This Cape Malay Mince Frikkadel recipe yields tender juicy meatballs that are delicious served as a main course with onion and tomato smoortjie, fluffy basmati rice or thick cut chips. Any leftovers are perfect for sandwiches on Homemade Farmhouse White Bread.
My father loved any meals or snacks made with minced meat. Although mince frikkadel was not my mother’s or my favorite, she often made steak mince kebabs stuffed with boiled egg (like scotch eggs) or her spaghetti and tomato frikkadel recipe for my dad because he loved it. They both loved Oumens onder die komberse (cabbage leaves stuffed with seasoned minced meat cooked over caramelised onions) although my mum only made it on special request for my dad.
I always wondered why my father had such a love for food made with minced meat, and learned the origin from my Aunty Doreen. She always walked past his sister’s home, where my father was raised, when she returned home from work in the afternoons. Tietie usually called her in for a quick chat if she saw her passing.
Apparently without fail, Tietie would realise as her husband’s train was pulling into the station, that she had yet to put on the meat and onions for the evening meal if it was curry or stew. She would jump up from her seat to get dinner started and by the time her husband was home and settled, dinner would be on the table.
Needless to say, even to my child’s mind, I realised that that was not long enough to cook tender meat. Although to be honest, I can’t ever remember eating anything that Tietie made that wasn’t delicious, even though she passed when I was only a child. It was always a pleasure to be taken round to her house because she always took her time to teach me things and I loved spending time with her.
It does however explain why prior to their marriage my father seldom ate lamb or beef in stews or curries and even told my mother that he didn’t eat it. My mum said she was happy enough about that because it meant more meat for her. Until their first dinner that my mother cooked after marriage, and my dad had three helpings! She was surprised and mentioned that she thought he didn’t eat meat. My dad laughed and said but the food was so delicious and the meat so tender that he couldn’t resist.
I wondered how we came to call meatballs Frikkadel, because it doesn’t seem to have any relation to any other words in either English or Afrikaans. A little research indicates that the name is similar to Frikadeller (Danish meatballs). However, it appears that Indonesians also make meat patties with slightly different ingredients called Perkedel.
How to make this Mince Frikkadel recipe
- Don’t use lean minced meats as this will yield meatballs that can be tough if overcooked and not very tender.
- Keep the minced meat cold so that the fat doesn’t melt before the ingredients are mixed through, shaped and ready for cooking.
- Add a binding agent like eggs and bread or breadcrumbs to ensure that the meat protein doesn’t shrink or become tough during cooking.
- If you are using stale bread, then soak it first in milk or water (and squeeze out the excess) or it may make the mixture too dry.
- Instead of adding bread, store bought bread crumbs can also be used. If using breadcrumbs remember to add eggs, milk or oil so that the mixture is not too dense. The more bread crumbs or bread you add the more dense the frikkadel will be.
- Finely chop the onions and bell peppers because big hunks of vegetables can make the frikkadel come apart during cooking.
- Instead of using salt you can use garlic salt and this also imparts a ton of flavour. Check the seasoning before shaping the mince frikkadels.
- Mince frikkadel recipes require a light touch so don’t make the balls too compact or they will be tough and rubbery when cooked. It helps to use an ice cream scoop to make the mince frikkadel all the same size and oil the hands before shaping.
- Monitor the meatballs at all times when pan frying to avoid burning.
Other recipes you may like
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- Cape Malay Pepper Steak Pie (Vleis Pastei)
- Cape Malay Chicken and mushroom pie (hoender pastei)
- Luscious Creamy Chicken Corn soup recipe
Cape Malay Mince Frikkadel recipe (Meatballs)
- 500 g minced beef steak mince is preferable
- 80 g red and green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 125 g onion, finely chopped
- 15 g fresh coriander leaves and stalks
- 15 ml grated garlic or garlic paste
- 4 slices white bread
- 2 eggs
- 5 ml coriander powder
- 10 ml salt
- 5 ml chilli flakes
Disclaimer: Nutritional information for the recipe is an approximation and varies according to the ingredients and products used.
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