KARTOFFELKLOESSE and POT ROAST – a special German traditional meal.

Hi there,

I don’t know what the weather is like in your part of the world, gentle reader, but it is cold and windy here in New Jersey. The upside to cold weather is comfort food. Any food that is roasted, braised, or boiled becomes a welcome meal to restore warmth and cheer to me. Fortunately, my old friend Debbie sent me a recipe and a story that will fill your stomach and your heart with warmth.

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.
-James Beard


My (Favorite)cousin Dori lived next door to her German  grandparents, Nonny and Pa Burgermaster in Kearny NJ. When my family visited from Lake Mohawk where I grew up we would go over to Nonny and Pa’s  and she would teach us all kinds of things including  cooking . I was about was 10 or 11 when she taught us this and many years later,  long after Nonny and Pa had passed , I got this recipe from Dori . This is how Dori remembered the recipe Kartoffelkloesse  About 6 

Two large potatoes 

two pieces of bread cubed one egg 

1/2 cup of flour 

1/8 Cup corn starch

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg butter 

cook potatoes in skin for 45 minutes 

cut the bread into cubes and sauté in butter 

cool cooked potatoes 


cut into large pieces refrigerate until cool about 30 minutes 

Then rice the potatoes in a ricer 

mix in salt and nutmeg and a half a cup of flour and cornstarch using hands mix until dough forms 

Mix in the egg 

If it is too sticky add a little more flour. Roll a red cube into the center of each dub dumpling plop them one by one into boiling water and cook for 15 minutes until they rise to the top you can do four or five at a time. Do not let them touch each other.When all of the dumplings are cooked drain and  dry them. The last step is to sauté some Panko breadcrumbs in some butter until they are toasted and then add the dumplings . Roll them around in the breadcrumbs so they get well coated . Serve . If you have roast gravy , spoon some on the dumplings . (Heaven )These are so good and I only make them when I make pot roast . But now I will be making them with your delicious pork roast . 


My pot roast is from a 1967 cookbook The complete Round the World Meat Cookbook.  This one is called Pieczen Hisarska or Pot Roast Hussar style.

3 pound I round roast of beef 

4 tablespoons of butter one cup of sliced onions 1/2 cup of vodka 

2 1/2 teaspoons of salt 

3/4 of a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper 

For the stuffing * see note at the end . 

1 and 1/2  cups of chopped onions 

1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs 

2 tablespoons of minced parsley 

1 tablespoon of flour 

1/2 cup of beef broth.  

Put the meat in a hot skillet and brown it on all sides. Drain melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven, add the meat and sliced onions. Cook until the onions brown. Add the vodka, 2 teaspoons of salt and a half 2 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and cook over a low  heat for two or more hours until tender turning a few times. Remove the meat from the pan, cut into thin slices leaving the bottom uncut.

While the meat is cooking melt  the remaining butter in a skillet, sauté the chopped onions for five minutes. Mix in the breadcrumbs parsley and remaining salt and pepper. Put some of the mixture between every second slice. Press me together into original shape. Return to the pan and sprinkle the top with flour add the broth recover and cook 30 minutes longer. Cut the meat through the bottom on the unstuffed slices. There will now be sets of two slices with stuffing between for serving. Served the pan juices separately

Now let me say here that I have used all kinds of beef for this recipe but only the eye round will slice properly when you stuff the breadcrumbs between slices . 

But if I want to forgo the stuffing part , which I usually do , use any 4 or 5 pound piece  of meat you like . So…in that case the meal becomes more like a traditional pot roast .  I add more Vodka, more beef broth canned or jarred and surprisingly a jar of red cabbage ! Now the meat is swimming in juices but the gravy is wonderful. I literally cook it in my covered  pot for  hours , as much as 8 hours ..on very low heat until it’s fork tender .  I’m kind of a crazy cook and I change recipes all the time as I did this one but it’s really good and I only make it in the winter.  This I alternately serve with potato pancakes . 

Steve’s mom introduced me to these 55 years ago . That recipe is  in my head…. shredded raw  potatoes, grated onions  egg , flour,  salt and pepper. Mix with hands . Place in pan , pat down to flatten  cook in butter about 5 mins on each side . Place in warm oven as you keep making more . 

I’m so happy to share these recipes with you because that’s what friends do and also because it brought back some wonderful memories of my family who I miss very much. 


26 responses to “KARTOFFELKLOESSE and POT ROAST – a special German traditional meal.”

  1. I love reading your stories and planning to try your recipies, unfortunately I don’t always follow through and make them. I do sometimes change them so they are easier for me to do quickly. I also try to make light food as my hubby works until 7:00 evenings and it is too late for heavy meals. Thanks for posting and hope your new year is going great.

  2. How great to have a recipe for potato dumplings. Mom made hers a bit different (with left over mashed potatoes) but these look great. We ate mostly German food and often had potato pancakes too.

      • Sometimes, but we had mashed potatoes at other times too. My dad was a meat and potato kind of guy and mashed potatoes were his favourite. With three brothers, there were seldom leftovers!

  3. Oh, the memories of cooking with grandmothers! This is sweet, and the pot roast sounds delicious. Never heard of cooking beef in vodka before, but I guess it makes sense for the meal. And the potato pancakes at the end sound so similar to the crispy latkes I make at Hanukkah!

  4. Now that looks like the perfect comfort food for a cold day (we had pot roast last night). Now I need to try make kartoffelkloesse (that’s a mouthful – lol). Thanks for the recipe, Bernadette.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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