Bavarian Meatballs

This is me trying to connect this dish to Christmas somehow:

Bavarian Meatballs. Bavaria. What do they do in Bavaria? Drink beer. Eat sausage. There’s Alps. Snow. Ski lodge. Sweaters. Christmas sweaters. Oh, shit. Bavarian Christmas Markets!



How sweet does that look? I totally want to go to there.

I don’t know if they’d serve Bavarian Meatballs at a Bavarian Christmas market; but I doubt it, considering where I got this recipe:

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Doubleday & Co. 1960

This cookbook is something else. It contains hundreds of ways to prepare ground beef. There are recipes to feed 100 people. And seven variations on Swedish meatballs. SEVEN.

Pray tell, why would I be making meatballs for 100 people? If I were catering a wedding?Feeding the Duggars?

Anyway, the author of this book, Doyne Nickerson, seems like one helluva interesting fellow. His jacket bio is among the best I’ve read:

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A true Renaissance man!


This guy ate a shit-ton of hamburger. Three times a day? During the depression? Wasn’t everyone eating cabbage soup? How the hell did this guy get his hands on that much beef?

This book is a veritable meatball bounty.

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And I do like a good meatball.

Here is the recipe:
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I chose it because of the mixture that the balls were baked in: caraway, wine, apples, and sauerkraut? Color me intrigued.

I cut the recipe in half.

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And here, is the end result:

blog november 023This was OK. A serviceable dish. It tasted just as one would imagine. I liked the mixture of the apple and the sauerkraut but it was kinda bland.

But! I think this, or a variation (shred the apple with the potato!), with a little more bite, would be good with pork chops. Or maybe pork meatballs.

Does this Bavarian delight deserve a place on your holiday buffet? Nah. Those crockpot ones in the jelly/chili sauce mixture is more appropriate. But if you make these with pork, they could definitely fit the bill for New Year’s Day.

Do you eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for good luck? Or is that weird Pittsburgh thing?

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17 Responses to Bavarian Meatballs

  1. Wow…what was the deal with spices back in the day? If everyone smoked (and they did), you’d think that the food would be at least twice as spicy as today’s. Granted, he’s using more spice than most people did, but damn, a POUND of beef needs more than 2 tsp. horseradish! Damn you, old recipe books! Have more spices!

    • Yinzerella says:

      I always ramp up the amount of spices. I know that I put extra horseradish in the balls.
      I should have mentioned that–one of the other reasons I chose this was for the horseradish.
      I used to not like spicy food but as I get older I want more and more spice–probably because I smoked for so many years (and still have the occasional one now and then).

  2. Rusty Cunningham says:

    I wonder how ol’ Doyne’s colon is? YIKES! I looked him up, but it looks like he may still be alive & kickin’. Pork & sauerkraut must be an east coast thing. Although, I did make Bigos a couple weekends ago and it has both…thanks for the idea!

    • Yinzerella says:

      No. He died: Nickerson Doyne I, 64, died May 4 in a hospital in Northridge, Calif. He was born in Kendallville March 1, 1916, the son of Leroy and Inez Nickerson, who survive at 203 E. Diamond with their niece, Mrs. Maxine Brunkhart. He served in the Armed Forces during WW II. He operated a hydroponic farm in Fla. and conducted a successful mail order business. He was the author of a best-selling cookbook published by Doubleday entitled, “365 Ways to Cook Hamburger.” Also surviving is a son, Drew Doyne Nickerson of North Hollywood, Calif. Memorial services May 6 in West Valley Chapel in Canoga Park, Calif. + 5-?-1980

  3. hemcfeely says:

    What an awesome life! Too bad his recipe didn’t pan out.

    It’s black-eyed peas for luck, at least in the mid-west.

  4. Conor Bofin says:

    I just gotta get me some of these old cookery books. Great posting.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours.

  5. Louise says:

    Hi Yizerella,
    I just had to stop and leave a comment and also invite you to Cookbook Wednesday over at my blog.

    I love these “retro” cookbooks and as a collector for many years, it still never ceases to amaze me at the kinds of recipes and chuckles they often bring:)

    Thank you so much for sharing…

    Cookbook Wednesday is a linky party and you are more than welcome to add your link!

  6. Eat The Blog says:

    Never heard of the pork and kraut thing, but the black eyed peas thing was new to me until I married Mr. ETB (His dad was from Louisiana). For some reason, people think the peas look like coins, so it is a good luck thing for wealth in the coming year. They eat it as, “Hoppin’ John” with ham .

    Have a Merry Christmas.

  7. Janice says:

    Pork and sauerkraut every New Years Day. Sometimes we mix it up and have Ruebens but, there is always kraut in some form or another. I found you via Goody at Eat The Blog. I will admit, a good portion of your posted recipes have been served to me at some point in my life.

  8. setonhillsundays says:

    With the “how did he eat so much meat during the depression,” question, my mother’s family ate a ton of meat all during the depression and war, but that’s because they lived on a ranch and raised sheep. They also had a 2-acre garden. While not everyone had the benefit of that much land and livestock, and eating the amount of meat he describes is excessive, there were a lot more people in this country growing their own food – both meat and vegetables – at that point than there are now. If they didn’t raise their own meat, there was the option of hunting. A good-sized deer will feed a family for quite some time, and if you live in a world where bear, moose, or elk are an option then you’re in business. Food shortages were mostly a function of urban living, I think.

  9. Pingback: New Year Pretzel & City Chicken (A Very Pittsburgh New Year) | Dinner is Served 1972

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