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How to Cook German Meat Balls Bulletten

For many of us German cuisine is generally associated with sausage, sauerkraut and beer. Someone could perhaps recall an apple strudel or German gingerbreads known as Lebkuchen. Yet the contemporary German cuisine, as it was in the course of many centuries, is multifarious and differs depending on the culture and traditions of regions of Germany.

In today’s German cuisine the history and old traditions are twisted together with a modern tendency to healthy eating and high quality cooking. It gives a unique taste and versatility to German foods and beverages, flavoring any recipe, whatever the season.

One of the convincing examples of tasty and favorite German dishes known for a long time is “Bulletten”.

Actually “Bulletten” are meat balls, fried in a deep fat. They are considered to be traditional specialties of Northern Germany (Hamburg, Hannover, Bremen, Berlin etc.), although you can see them in cuisines of other German regions under the names of “Frikadellen”, “Fleischpflanzerl” or “Fleischküchle”. It is supposed that the name “Bulletten” comes from French “boulette” for “globule”, and that it became familiar first by the Huguenots in Berlin, after what it spread from there.

To make good “Bulletten” today you need to buy absolutely fresh ingredients – meat, preferably beef, in the first place. Don’t be lazy and go to your most trust butcher for it. Count on the basis of 1 kg of beef on 4-5 persons.

1. Wash meat out thoroughly and mince or chop up fine using a food processor.

2. Soak 2 slices of white bread in ½ cup of milk or water, knead and add to mince meat.

3. Chop 1 big onion, 3 garlic cloves and some sprigs of fresh parsley and add there as well.

4. Finally add 3 eggs, salt, ground paprika, black pepper and nutmeg (according to your taste) and mix everything well.

5. 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs put on a plate and form balls rolling each of them in breadcrumbs. Press a little to make them more flat (they should be approximately 8-10cm in diameter).

6. Heat 4-5 tablespoons of butter in a big frying pan and fry all over for about 5-7 minutes on a middle heat. Of course, you can use vegetable or olive oil alternatively, but native recipes suggest using the butter.

Finished “Bulletten” are served with a warm potato salad, mashed potato or steamed vegetables with tomato sauce.

They are also good to make hamburgers – just put a meat ball between halves of a hamburger bread roll with fresh tomato slices, salad leaves, onion rings, Gouda or other cheese, and dress it with ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or other sauces you like.

Guten Appetit!