Can food have a personality? Meatballs seem like fun food. They’re always the life of the party. I’m bringing you one version of Polish Meatballs – Klopsiki today.
In the many meatball recipes that Chrome translated for me on Polish food blogs, I saw one that spoke of boiling the meatballs in water. I could hear my friend Erich saying, “I don’t like to cook with water unless I’m boiling pasta; it dilutes flavors.”
Wanting to try something new and with Erich’s inspiration in mind, I boiled the meatballs in beef broth until they floated as the author had suggested. The meatballs float at 117°, so they’re only halfway cooked at this point.
I finished them off in the oven, and we loved them. There is nothing unusual about the ingredients, other than the onions are cooked. I wish I could tell you what makes these so special.
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They are moist and so full of flavor. Is it the breadcrumbs soaking up the beef broth, or that the meatballs are so well hydrated that they don’t dry out in the oven? I really can’t say, maybe all of the above.
How to serve Polish Meatballs – Klopsiki
I’ve made this recipe twice and finished the meatballs off in three different ways.
The first time, we baked them in tomato sauce laced with brown sugar (see recipe notes below).
The second time, we split the meatballs into two batches. Half of them went into a sour cream-mushroom sauce (details in the recipe notes) and the second half we just topped with jarred spaghetti sauce because Ed was given a beautiful spaghetti squash from the garden of one of his golf students.
To cook spaghetti squash (or butternut or acorn), I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, put them cut-side down on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350° until I can insert a fork through the skin and into the flesh easily, about 30 for an acorn squash, closer to an hour for butternut or spaghetti squash.
If you haven’t been given a spaghetti squash, these meatballs in any of the sauces or plain would be delicious alongside your favorite starch, noodles, buckwheat kasza, mashed potatoes.
I do most of my cooking on the weekends. With just two of us at home, this recipe will make two suppers for us, and one of us might get leftovers for lunch one day. I love to have something ready to serve quickly on a weeknight.
If you’re feeding more than two, try making a double or triple batch to ensure leftovers. Pop the extras in the fridge or freezer. That means multiple meals with only one meatloaf mixing bowl to wash, one pan for sauteing onions, one knife and cutting board to wash. You’re ahead of the game!
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There are so many variations of Polish meatballs – klopsiki, and I’ll address others in the future. One very American sauce that we served with meatballs at our going away party in Poznań was met with rave reviews from our Polish and international friends. Heat a bottle of Heinz chili sauce or ketchup meksykański (spicy ketchup) with a jar of jam, jelly, or can of cranberry sauce. Add meatballs. My favorite jam/jelly flavors to use are grape, apricot, or lingonberry. It’s quick and easy to make and gives you a thick, tasty, sweet and sour sauce.
Tender and delicious Polish meatballs
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6–8 cups beef broth (bouillion cubes and water or stock)
See notes for the sauce ingredients, sour cream-mushroom or tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 350° F
Saute onion in butter over medium-high heat until translucent, stirring occasionally, cool
While the onion is cooking, combine the two meats with eggs, bread crumbs, milk, and seasonings
Heat beef broth to a simmer
While the broth heats, add cooked onions and shape into meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, about the size of a golf ball
Drop meatballs into simmering broth, you may need to do a few batches, remove with a slotted spoon when they float to the top, about 5 minutes
Consult notes to finish with sour cream – mushroom sauce or tomato sauce
Bake until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165° or 20-25 minutes
For meatballs in sour cream-mushroom sauce (klopsiki w sosie śmietanowo – grzybowym), I added the meatballs after baking to my creamed mushroom sauce, made with 1 cup sour cream rather than heavy cream. The sour cream makes a thicker sauce, so add additional broth as needed until you have your desired thickness.
For meatballs in tomato sauce (klopsiki w sosie pomidorowym), stir 1/4 cup brown sugar into 2-15 ounce cans of tomato sauce, pour over meatballs and bake as called for in the recipe.
Keywords: Polish meatballs in sauce, kolpsiki