Danish Frikadelle “Meatballs” with Gravy

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I love finding and making centuries-old recipes that sound like they’d be really good, and discovering they are! Frikadelle or frikadeller are somewhat flattened egg-shaped ground pork/veal/beef meatballs. They’re first mentioned in a hand-written Danish cookbook around the 13th century and more recently in an 1837 cookbook.Danish-Frikadelle-Meatballs-Gravy-Culinary-Craftiness For some odd reason, I thought they were German, but after doing a bit of research, I discovered they’re popular all across Europe and known by slightly different names in each region. There’s even a version in India due to Danish influence, but those are made with potatoes.

I didn’t realize the recipe I’d followed that very first time wasn’t as close to the original as I thought it was. I’d overlooked the text where the author said it had been updated to suit her family’s tastes. Turns out, my family liked her version, but I didn’t precisely follow her instructions by making up a gajillion tiny meat patties and frying them all in a skillet. I made one big patty on a jellyroll pan and baked it in the oven then cut them into little squares. They tasted great and I saved myself a boatload of time and trouble. 🤗Danish Frikadelle "Meatballs" with Gravy | Culinary Craftiness

However, they weren’t supposed to be little patties. I’ve taken the recipe back a century or two and the guys love it! I serve them with the updated gravy, the historically accurate boiled potatoes, beets or fried red cabbage, and added a side of egg noodles because Jimmie loves them. 😊

I hope you give this recipe a try and find it as delicious as we do. Those Danes really knew/know how to cook! 😀

You can cut the gravy recipe in half, but if you’re serving noodles, you might need more sauce rather than less.

Danish Frikadelle with Gravy

1 lb. ground pork, or 1/2 pork & 1/2 lb. ground beef (or veal)
1 large onion, finely diced or grated
1/2 cup oats or fine bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 to 1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Dash or two Allspice, but not if using lemon juice in the gravy
1/2 cup flour, for dredging
1/2 stick butter for frying

Fresh lemon zest and chopped parsley for garnish

Gravy:
1/2 stick butter
4 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk or half cream and milk
A couple squeezes of lemon juice (not both)

Mix the meat, onion, oats or breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, optional allspice, and half of the milk together with hands. The mixture should be soft and wet, but not runny. Add more milk if necessary. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.Line a jellyroll pan with foil for easier clean up.

Mix the meat mixture one more time. Using a tablespoon, fill it with about a golf ball size of meat and form it into an egg between your hand and the spoon. Slide it off onto a holding platter. Do this to all the mixture.

Melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Lightly roll each meat “egg” in flour before carefully placing in the hot frying pan. Lightly press down on each with a spatula. Fry on both sides for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Brown in batches and transfer to jellyroll pan. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.

In the same skillet, drain the grease and add a 1/2 stick of butter. Let it melt over medium-high heat, then whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute while stirring constantly. Whisk in 1 cup of broth at a time stirring constantly until thickened before adding next cup. Continue in the same manner with the milk/cream. Add seasonings and cook another minute or so while stirring.

Serve frikadelle and gravy with boiled buttered potatoes, fried red-cabbage, pickled beets, dill pickles, and/or cooked egg noodles.

*Pictures shown are of 3 lbs. of meat mixture.

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Danish Frikadelle “Meatballs” with Gravy

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 8

Serving Size: 2-3

Danish Frikadelle “Meatballs” with Gravy

Created by Melissa Woolard | Culinary Craftiness

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground pork, or 1/2 pork & 1/2 lb. ground beef (or veal)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced or grated
  • 1/2 cup oats or fine bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Dash or two Allspice, but not if using lemon juice in the gravy
  • 1/2 cup flour, for dredging
  • 1/2 stick butter for frying
  • Fresh lemon zest and chopped parsley for garnish
    Gravy:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk or half cream and milk
  • A couple squeezes of lemon juice (not both)

Instructions

  1. Mix the meat, onion, oats or breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, optional allspice, and half of the milk together with hands. The mixture should be soft and wet, but not runny. Add more milk if necessary. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.Line a jellyroll pan with foil for easier clean up.
  3. Mix the meat mixture one more time. Using a tablespoon, fill it with about a golf ball size of meat and form it into an egg between your hand and the spoon. Slide it off onto a holding platter. Do this to all the mixture.
  4. Melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Lightly roll each meat "egg" in flour before carefully placing in the hot frying pan. Lightly press down on each with a spatula. Fry on both sides for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Brown in batches and transfer to jellyroll pan. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.
  5. In the same skillet, drain the grease and add a 1/2 stick of butter. Let it melt over medium-high heat, then whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute while stirring constantly. Whisk in 1 cup of broth at a time stirring constantly until thickened before adding next cup. Continue in the same manner with the milk/cream. Add seasonings and cook another minute or so while stirring.
  6. Serve frikadelle and gravy with boiled buttered potatoes, fried red-cabbage, pickled beets, dill pickles, and/or cooked egg noodles.
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Danish Frikadelle "Meatballs" with Gravy | Culinary CraftinessDanish Frikadelle "Meatballs" with Gravy | Culinary Craftiness

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