Depending on the location, you may be presented as Knödel, in Austria and southern Germany, or as Kloß, in the north of the Germanic country. The Knödel they are like a kind of giant meatball or, as the name suggests, “dumplings”. As there are meatballs with different ingredients, we can also find many types of Knödel, like the Matzeknödel -Jewish Matza balls that are eaten in soup- made with matzo flour, the Semmelknödel made with bread or Kartoffelknödel prepared with potatoes, among others.
The latter are usually served as a side to roast meats, although you can also find them as a main dish -with some sauce- or in soups. They are cooked in boiling water or steamed and often filled with toasted bread in butter or with meat, although I believe – personal opinion – that you could play with a wide variety of fillings as long as they do not have a very high water content.
As with gnocchi, for example, in this recipe it is important to use late or old potatoes: they absorb less flour and will result in more tender Knödel, contrary to what it might seem. In the original recipe, starch or potato flour is usually used, but since it is not a common ingredient around here, we will replace it with starch or fine corn flour (which is not used to make arepas). If you have leftovers Knödel for the next day – they will have dried out a bit – you can cut them into slices, place them on a baking tray and gratin them with cheese and / or some sauce.
The one to make some beautiful spheres.
For 10-12 knödel
- 1 kg of old potato
- 50g butter, melted
- 2 egg yolks
- Between 50 and 100 g of starch or fine corn flour
Wash the potatoes well and cook them, whole and with their skin, in salted water. Remove when they feel tender by poking them with a knife.
Peel the potatoes while they are hot and go through a food mill. If you don’t have one, you can do it with a fork, making sure there are no lumps. Let cool.
Once the potatoes are cold, add the melted butter, the yolks and 50 g of fine corn flour. Season with salt, nutmeg and pepper.
Knead with clean hands until you get a smooth bun. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. It should be a soft and pliable dough (similar to plasticine), but not sticky.
Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan.
Meanwhile, form the Knödel with the hands. There should be some spheres of about 80-100 g: more or less between a golf ball and a tennis ball.
Cook in the boiling water – with a gentle boil so that they do not break – for 20 minutes. If the pot is small, do it in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve.
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