5 Star Makeover: Tirolerknödel with Foie Gras Sausages

Ever since the new year I was on the hunt for an Austrian recipe, a part of my ancestral roots. I had settled on Knödel and when I found out the theme for January’s 5 Star Makeover was meatballs I knew it was more than a coincidence.

Knödel are large round potato or bread dumplings, typical of Austrian, German, Hungarian and Czech cuisine. Usually they are served as a side dish for meat, goulash or in soups. But they can also be served as a dessert, such as filled with plums. I have had this dish exactly only twice in my life. My dad is Austrian and does not cook so I never ate many Austrian dishes. My first time was at my cousin’s place (my dad’s nephew) for dinner and once was in a brauhaus in Austria.

So this could fall into the meatball category I chose a very typical Austrian knödel from the state of Tyrol where smoked bacon (Speck) or sausage are added to the dumpling dough. These are called Tirolerknödel, or Tyrolean Dumplings. A now gourmet dish found in Austrian menus, Tirolerknödel  was actually food for the poor prior to the ski industry and some say the recipe is about 3000 years old.

Knödelfest in St Johann, Tyrol - photo Martin Lugger

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

I decided to use small Fois Gras Sausage I discovered recently. They are make with pork, duck and foie gras. My meat ingredient definitely brought on the gourmet touch. My knödels were surprisingly flavorful and delicate, a real treat. They are so easy to make you should definitely try them out on your family for dinner, or even better after a day of skying.

Ξ Tirolerknödel with Foie Gras Sausages Ξ

8 oz stale bread or rolls, torn apart or cubed
3/4 cup milk, warmed
5 oz Foie Gras Sausage (or any sausage)
1 tbsp butter
1/2  large yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I used coriander)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour, give or take


Place the bread in a bowl and pour the milk evenly over it. Stir and set aside.

Place the Foie Gras Sausages in a skillet and fry until browned. Remove from skillet and cut into small pieces.

Add the butter and onions to skillet and fry until translucent and amber colored. Stir in the parsley and set aside to cool.

Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs to the bread mixture. Add the cooled onions and sausages.
Combine well with your  hands. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the mixture hold a bit better, it should feel like a very sticky dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Form 10 small dumplings with wet hands and drop into the boiling water. Reduce the heat so the water simmers gently and cook for about 15 minutes. Dumplings are done when they float. Serve with a hot broth and garnish with parsley.

The knödels are very delicate when you take them out of the boiling water but will hold better after they cool down a bit. The inside is very moist, a bit like a savory bread pudding. If you have leftovers slice them up and frying them in a skillet for breakfast.

A note on the foie gras sausage:  Wish I took a pic of the package but it is long gone in the trash. But I bought them at my local’s farmer’s market this summer and kept them frozen. This is not a common product at all. Only hint I found online is this french website advertising the sausages.  They are cocktail sized, white and the first ingredients should read pock, duck and foie gras.

23 comments to 5 Star Makeover: Tirolerknödel with Foie Gras Sausages

  • […] left with a bunch of herbs without planned use. In comes the punch of parsley I purchased for the Tyrolean Knodel I made again last week. I only needed a little and I had so much […]

  • Oh Yum! This looks super delicious!

  • Now that’s a classy makeover! I went to Austria many times, but for some reason never had knödel – I always veered toward the schnitzel. Thanks for sharing the existence of foie gras sausages!

  • alors là je suis épaté du foie gras dans une saucisse !! bravo pour oser !!Pierre

  • I have this motto – I hate all liver that isn’t called foie gras. I think you just made the best take on the meatball in the world, Ev! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. On that note – I’ve got to get me some foie gras sausages!

  • Yes indeed, you had many of us at foie gras sausage! Certainly adds a gourmet touch to these delicate dumplings. Thanks for sharing the background on Tirolerknödel – so interesting. Great addition to the roundup!

  • You are going to be my oldest sons hero with these, and the foie gras sausage he may just stalk you for :) What a beautiful and elegant recipe! An amazing job with this challenge my friend!

  • These are some fancy meatballs (or knodels)!They look and sound lovely. Can’t get much classier than foie.

  • I’d love to eat these one day. I’ve only had the opportunity to eat Foie Gras once and I’ve wanted to try it again since.

  • OMG. You are aware that I went on what can only be described as a knodel bender inVienna?? Love. Them. This is pure awesomeness.

  • WOW, Evelyne, you are so creative! I’ve never heard of these dumplings before, but they do sound intriguing! Amazing job, as always!

  • call me a terrible blogger, but i thought i had you on bloglovin! i do now :)

    p.s. foie gras sausage??! Are you kidding me?? Suave lady. Suave.

  • Debi Shawcross

    Yep…the foie gras sausage is a star in this dish!

  • I never had meatball dumplings but it sounds great with Foie Gras Sausage !!

  • Joan Nova

    This is such a different dish and I thank you for introducing it to us…but where do you find Foie Gras sausage?? I “need” to know! :)

    I look forward to joining the group next month.

  • Liz

    These are definitely gourmet dumplings…I think I need to find the foie gras sausage…mmmmmmm. And, thank you so much for your sweet words of condolence.

  • Leftovers? Probably not. They look way too delicious.
    I’ve been wanting to make dumplings for soup other than my standard matzoh balls, I think these would be a big hit around here.
    And if I still skied, this is what I would want after a long day on the slopes…
    Terrific addition to the Cooking Group Evelyne! Congrats!

  • Austrian Food Recipe

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  • Looks interesting. Never had a dumpling made from bread crumbs, will try it for sure. Al least you tried it twice already, I never even heard about it:)

  • Foie gras sausages! I’ve never heard of it, but I already know my husband will go search it if I talk about it! I loved you talked about and bring some dish from your roots. This looks amazingly delicious. I wouldn’t have known this delicious meal if you didn’t talk about it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Love learning about cultural heritage through cuisine – well done on taking this Austrian classic and making it not only fit this month’s theme, but also adding a serious gourmet twist with those delicious-sounding sausages!

  • 5 Star Foodie

    Very unique! These must be especially amazing with the foie gras sausage. So delicate! A terrific makeover!