Koenigsberger Klopse
(Boiled German Meatballs)  

Koenigsberger Klopse is a traditional German dish. It originated in East Prussia. These German meatballs (Klopse) are cooked in stock and served with a sweet 

and sour caper sauce and pickled beetroot.

The recipes that I found date as far back as 1845. In essence the meatballs are cooked (not fried) in a sweet and white sour and sauce which must contain anchovies or salted herring, egg yolk and capers. Other ingredients vary from recipe to recipe. The origins of this meatball recipe are attributed as the name suggests to the old east German town of Königsberg

This recipe was inspired by Stefan Lieder. You can find his recipe in German language here

Preparation time: 45 minutes 
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 0 minutes
Total time needed: at least 25 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard

Koenigsberger Klopse

Ingredients for meatballs of Königsberger KlopseIngredients for meatballs of Koenigsberger Klopse

For the klopse:

  • 250 gram / 8.8 ounces beef mince (or use half beef and half pork mince)
  • 2 slices white bread, soaked in water and squeezed to remove as much of the moisture as possible 
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped fine 
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped fine 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tbs. bread crumbs   
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 tsp. Maggi all-purpose seasoning (optional)   
  • 5 anchovy fillets, chopped fine   
Koenigsberger-klopse-ingredients for stockIngredients for stock

For the stock: 

  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped fine 
  • 1 Liter / 4 cups of beef or chicken stock 
  • ½ cup of chopped green celery leaves  
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine 
  • 1  bay leaf 
  • 5  all spice seeds 
  • 5 black pepper corns   
Koenigsberger-klopse-ingredients-for-sauceIngredients for Koenigsberger Klopse sauce

For the Sauce: 

  • 1 clove of garlic chopped fine
  • 3 tbs. unsalted butter, or margarine
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 400ml / 13.5 oz of the beef stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream 
  • 40 g / 1.4 oz capers, drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish



Klopse (meatballs):

  • Put all ingredients for the klopse in a large bowl and mix them together till you get a smooth meat dough. If you feel that the dough is still to moist and the meatballs might not stick together well enough add another tablespoon of breadcrumbs to bind the dough better together.
  • Form 8 to 10 round meatballs


  • Add the beef stock to a medium sized pot that will just be big enough to fit all klopse in it next to each other
  • Add onion, bay leaf, allspice and pepper corns to the pot, cover with lid and bring stock to the boil, 
  • Once it is boiling add the meatballs, cover again with lid and wait for the stock to start boiling again
  • Reduce the heat and let the klopse simmer for 10 minutes in the stock.
  • Turn off the heat and let the klopse soak for another 10 to 12 minutes in the stock, with the pot still covered
  • Now remove the klopse and store them in a pot or bowl with lid to keep them as warm as possible while you prepare the caper sauce.

Caper sauce:

  • Heat up the butter in a large frying pan. 
  • Once the butter has melted and is hot add the flour to the pan and stir it in well with the butter to thicken it (make the roux sauce)
  • When the flour and butter are blended well together and have formed a paste start adding the 400ml / 13.5 oz of stock in small portions to quench the heat.
  • Continue to stir the sauce till all the stock has been added and it has become of a smooth thickish consistence
  • Reduce the heat and add fresh cream and capers stir the sauce briefly

  • Next add lemon juice, sugar, pepper and salt and let the sauce heat up again 
  • Keep the sauce just below the boiling point for another 5 minutes
  • Next mix in the egg yolk
  • Add the klopse and coriander leaves to the sauce, cover with lid and let all simmer gently for 5 minutes
  • Switch of heat and let the meatballs stand for another 5 minutes in the covered pan.

Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes and pickled beetroot.

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