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Boulette - Meatballs German Style


This was a common meal in German blue collar working class families. It is still very popular on buffets, and even used to become "hip" recently for people who got bored with mussels, salmon or caviar on buffets. People in old times often did not use ground meat, but ground cheap meat leftovers. This used to be pub food in the very old times in Germany as you could store it for a long time - no fridge was around at that time, only a pantry. It is perfect as a cold snack for long road trips.















pound yellow onion
small cubes, sautee in butter and olive oil mix, add salt and pepper
3.5 pound ground meat
Poultry, pork, beef, not more than 50% beef in it
2 buns white bread
dry old buns or dried hard bread, to be soaked in milk or water for half an hour
pound whole-wheat flour
any other flour at hand does the job, too
8 piece eggs
take out of fridge 30 minutes before processing
6 ounces avocado oil
Any other high temperature cooking oil does the job, too, but don't waste olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin
for the onions
tbsp butter
for the onions


Before you start you want to consider that the goal is to produce juicy meatballs. That is the reason why you should never have more than 50% beef, because it makes the meatballs too dry. Take rather the not so lean ground meat – fat is something valuable and good, particularly in meatballs. It gives taste and texture.

As equipment you want to have available:

  • A frying pan
  • A big bowl
  • A small bowl for the buns
  • Two or three kitchen spoons
  • A cutting knife for the onion
  • A plate or cutting board for the flour
  • Another plate or cutting board for the raw meatballs
  • Another plate or cutting board for the cooked meatballs
  • A meat thermometer

Other things to consider before you start:

  • You deal with hot oil, you better wear long sleeves and long pant legs and glasses to protect your arms, legs and eyes
  • Have pot holder and oven gloves available, the frying pan becomes hot
  • Take the eggs off the fridge an hour before you use them to get them closer to room temperature

How you proceed:

Prepare the onions:

  • Cut them in small pieces like cubes of half centimeter (0.2 inch) edge length
  • Sautee them on low temperature in a mixture of butter and olive oil (butter alone is also good)
    • Add salt, pepper and other spices
    • Cook them until they become more transparent and slightly golden, don’t burn them, stir them regularly

Prepare the buns:

  • Put the bun in warm water (you better filter tap water or take spring water), milk is possible (consider a potential lactose intolerance of your guests, many Asians for example cannot digest milk very well)
  • Let them soak for 30 minutes
  • Take them off the liquid and squeeze the liquid out
  • Tear them in small pieces of 1 cm (0,4 inch) edge length

Meatball dough:

  • Put all the meat in the big bowl
  • Stir and mix the different types of meat with the kitchen spoons for a couple of minutes so that it is more like one body than the two or three it was before (depending how many different types of meat you have)
  • Add the sautéed onions on top
  • Stir and mix again until the onions are part of the dough, probably a few minutes
  • Add the bun or bread pieces
  • Stir and mix again until the bread pieces are part of the dough, probably a few minutes
  • Crack the eggs and add the clear and the yellow part
  • Stir and mix again until the eggs are part of the dough, probably a few minutes, it will be a very sticky dough now
  • Take half of the flour and add it
  • Stir and mix again until the flower is part of the dough, probably a few minutes, until the dough is very homogeneous, and still a bit sticky
  • Taste it, and if tastes very flat, add additional salt, pepper, and other spices, until you like it – careful with salt, maybe let somebody else also taste and consider the preferences of your guests, too much salt can ruin every meal, plus it is not healthy if you have too much of it

Roll the meatballs:

  • Rub some of the remaining flour on your hands
  • Grab a handful of the dough with one hand
  • With the other hand grab some flour (be rather generous), you need it so the dough doesn’t stick with your hands
  • Roll the meatball, in case take additional flour
  • Avoid that too many onions are on the outside, because they burn fast Roll as many meatballs as might fit in your frying pan, 4 or 5 usually – they should have an equal size

Fry the meatballs:

  • Heat the pan with some of the hot cooking oil and (if you like for the taste add butter and olive oil),try medium heat, it depends on the pan and the stovetop
  • Put the meatballs in the pan
  • Check after a few minutes whether the lower side is golden brown, when it is turn the meatballs
  • Same like above, turn again
  • Switch the temperature a little bit down
  • Control the temperature inside the center of the meatball with a meat thermometer until it reaches 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit) – this is the temperature for “well done”. You should not cook ground meat “medium” or even “medium rare”, as this comes with a health risk, plus you can keep them longer when they are “well done”

Serve the meatballs:

  • You can serve them warm, directly off the pan
  • Many people like mustard or ketchup with, other BBQ sauces might fit also
  • You can eat them cold as well
  • You can reheat them


* not incl. in nutrient facts

Add review




El Segundo, United States
 10 months ago

Almost impossible to follow with these strange weights. Pleas use grams as well.Y

This website is luckily designed in a way that it offers a conversion from US to metric units, and I have maintained my recipes accordingly, so you can easily convert them by pressing on "metric" which is to right from headline "Ingredients".

El Cajon, CA, United States
 3 months ago

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