Some months ago I had posted a dish called Pressknödel. Knödel are dumplings and there are a lot of different variations from savory to sweet, from round to flat. Sometimes you enjoy them with a soup or sometimes they fit better with a salad. Today I thought of a savory bread Knödel version to share with my readers called Bratknödel.
Knödel are so-called Mehlspeisen (flour-based dishes). Mehlspeisen is very popular in middle Europe till date. Before it was a delicious way to escape the plain fasting dishes and believe me there was a time when Christianity had 180 fasting days. People had to create something which was more filling then just veggies, mostly because one needs some more body fat to withstand a cold winter.
In my town of origin, in Austria, we have a feast called Knödelfest. Every year in September people travel from near and far just to be part of this delicious event. The feast boasts with the longest knödel table in the world (300 m long) and 22000 Knödel in 22 different flavors are prepared for the visiting crowds on this day. 2011 was the 30 year anniversary of the Knödelfeast and over the years it has just been getting bigger and better with the whole town transforming into a huge open-air Guesthouse.
September is the month when farmers bring back their cows from the mountains. Over the summer they are kept in Alms, which are mountain farmhouses. So, in September we celebrate the Almfeast weeks and the Knödel feast is the highlight and main event of this celebrations.
Imagine how much these delicacies mean to us. Every household prepares at least once a week Knödel. They are treasured and much loved by everyone. Each time I cooked Knödel in India and gave to try to family and friends I received raving feedbacks on how divine they taste. Some Knödel recipes even help you in using unwanted ingredients, such as stale bread. The Sainehonsa Bratknödel, Beef Bread Dumplings, is a good example for that. Actually, they are just called Bratknödel but I researched a bit online and I couldn’t find a recipe coming close to the once we serve in my hometown, so I thought better of calling them simply after the local name of our town, Sainehons.
- 200 grams White Bread
- 120 grams Beef mince (double grounded)
- 1 big Onion - chopped
- 2-3 clove Garlic - chopped
- 160 milliliter Milk
- 2 Eggs
- pinch Salt
- pinch Pepper
- pinch Thyme
- ~handfull chopped fresh parsley
- small amount of lime or lemon zest
- Remove the bread "skin", the hard brown part, and flake it into a mixing bowl and add the Beef mince with it.
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic cloves and fry them in a pan till they are glossy. Remove them from the heat and add to the mixing bowl with the bread mince mix.
- In a separate small bowl whisk together the eggs, salt and milk and it to the bread mix together with the herbs, pepper and lime zest.
- With clean hands start smashing and mixing the whole content of the bowl. Leave it to stand for 20 mins, so the flavors can get used to each other.
- mins later form the Knödel with your hands into round dumplings and keep a pot with water on high heat and wait till it boils. Take down the heat and submerge the Knödel carefully into the water. Leave them there for 20 mins till they cook. Once ready take them out and serve them hot with either a soup or salad or they taste excellent too with Sauerkraut and some sausages.