I am really happy to announce that my old German minced meat patty recipe resurfaced from the depths of my hard disks. The first time I posted this was in 2010, but then it disappeared when I tried to update a couple of things on my blog last year.
The German ancestor of the Hamburger patty has many names: Bulette, Frikadelle, Fleischpflanzerl or Beefsteak. It’s very similar to meat balls, but we like to shape the frikadellen into larger, flat patties.
These days, when every company comes up with their own version of plant based burgers and minced meat patties, it seems very old fashioned to make your own from scratch. But honestly it’s not very difficult. Also I am one of these ancient vintage vegans who just like to cook their own food. When I came up with this recipe, you couldn’t buy vegan burger patties anywhere in my area. True story, kids. The only kind of patty mix we had were oat based burger mixes. Crazily these mixes still exist although I think that nobody ever uses them to make burgers.
You know, in Germany we serve frikadellen or minced meat patties almost like a hotdog: with bread and mustard. Or at least that’s how it was when I was a child. You could also buy them prepackaged and already prepared. They were a go to meal on long trips when you made a stop at those ugly motorway service areas. Also, school trips! There was always a kid somewhere who had a pack of stinky meat patties in their backpack.
Of course frikadellen are part of a regular meal, too. My grandmother used to make them when she had stale leftover rolls from the day before. It’s kind of funny now I think of it. The reason to eat meat was because you had to get rid of old bread.
In no case the minced meat patties I know were ever part of a burger. When I grew up burgers were such a strange concept. I knew them from US movies, sure. Or from Mc Donald’s ads. But personally I thought that eating them looked very painful. (And I remember that one time I got to eat at Mc Donalds, I chose the Chicken Wings instead of a burger because the cheese looked so weird.) If you must know, I am still very, very bad at eating burgers. I blame that on my burgerless German childhood.
There are many different recipes for these minced meat patties. The original version calls for ground beef and pork, eggs, stale bread, onions, and spices. If it is a German beefsteak there is no bread involved, if it is made with stale bread, it is a bulette or frikadelle. My family used to mix these up and we called a frikadelle a beefsteak. When my grandmother made these for us she served them with fried onions, salt potatoes, melted butter, chopped parsley, and a salad. I like them with potatoes and green beans.
This is a very basic and versatile version. You can make this plain or add more spices and herbs to it, more liquid smoke or mix in some tomato paste. I would advise to fry these properly in oil and not bake them. I promise, you won’t regret it. After they have been fried they might still look a bit raw on the inside but that’s fine. They are very crispy on the outside and nice and juicy in the centre.
You can freeze these patties before frying them and they make also great leftovers!
Minced Meat Patties
- 30 g small TVP granules (½ cup) (textured vegetable protein, soy granules)
- 120 ml hot vegetable broth (½ cup)
- 80 g bread roll or 3 slices of baguette
- 2-3 handful fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion (80 g) chopped
- 150 g firm tofu (5.3 oz)
- 80 ml water (1/3 cup)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour or soy flour
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp paprika plain or smoked
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp oil for frying
- Preheat the oven to 100°C.
- Tear the bread roll into small pieces and place them on a baking tray.
- Bake and dry them for about 15 – 20 minutes or until stale. Check after 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile reconstitute TVP granules in hot vegetable broth and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine soaked TVP, bread, parsley and onion.
- Add water and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix very well.
- Form into patties and heat a frying pan.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil and fry 4 of the patties if they fit your pan.
- Fry them for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Add another two teaspoons of oil and fry the remaining patties.