softened bread. Season with salt and pepper. With damp hands, form the mixture into about 8 balls, then flatten them partially.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and brown both sides of the meatballs well. Turn the heat down to medium and fry for another 10 or 15 minutes, adding the butter during this time.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and let them drain on paper towels. Best served with potato salad, rolls, and mustard.
Recipe from Berlin Cookbook by Rose Marie Donhauser, used with permission from Berlinica Publishing, LLC