A recipe for Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings)! Leftover cubes of bread are formed into dumplings with Speck, herbs, and spices.
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Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings)
For today’s event, I am sharing a recipe for Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings). These hearty dumplings are the perfect use for stale or leftover rolls and the ultimate comfort food.
The leftover bread is cut into small cubes (no larger than 1/2 inch, 1.25 centimeters wide), softened with hot milk, and kneaded with a mixture of onions, Speck, parsley, flour, salt, and nutmeg to form the dumpling base.
The mixture is then divided into individual compact balls about 2.5- 3 inches (6-8 centimeters) wide and simmered in water until they are heated through and float to the top.
The Italian version just across the border in Trentino-Alto Adige (South Tyrol) is known as Canederli.
If available, try to use leftover Austrian or German-style white rolls such as Kaiser rolls. For those in the Northern Virginia area, I have been able to locate them at Wegmans and German Gourmet. If unavailable, other types of bread will do as long as it is stale.
In specialty markets, there may even be a bread specifically packaged for these dumplings and already cut into cubes called Knödelbrot.
Speck (Südtiroler Speck) is a dry-cured, lightly smoked ham that originated in Alto Adige and is now under Protected Geographical Indication status. It is often used in northern Italian, German, and Austrian cuisine.
The exterior is darker in appearance due to the smoking process and spice blend with juniper. You can find it in some larger grocery stores (locally I have found it in the deli section of Wegmans) or in Central European specialty stores.
If you are unable to locate it, substitute with a fatty prosciutto or Black Forest bacon (I have seen this at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s), though the flavor won’t be exactly the same.
A Few Tips
If the mixture is too dry to form into a ball, add a little more milk. If too wet, add a little more flour (take care not to add too much). Some recipes use breadcrumbs instead of flour to thicken the mixture.
Lightly moisten your hands with water to form the dumplings. This will help keep them from sticking. Press the mixture together well to form a compact ball.
After bringing the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a light simmer before adding the Speckknödel. A heavy boil will cause the dumplings to fall apart.
Cook the Speckknödel in batches to keep the pot from overcrowding and cooling off the water. It usually takes me 2-3 batches for this recipe.
Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the dumplings from the water.
Avoiding meat? Omit the Speck to make plain Semmelknödel and serve them in a vegetable-based broth.
These Tiroler Speckknödel are quite versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. I personally love Speckknödelsuppe- pairing the dumplings with a rich homemade beef broth. It is simple and comforting.
They can also be served with a salad, arranged over a bed of Sauerkraut (Speckknödel mit Sauerkraut), or with a rich gravy.
Similar to my Kniddelen (Luxembourgish Dumplings) and Schwäbische Maultaschen (German Meat and Spinach Dumplings), leftovers are delicious cut into slices and pan-fried in butter until browned.
Check out what everyone else made!
- Easy Chicken Soup with Drop Dumplings from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Gogi Mandu (Korean Meat Dumplings) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Kothey Momo with Tomato Dipping Sauce from Sneha’s Recipe
- Pork Potstickers from Palatable Pastime
- Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings) from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Ukrainian Spinach and Potato Dumplings from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Whole Wheat Spinach and Paneer Dumplings from Magical Ingredients
Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings) Recipe
Tiroler Speckknödel (Austrian Speck Dumplings)
- 7 ounces (200 grams) stale white rolls
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) milk hot
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion peeled and finely diced
- 3.5 ounces (100 grams) Speck finely diced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (5 grams) fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Beef broth hot
- Fresh chives thinly sliced.
- Cut the stale rolls into small cubes no bigger than 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeters) wide. Place them in a large bowl.
- Pour the hot milk over the cubed rolls. Set aside and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
- Melt the butter over medium low heat in a large pan. Add the onion and Speck.
- Cook, stirring often, until the onions are just softened and translucent, but not browned. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
- Once the onions and Speck have cooled, add to the bowl with the bread. Add the eggs, flour, parsley, salt, and nutmeg.
- Mix together the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
- Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, then divide into 10 equal pieces.
- Lightly moisten hands with water and form each piece into a compact ball. Each ball should be about 2.5- 3 inches (6-8 centimeters) wide.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add the Speckknödel in batches. Cook until floating to the top and heated through, about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the dumplings from the water.
- Serve immediately in hot beef broth with fresh chives.