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Frikadeller. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t like them. The Dutchie loves them and says they are better than Dutch meatballs. Frikadeller are really classic Danish fare and every family has their own recipe. Of course my family has the best recipe, if you ask me!

Frikadeller are eaten for dinner with boiled potatoes, pan gravy and something sour on the side like red cabbage or quick pickled cucumbers. In the summertime it’s more common to serve them with a cold potato salad. We also eat them for lunch on lovely Danish rye bread or in sandwiches. Frikadeller are lovely hot off the pan, warm and even cold.

Frikadellesandwich
Frikadelle sandwich with home-made braised red cabbage and pickled cucumbers.

This recipe uses what we in Denmark call ‘hakket kalv og flæsk’ and in the Netherlands it is called ‘half om half gehakt’. What that is is basically mince made of half pork and half beef/veal. I find it gives the best flavour. If you cannot get this blend, use minced pork instead.

Some people chop their onions for frikadeller, but I like to grate them on the fine side of a box grater. This makes the onion turn to a pulp. The advantages of this are, in my mind, many. If you have picky eaters, they won’t find any onion bits when they bite into their frikadelle. By grating it the onion flavour blends with the meat in a nice and subtle way. Lastly, you won’t get any burnt onion bits off the edges of the frikadeller.

You can fry frikadeller in just about any grease, but the best tasting and most traditional is butter.

Here you can see how the frikadeller are shaped. They are not ball shaped but sort of oblong and flattened:

Frikadeller 1

After approximately 4 minutes they are turned over and they already look nice and golden brown.

Frikadeller 2

When made with skimmed milk, 12% fat minced meat and fried with as little fat as possible each serving comes to 8 SP

Serves 4 for dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g minced meat (half pork and half beef/veal)
  • 3/4 tsp fine salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (if you are glutenfree use 2 tbsp of rolled oats)
  • 1 small onion, grated to a pulp
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 25 g butter

Method:

Place the meat in a mixing bowl and add the salt. Mix it a little. Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter and mix well.

If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step: Cover the bowl with cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour. This lets the meat rest and everything mingle together really well.

When ready to fry the frikadeller, get out a small bowl of cold water, a tablespoon (not the measuring kind), your favourite frying pan and the meat.

Heat the pan to medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter has stopped bubbling violently you add the frikadeller. Depending on the size of your pan you will probably need to fry in 2 batches or more.

Frikadeller are not ball shaped like many meatballs. They are slightly oblong and flattened. Dip the spoon in the cold water and scoop out about a golf ball’s worth of meat. Using the spoon and the palm of your free hand shape the frikadelle before placing it in the butter.

Fry each batch 4 minutes on each side, taking care not to burn them and making sure they are cooked all the way through.

Remove from the pan and keep warm under some aluminium foil, while you cook the remaining meat.

Serve while still warm.

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