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Old 10-23-2006, 12:07 PM   #1
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German Meatball sauce help

This is the second time I've cooked this. The meatballs turn out great but the sauce comes out more like a gravy than a "sauce". I started out by reducing 3 cans of beef broth, 1/2 cup sherry and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. I reduced this for about 90 minutes. I thickened it with flour (may have been the mistake). The German meatballs I have had in a German restaraunt has more of a tangy thick dark sauce (almost looks like chocolate). Any ideas?

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Old 10-23-2006, 12:11 PM   #2
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I'm not a gravy expert but I'd say it just needs more thickening. I use a slurry of cornstarch and water. Heat to get the starch taste out and heat to make sure it thickens enough.

Anyone else have any ideas?

The tang would come from vinegar.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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Maybe they use a browning and seasoning sauce like Kitchen Bouquet and instead of flour use corn startch. Just a guess.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yep, the flour was your mistake. If you don't want a "thick" gravy then you need to avoid the thickening agents. The reduction you did likely would have been enough, don't forget though that some of the moisture from the meatballs will go into your sauce. Perhaps reduce a bit more before you put the meatballs in?

Are you also asking how to give the sauce some tang? And what kind of tang? Citrus? BBQ sauce flavour?
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:15 PM   #5
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Thickening a sauce with flour makes it a gravy. Reducing beef broth, cherry and nutmeg will not thicken it. Try thickening it with a cornstarch slurry.

I agree with the addition of a bit of vinegar to add the tang.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help. I'll try that next time.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:21 PM   #7
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Andy M - we used to thicken a few things with cornstarch versus flour - I guess that is why.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:37 PM   #8
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I would think that reducing canned beef broth enough that it "thickens" in consistency would result in it being VERY salty!

Am not sure what you are trying to accomplish by reducing it.

I looked up a couple of German meatball recipes and found beef broth, lemon juice and capers to be common ingredients. Also some use sour cream.

None reduced the broth. They either used a roux or deglazed the meatball cooking pan and added flour, then the capers and lemon juice or sour cream.
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