Meatballs in Caper Sauce (Konigsberger Klopse)

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

From: The Eastern European Cookbook" by Kay Shaw Nelson. -East Germany. Russians call it 'Kaliningrad'. This is an easy version...all the other versions I've seen posted make a mess of your kitchen.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Meatballs

  • 1 12 cups stale bread cubes
  • milk, to soak bread cubes
  • 2 lbs ground lean meat (mixture of pork and veal or beef)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 flat anchovy fillets, drained and minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sauce

  • 4 cups beef bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 lemon, juice of (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained


  1. Meatballs:
  2. Soak bread cubes in milk to cover. When soft, squeeze dry and put in a large bowl.
  3. Add ground meat and mix well.
  4. Stir in onion, eggs, anchovy fillets, salt and pepper; work mixture with hands until well combined.
  5. Form into 2-inch balls.
  6. Bring bouillon to a boil in a large saucepan; drop in meatballs.
  7. Cook over medium heat until meatballs rise to the top, about 15 minutes. Remove from liquid with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  8. Strain and reserve liquid.
  9. Sauce:.
  10. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  11. Stir in flour and blend well, cook 1 minute.
  12. Gradually add 3 cups strained liquid; cook slowly, stirring constantly, until liquid is thickened and smooth.
  13. Add lemon juice and capers. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Add meatballs and heat through.
Most Helpful

Despite the fact that I really messed up when planning for this recipe, it still came out very well. I could not find anchovies anywhere at the store, so skipped them. Then as I was cooking, I discovered not only did I not have beef broth, I also did not have lemon juice. I used a packet of onion soup mix with 4 cups water and it seemed to do the trick and the sauce still came out VERY tasty. I skipped out on the lemon juice, having no suitable subsitute. Although I made several subsitutions & skipped some ingredients, still it was very tasty. The only addition I made was to put some garlic into the meatballs. We liked the capers in the sauce. Even my 1 year old son ate them- inhaled them actually, so it was enjoyed all around. Thanks for posting the recipe.

TexasKelly January 31, 2011

DH took one bite and said "I love this sauce". That's a good sign. I made as posted with the exception of cutting the sauce in half because I froze half of the meatballs. We will have another excellent meal in the future. Yum! I made the meatballs with 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork. Served over noodles. The meatball recipe is very similar to my German hamburger recipe. Omit the anchovy and make into patties and fry them. Thanks for posting. :) Made for tag game.

teresas November 03, 2010

10 Stars for memory and taste gratification. These are just like my mother made them when I grew up in Berlin. She always had to sprinkle them with parsley or chives, because I did not like "Blond Dishes "as a little girl!:-)Since veal is $14>00 a pound I used Turkey , beef and pork instead. I had forgotten all about these until I ran across your recipe. They will now be made often. Thanks again.

Koechin (Chef) April 19, 2009