Kniddelen are Luxembourg’s soft dumplings which are boiled and served with a rich buttery sauce and lardon bacon. They can also be enjoyed with a side of apple compote.
Luxembourg National Day!
Today is Luxembourg’s National Day, better known as the Grand Duke’s Birthday (although technically it isn’t actually his birthday). This year we will be celebrating it differently than usual, as normal events and festivities have been cancelled. Normally, on the eve of the Grand Duke’s Birthday, there would be a great number of events all around the city with a fireworks show at night which lights up the whole city. All the streets of Luxembourg City, even the narrow ones, are all packed with people enjoying the open-air parties and eating some of the local specialities.
On the actual National day, the celebrations consists of a military parade through the city in front of the Grand Duke himself! I’ve been several times and it’s real fun to experience, except when it is scorching hot, in fact the first year I got sunburned really bad! However, it is one of those rare occasions when you get to see the Grand Duke. I have to be honest, whenever I see his car arriving at the parade, I don’t know what happens but I find myself waving back every single time.
Let’s focus back on the food, as that is what we are here for, right? Some of the Luxembourgish foods you can find in the stalls around the city consists of: a variety of sausages (any doubt there?) which has to be eaten with Luxembourgish mustard, gromperekichelcher (potato fritters) served with apple sauce, some great Luxembourgish beer and finally, kniddelen. Kniddelen, shall be my first Luxembourgish recipe that I share with you here on this space.
What are Kniddelen?
Well, basically they are Luxembourgish boiled dumplings. Traditionally, they are served with bacon lardon and with some apple compote on the side. However, you can also find them with cream, cheese and other toppings. They were considered to be a poor men’s dish as they only consist of few basic cheap ingredients which can be found in everyone’s house. Yet, let me tell you they are a true delicacy enjoyed to this day by everyone all over the country! In fact, apart from being served in the stalls for annual events around the city and the Christmas Markets, you can enjoy this dish at most of the restaurants who serve Luxembourgish cuisine!
Kniddelen was one of the first Luxembourgish dishes that I had when I moved here, together with gromperekichelcher – a recipe which I will be sharing with you later on. Now they also became the first Luxembourgish dish which I made from scratch at home! Knowing that this year most of the city’s activities will be cancelled, and I won’t get to enjoy some of this food which I always look forward to, I decided to search around and create my own version of Kniddelen. That was a great decision as they are amazing! Also, they are so fun to make! However, you do need a bit of patience to make them.
- 400 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml milk
- 200 g lardon bacon
- 50 g butter
- In a large bowl sieve together the flour and salt. Make a well with the flour and salt mixture.
- In the middle of the flour well, place the eggs and start beating while incorporating the flour slowly and a shaggy dough is formed.
- Add the milk slowly and continue to mix until a smooth and runny dough is formed. The consistency is like an elastic dense batter.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Once it starts boiling season well with salt. With two tablespoons, form the dumpling and throw it in the boiling water. They will sink to the bottom but they will start floating up to the surface once they're almost cooked. Let cook for an additional 30 seconds. Pick them up with a slotted spoon and place them on a prepared plate lined with tissue paper. Drain the excess water and transfer again to a prepared dish while you continue to cook the other dumplings. It is important to cook in batches and do not overcrowd the pot.
- Once you've cooked all of your dumplings. In a frying pan cook the lardon until the fat is melted and they get browned and crispy. Add the butter and let melt until a nice sauce is formed.
- You can either serve the sauce on top of the dumplings or else, toss the the dumplings in the frying pan with the sauce and let them toast slightly. I prefer the latter.
- Serve immediately! I like to serve mine with some grated cheese on top and some chives. Traditionally, it is served also with a side of apple sauce.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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