Yes, literally. (Fleisch = meat/flesh, pflanze = plant/vegetable, -rl = a diminutive form like -ita in Spanish.) Probably the only plants I can work with successfully…
When I visited my friend P in Germany last May, she graciously cooked for me two nights, and this was one of the dishes! We ate out other meals, heated up precooked pasta, or ate leftovers other nights. Let me tell you, these are great hot or cold!
There are lots of variations, it seems — but essentially, they’re meatballs. This recipe uses a lot of ingredients, including spices and things that I didn’t use, but they sure look good! I’m not sure about the soaking in milk though.
The recipe we used was from a generic recipe book P had, which she shared with me. Unfortunately, it’s sort of vague. I’m pretty good at following recipes, but not so great with being spontaneous!
Here’s the original recipe:
– 1 roll from the day before (aka breadcrumbs)
– 500 grams ground meat (she used a mix of beef and pork)
– 1 egg
– 1 onion
– 2 pears
– bacon (one for each patty)
– raclette cheese (one chunk/slice for each patty)
Chop onion and tear up the bread. Mix the bread, meat, egg, and onion. Form into patties/meatballs, and fry on the stove until cooked through. Spray pan or baking sheet and heat oven to 180*-200*. Chop pears and raclette cheese. Put a slice of pear and a piece of cheese on each patty/meatball. Put the assembled patties on a baking sheet/pan, and pop in the oven. Start frying your bacon. Pull them out when the cheese is melted. Pop bacon on top of each one, and serve.
…well, this is a little vague for me. How much bread is one roll, exactly?
So this is what I did!
I didn’t have a box of breadcrumbs, so I decided to make my own. I had “french toast bread” on hand — it’s uber-whitey bread that’s slightly eggy in color, and is about an inch thick. I thought it would be better to have too much rather than too little, so I cut up 2 slices into cubes and let them dry out overnight. (P used boxed breadcrumbs, they were easier to gauge how much you were adding.)
…the pears at our grocery stores, even the nice local one with nearly-always-amazing produce, were hard as rocks. :( So I bought canned pears in pear juice (not syrup). At least I didn’t have to skin them…
The store also didn’t have raclette cheese. (It’s used in nice cozy Swiss chalets, they stick it by the fire and warm it up, then you scrape off gobs and eat it with bread and stuff.) I’m sure Whole (Paycheck) Foods has it, but… even a chunk an inch thick and the size of the palm of my hand of Edam or Emmentaler was a good $12. For something with canned pears, I’m not spending $12 on cheese. I don’t even LIKE Swiss cheese that much!
We already had Oscar Meyer’s finest bacon… and an egg…
Then onion. I don’t know what size onions are in Germany off the top of my head, but if I had used a whole onion like what we get here, they would have been called Little Onion Patties (with some meat in there somewhere). I used three generous slices, about a third of the onion.
For the meat — I used just a hair over a pound of meat. 500 grams is 1.1 pounds. Obviously, this recipe is not built on an exact science, so really you could use as much or as little as you want. :P I used ground round, and it’s the one good ingredient in there — from our local non-chain market’s own meat counter. Mmm.
It never occurred to me to make the bread chunks into crumbs — stupid me… so you’ll see my patties look like they have Kix or croutons in them. My mom suggested rolling the chunks with a rolling pin to make crumbs.
I ended up using 1 cup of chunks/crumbs — that was half of what I’d cut up, so about one giant slice of bread. I’d use less than a cup of crumbs if I was using just crumbs, since they would be packed so much tighter than my crouton-chunks!
After beating the bread/meat/egg/onion mix to death with a fork, I scooped out blobs to make patties in my frypan. When P made them, I think we had about 11 or 12 tiny patties. Enough for about 3 bites each. I’m too lazy to take care of that many, and I wanted to have something more the size that I could just eat one.
I made 7 patties. I cooked them about 5 minutes on each side, to make sure they weren’t pink in the middle, and so they got a nice little crust on the outsides.
Unfortunately I didn’t flatten them quite as much as I would have liked — oops! I forget they shrink up. They smelled amazing though!
After cooking the patties completely, I transferred them to a glass pan and started assembling. My canned pears were pear halves, and my mom kindly sliced them nicely for me. I’m lazy — I probably just would have cut them in half and called it a day. Also, the swiss cheese slices made life much easier, just half a slice or so, and done.
Meat, pear, cheese, go!
I preheated the oven to 350*, and popped them in for 2 minutes or so for the cheese to melt. While I was melting the cheese, I microwaved the bacon. Yes, I’m a bad lazy person. Whatever.
Once the cheese was done, I took them out of the oven, popped them on plates, and dropped the bacon on top.
They were surprisingly good, considering I used canned pears and Swiss cheese isn’t my favorite! Hahaha. The meat came out perfectly, but I would like a way to make them taste more flavorful — maybe spices? I don’t know. Maybe just cook the onions first, or something. I love onion flavor.
They tasted even better the second night — I reheated one in the microwave, and ate it as a sandwich between two pieces of toast. Yummmm!
So! -My- …recipe, we’ll call it…
– 3/4 to 1 cup of bread crumbs/croutons/assorted bread bits — add to your desired consistency
– 1/3 of an onion-ish — add to your preference for onion
– 1 egg (yay, something straightforward!)
– about a pound of ground meat
– 1 can of pears, or two pears, sliced — you could also do apples, I bet that would taste amazing
– 1 slice of cheese per meatball/patty
– 1 piece of bacon per meatball/patty
Mix patty ingredients. Make patties according to your desired size, anywhere from 5 or so to 12. Fry patties about 5 minutes per side (less time for smaller patties, of course). Preheat oven to 350*. Assemble meat + pear + cheese, toss them in the oven until cheese melts. Fry bacon. Take m+p+c out of the oven, add bacon, serve!
I call them ‘MERICAN STYLE. They’re larger than the German ones, canned fruit, Oscar Meyer bacon, and lunchmeat-style sliced cheese. Classy. ;D