Sometimes colloquial food names can give foreigners a major headache. Fleischpflanzerl. Fleisch- What? The Bavarian term for fried meat balls or patties is definitely one of them. Or do you think the combination of the words Fleisch (=meat) and Pflanzerl (=little plant) really makes sense?
These little patties are sooo delicious, don’t let the funny name distract you! They are great eaten hot from the pan with mashed potatoes or as a cold snack, let’s say packed between two halves of a bread roll. Usually they’re made out of pork or beef meat, or, even yummier, out of minced meat from veal. We’re lucky to have a great little Turkish grocery shop (Fresh House) within walking distance (thanks Kristin for the recommendation!), hence I am completely sold on lamb meat.
I’m not sure you’ll like lamb! That’s anyway what my mum used to say when I was young, afraid I wouldn’t touch or at least finish my plate if I ordered -out of curiousity- something with lamb. She, like many others, had eaten rather traditional strong tasting lamb, meat that I’d claim tastes more like old mutton. Today, I think we’re far beyond that, yet I still hear a lot of people being cautious about lamb meat (and it’s not because of the cuteness of the little animals!). Good quality lamb is one of the finest meats you can get, there’s absolutely no odd taste to it, seriously, give it a try. Throw in a little Eastern spice concoction and you have the most amazing Fleischpflanzerl – oriental style. They even deserve an TFVFE-Award = the fastest vanishing Fleischpflanzerl EVER!
Fleischpflanzerl/meatballs – oriental style:
Cut the stale white bread into slices, add to a bowl, pour over the milk and let soak until soft (at least 15 minutes). Squeeze out as much milk as possible (discard) and put the bread back in the empty bowl, tearing it in smaller pieces.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the finely chopped onion, garlic and red chili and season with the saffron and the ground cumin. Saute for a few minutes over medium heat, then add to the bowl.
Add the minced meat together with the eggs, the mustard, the chopped parsley and the rest of the spices (pimenton de la vera, nutmeg, sea salt, black pepper) and use your hands to knead everything together until the spices are evenly distributed and the dough comes together nicely. Season to taste (if you don’t mind tasting raw meat) – otherwise fry a test piece and adapt seasoning afterward.
Heat oil and butter in a large pan. Wet your hands with a little water and form either little patties or little meatballs (if you want them to have an equal size, you may use an ice cream scoop). Fry over medium heat, turning them every now and then until done, which takes usually 8 to 10 minutes.
We served them with an ad hoc made-up salad creation, an absolutely fabulous, juicy carrot sesame salad:
Dry roast the sesame seeds over low to medium heat until they gain a nice golden color. If you are up for a more pronounced sesame flavor, grind half of the amount in a mortar.
Grate the carrots finely and season to taste with canola oil, the sesame seeds, the finely chopped galic clove (optional), sea salt and black pepper. Finally add the Greek yogurt.
Fleischpflanzerl/meatballs oriental style - with carrot-sesame salad
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: about 45 to 60 minutes
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
100 g stale white bread or bread rolls
200 ml milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin, freshly ground
1-2 garlic clove
1/2 red chili
400 g minced meat (lamb)
1 tsp mustard
a handful chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp pimenton de la vera
freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
sunflower oil and butter
Carrot sesame salad
3 large carrots
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp canola oil
1 garlic clove (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
250g Greek yoghurt