Frickadellen – a fabulous meatball

Sometimes, the best recipes come about by sheer accident. This was one of them, and if you make anything from this blog this month, you really should think about making these moist little meatballs – they’re fast, completely delicious and very easy. So easy I feel a little ashamed.

Frickadellen, a Teutonic cross between a meatball and a burger, are little patties made from white meats, usually veal and pork. I had been poking around in the fridge, wondering what on earth to do with half a bowl of olives, some randomly purchased vegetables and some bread which was on the verge of going stale, and came up with this. The results really had no business being this good. Clearly the little god who works the refrigerator light was smiling on me. Try making these the next time you feel the need to sacrifice a wilting lettuce and an about-to-burst tomato to him.

You’ll need:

1 pack good sausages
1 egg
3 slices soft white bread
1 red pepper
6 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olives
A grating of nutmeg
2 dried chilis
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 chicken breasts

Skin the sausages, and put them in the food processor with everything except the chicken breasts, and whizz until you have a rough paste. Add the chicken breasts and pulse until they’re chopped roughly, mixed in with the other ingredients. Form round patties about the size of a ping-pong ball and saute (I used some bacon fat left over from breakfast’s patented hangover cure, some very crispy bacon sandwiches). Turn regularly for between 10 and 15 minutes, and serve hot with rice and a salad.

The olives keep everything moist (use black or green ones preserved in oil, not in salt, and make sure they’re de-stoned); the coriander seeds pop, full of flavour, in your mouth; the bread gives the meatballs a beautifully tender texture; and the red pepper makes everything sweet and juicy. Delicious.

My guilt at the easiness of preparing these meatballs was soon realised. I had a sneaking suspicion that food this good should involve suffering. It just wasn’t my suffering – immediately afterwards, Mr Weasel, washing up, nearly chopped his thumb off on the Magimix blade. It now has three macho-looking stitches (administered by my Dad, a GP with a delicate touch and a good line in sympathy for the poor sod who has to live with his daughter). No photographs, in that I am hoping that you will want to keep coming back to read this blog, and I suspect you’ll be put off by extreme clinical detail.

Happily (I think), Mr Weasel has said that he’d cheerfully chop most of the other thumb off if it means he can have these Frickadellen a second time. I think that’s probably as good a recommendation as I’m going to get. Enjoy these, but be careful about what sharp-edged, curved bits of steel might be lurking under the bubbles in your sink afterwards.

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