Sunday, July 31, 2011

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

I'm doing a 'Taste of Denmark' cooking demonstration in August at a local restaurant.    I'm kinda excited about it.   Not only do I get to cook something Danish, I get to share my love of Danish cuisine with some total strangers, yikes.  Just kidding.

Frikadeller with New Potatoes, Parsley Sauce and Red Cabbage
I had decided on the menu within minutes of being asked to do the cooking demo, and as I posted the other day, the menu will include one of my favourites, Frikadeller.    This is something I've been making for many years without a recipe.  I know how it's supposed to look and taste and feel, so when I'm making it, I just do it the way my mom taught me, with one little exception, I use my Kitchenaid, instead of stirring the meat mixture for a half hour.    However, one of the requirements of the cooking demo is to hand out recipes.  So, I decided to measure out everything and write it down.   And that's what I did yesterday.  
Dumped a pound of unseasoned ground pork into the Kitchenaid. (can't tell you how much I love this thing, my wonderful husband got it for me a few years back).    Added an egg, milk, one small onion, finely minced.   Turned on the mixer and let it go.

Added 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Added the flour.  (Mom always said that you should add equal amounts of flour and milk.)

I let it mix for a few minutes.  Unlike most recipes with ground meat, you do want to let this mix for awhile.  When I used to mix it my hand, I would beat it for upwards of a half hour.  (and when I was younger and making it with my mother, I could never understand how she could do it for so long, come to think of it, I still can't.  I prefer my  Kitchenaid.)  Test for seasoning at this point by frying a little of the meat mixture and tasting it as soon as it is done.    Add a little more salt and pepper at this point if you like.   (I did, added a touch more pepper, as I thought it could use it.) 
To a frying pan, add some olive oil and a little butter, and as soon as it's hot, you're ready for the next step.
Dip the bowl of a soup spoon in the hot oil mixture and use it to form the meatballs, just like this.
Scooping up a little of the meat mixture in the bowl of the spoon and forming it against the side of the bowl.  Or you can use your hand to form it as well, but this way is a little less messy.    Dip the spoon in the fat every time you scoop up a meatball.    Otherwise the meat will stick to the spoon.   And you do need to have some fat in the pan, it just doesn't work that well with a non stick spray, you want the flavour of the fat and the crispness that the fat imparts to the meat.

While they're frying, you can make the Parsley Sauce you serve with the Frikadeller and potatoes.
Make a roux out of butter and flour...
 Add a cup of milk...
Whisk it together and let it cook until it has thickened.
Chop up some fresh parsley...
Add that to the white sauce, whisking it in and let it cook a minute or so.

Let it come to a boil and season it to taste with some salt and white pepper.    My mom would add a little bit of nutmeg to this as well, but I don't like nutmeg so I didn't..

Serve it with some freshly boiled red potatoes or fingerling potato's and some Rødkål

I had to taste.

yield: 4 servingsprint recipe


prep time: 5 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 25 mins
Every family has their own recipe for Frikadeller. This is my Mom's recipe and how I make it to this day. Frikadeller are served with new potatoes and Parsley Sauce or a pan gravy made from the drippings.


  • 1 lb. unseasoned ground pork
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
  • ** Check seasonings


  1. Mix meat, onion, eggs and salt and pepper together, (use a stand mixer if possible), and add the flour, mix together and then add milk until all the milk is incorporated. 
  2. Continue to mix the meat for several minutes. The mixture should not be stiff, but instead should have the consistency of a firm custard. 
  3. Brown butter/olive oil in skillet over medium heat, and form meatballs with the use of a soup-spoon against the inside of the bowl, (bowl tipped slightly and spoon dipped into the browned butter/olive oil), and form into slightly oblong balls approx. 7x5 cm (2x3 inches) (See the pictures above) (You can also use wet hands to form the meatballs) 
  4. Brown on both sides, and continue cooking til done, approximately 10 minutes, turning from time to time to cook evenly. 
  5. Remove to a warming dish and make gravy from the drippings left in the pan.  Or just serve it with a nice Parsley Sauce. Deglaze the pan with a little of the water that the potatoes cooked in, then add a slurry of flour and water (2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/4 cup ice water) Whisk that into the deglazed pan juice and cook until thickened. Add a little browning agent to make a nice brown gravy. You can also add a teaspoon of Red Currant Jelly to the brown gravy for an even more authentic taste. 
  6. Parsley Sauce - 1 cup white sauce with 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley added, cooked for 1 minute and served with boiled potatoes.
  7.  ** To check seasonings, dip out a small spoonful of the meat mixture and fry up to taste. At this point you can add more salt and pepper if needed     This should serve 4 people or two teenagers.
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All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2020, with all rights reserved thereof. This recipe and many more Danish Recipes are in my cookbook Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Dansk Mad og Opskrifter til et Hyggeligt Hjemme, available on Amazon. Also available as an ebook.
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. Mmmmmm a real danish sommer meal. Looks wonderful:)

  2. There is nothing like fresh new potatoes and parsley sauce alongside the Frikadeller, this has always said summer to me as well.

  3. We usually make this with gravy, but your parsley sauce looks wonderful. I'd like to invite you to add our danish meatballs widget, so we can add you to our list of bloggers who wrote about danish meatballs, thanks!

  4. My mother would also make a brown gravy from time to time, but the parsley sauce was the one we used to make in the summer when we could harvest the first new potatoes. Thanks for the invite, I'll take a look.


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