The German Kartoffelknödel or Kloß is yet another ode to the humble potato – warm, hearty, and reminiscent of fireside dinners in the winter time. The perfect accompaniment to roasted veggies and cabbage dishes, these pair beautifully with proteins doused in gravies – here we have opted for the Oumph! The Chunks, which add a meaty contrast to please even the staunchest omnivorous relatives. The fluffy dumplings soak up the sauce and unite the plate for a mouth-watering experience.
German Potato Dumplings with Mushroom Gravy
- 1 package Oumph! The Chunks, frozen
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Vegan mushroom gravy
- 1/4 cup sliced dried mushrooms (such as porcini or shiitake mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon plant-based butter
- 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup carrots, washed and finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, leaves only, roughly chopped (about 6 sprigs)
- 5 whole allspice berries or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock, plus more to thin the gravy
- Fine salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
German potato dumplings
- 6 medium 1 kilogram evenly-sized starchy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold, Russet, or Idaho), unpeeled
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons plant-based butter, diced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup 125 grams cornstarch, plus more for kneading
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Steamed cabbage, peas, or carrots
Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add The Chunks in a single layer and fry until browned and crispy, 2-3 minutes per side.
VEGAN MUSHROOM GRAVY
In a small heatproof bowl, add 1 cup (250 milliliters) boiling water and dried mushrooms. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, onions, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Reduce heat if it starts to stick and burn.
Add the garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The more brown and caramelized bits there are, the more complex and flavourful the gravy.
Stir in the rosemary, allspice, and red wine. Simmer until syrupy, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the rehydrated mushrooms, their soaking liquid, tomato paste, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and 1/2 cup vegetable stock. Gently simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer mixture into a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. For a really smooth gravy, use a high-powered blender or strain the gravy through a fine-meshed sieve.
Adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper, and soy sauce, to taste. If the gravy is too thick, thin with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or water. Cover and keep warm.
GERMAN POTATO DUMPLINGS
In a large saucepan, add potatoes and cover with cold water. Season the water well with salt to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to simmer until the potatoes are tender and cooked through, 30-45 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a small knife into the center.The potato should easily slide off under its own weight. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
Rinse the same saucepan, fill with water, and season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a bare simmer. This is for poaching the dumplings when ready.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes with a paring knife while holding them with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer the potatoes into a large bowl and mash them until smooth using a potato ricer or masher.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, nutmeg, and black pepper. Mix with a fork to combine.
Add cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Knead the dough for 20 seconds until smooth and homogenous. The dough should keep its shape and be neither crumbly nor sticky. Add more cornstarch if needed.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces (about 1/4 cup/60 grams each). Use damp hands to roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball (about 2 1/2 inches/6 centimeters).
Lower the dumplings gently into the simmering water with a slotted spoon. The dumplings will sink to the bottom, then float up after a few minutes. Gently loosen with a spoon if they stick to the bottom. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender, but still smooth and holding their shape. Continue to adjust the heat to keep the water at a bare simmer.
Gently transfer the dumplings using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess moisture. They are very delicate at this stage. Rest for 5 minutes to firm up.
Divide the dumplings, The Chunks, and gravy among 4 plates. Garnish with parsley and serve with steamed cabbage, peas, or carrots.
Feel free to use leftover potatoes to make the dumplings. Fresh thyme is a great substitute for rosemary or use a combination. If you don’t have time to make gravy, substitute with any vegan gravy.
The gravy can easily be doubled and frozen. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge, then reheat on the stove until piping hot all the way through.
If unsure about the texture of the dumpling dough, cook a test dumpling. If the dumpling falls apart, knead in 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch and test again.