Dinner/ meat/ polish

Kotlety mielone (Polish meat patties)

19 July 2021 By Aleksandra

Kotlety mielone are delicious meat patties made from ground pork. It’s one of the most popular Polish dishes, it’s eaten by Polish families on a regular basis. These cutlets and thick and juicy, and so comforting.

Kotlety mielone (Polish meat patties) in a white-blue baking dish.

Kotlety mielone

Kotlety mielone are a staple in many Polish homes. The word ‘kotlety’ means ‘cutlets’ or ‘patties’ and ‘mielone’ means ‘ground’ so the name of this dish can be roughly translated as ground meat cutlets. They are crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. They are lightly seasoned and full of meat flavor so they are very popular among children.

Some people call these cutlets Polish hamburgers but I would call them a cross between a hamburger and a meatball.

Kotlety mielone (Polish meat patties) on a blue plate with potatoes and cucumber salad.

Ingredients

  • the meat – ground pork shoulder is usually used for this recipe, you can also use a mix of pork and beef – they will also be delicious, but these cutlets are really best and juiciest with just pork, some people also like to use veal or a mix or pork, beef, and veal
  • a piece of stale bread soaked in milk – contributes to making these cutlets moist, you want stale bread that will soak up as much milk as possible, if you only have fresh bread – remove the crust and toast it until it’s lightly dry, if you don’t have any bread on hand you can add some breadcrumbs but the cutlets are more moist with bread soaked in milk
  • onion – some people use raw grated onion and some sauteed onion in butter – I actually made two batches of these cutlets and tested them side by side and we liked them with raw grated onion much better, but my 4 yo preffered those with sauteed onion
  • egg – binds the meat mixture
  • cold water – this is really the secret ingredient of these cutlets! it may seem weird to add water to the meat mixture but please trust me – this is what makes these cutlets so tender and not dry
  • seasonings – these cutlets are seasoned with just onion, salt, and pepper, sometimes I like to add more seasonings like thyme, oregano, paprika, or French herbs but I wanted to make the most common version that is usually made by grandmas
  • breadcrumbs – they make the outside of these cutlets crunchy, use regular, finely ground breadcrumbs and not panko breadcrumbs which are not really known in Poland

Stuffed cutlets

Stuffing these cutlets is also very popular. The most popular stuffing is mushroom and cheese stuffing – you can use the same stuffing as in this recipe for mushroom-stuffed chicken breast.

How to make it step by step

STEP 1: Tear a piece of white bread or a small dinner roll into smaller pieces, add to a small bowl and pour in the milk. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread, you can discard the milk, we will only use soft bread.

STEP 2: Add lightly beaten egg, ground meat, onion grated on the large holes of a box grater, and soaked up bread into a medium bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper (I added 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper but you should add it to your taste). Make sure your bread is really soft and there are no large lumps. You should be able to break it up easily between your fingers, i your bread is not soft you can always process it in a food processor.

STEP 3: Knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined then slowly add cold water. Knead the mixture for a couple of minutes (I like to use my Kitchen Aid for that, fitted with a paddle attachment). It’s important to not just mix the ingredients until combined but to knead the mixture for a couple of minutes. The meat mixture should be uniform, smooth, and elastic. It will be rather loose.

STEP 4: Form round or oval, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick patties. The meat mixture will be loose but it should hold its shape. If it’s too loose – add some breadcrumbs to the mixture and if it’s not kind of gluey and well-binded, knead it a little bit longer. You should get 5 or 6 patties.

STEP 5 + 6: Coat the patties on both sides in breadcrumbs. They will be too delicate to pick up with your hands without deforming their shape so it’s best to use a thin spatula. It should also work without a spatula – if the patties lose their shape after coating them in breadcrumbs – just shape them again, they will be fine.

STEP 7: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. You should have enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/4-inch (5mm). Cook the cutlets on both sides until browned, making sure they are not overcrowded in the pan. They don’t have to be cooked through, just browned.

STEP 8: Transfer the cutlets to a baking dish (if you have not used an oven-safe frying pan) and bake them at 320°F (160°C) for about 15 minutes or until cooked through (safe internal temperature of ground pork is 160°F (71°C)).

Alternatively, you could add some water to the pan, cover it with a lid and steam the cutlets until done (I prefer to finish them in the oven – it’s easier and they won’t burn).

Enjoy!

Serving suggestions

Storage

These cutlets reheat very well but they are best freshly made – they are still delicious the next day, reheated, but are somehow a little bit more dense.

How to store them: store them in the fridge for up to 3 days in a tightly closed container.

How to reheat them: put them into a cold oven and set it to 320°F (160°C) and bake them for about 10-15 minutes or until warm.

How to freeze: wrap them individually in plastic wrap or put them into containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven or in a pan closed with a lid.

Kotlety mielone (Polish meat patties) on a blue plate with potatoes and cucumber salad.
One of the most popular ways to serve ‘kotlety mielone’ – with mizeria salad and potatoes.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Kotlety mielone (Polish meat patties)

Kotlety mielone are delicious meat patties made from ground pork. It’s one of the most popular Polish dishes, it’s eaten by Polish families on a regular basis. These cutlets and thick and juicy, and so comforting.
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Ground pork patties, potatoes, and cucumber salad on a blue plate.
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No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 patties
Calories 307kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 small stale dinner roll or 2 slices white stale bread
  • 1/2 cup milk 120ml
  • 1 lb ground pork 450g
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cold water 60ml
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons frying oil

Instructions

  • Tear a piece of white bread or a small dinner roll into smaller pieces, add to a small bowl and pour in the milk. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread, you can discard the milk, we will only use soft bread.
  • Add lightly beaten egg, ground meat, onion grated on the large holes of a box grater, and soaked up bread into a medium bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper (I added 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper but you should add it to your taste). Make sure your bread is really soft and there are no large lumps. You should be able to break it up easily between your fingers, i your bread is not soft you can always process it in a food processor.
  • Knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined then slowly add cold water. Knead the mixture for a couple of minutes (I like to use my Kitchen Aid for that, fitted with a paddle attachment). It’s important to not just mix the ingredients until combined but to knead the mixture for a couple of minutes. The meat mixture should be uniform, smooth, and elastic. It will be rather loose.
  • Form round or oval, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick patties. The meat mixture will be loose but it should hold its shape. If it’s too loose – add some breadcrumbs to the mixture and if it’s not kind of gluey and well-binded, knead it a little bit longer. You should get 5 or 6 patties.
  • Coat the patties on both sides in breadcrumbs. They will be too delicate to pick up with your hands without deforming their shape so it’s best to use a thin spatula. It should also work without a spatula – if the patties lose their shape after coating them in breadcrumbs – just shape them again, they will be fine.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. You should have enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/4-inch (5mm). Cook the cutlets on both sides until browned, making sure they are not overcrowded in the pan. They don’t have to be cooked through, just browned.
  • Transfer the cutlets to a baking dish (if you have not used an oven-safe frying pan) and bake them at 320°F (160°C) for about 15 minutes or until cooked through (safe internal temperature of ground pork is 160°F (71°C)). Alternatively, you could add some water to the pan, cover it with a lid and steam the cutlets until done (I prefer to finish them in the oven – it’s easier and they won’t burn).
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient notes:
    • the meat – ground pork shoulder is usually used for this recipe, you can also use a mix of pork and beef – they, some people also like to use veal or a mix or pork, beef, and veal
    • a piece of stale bread soaked in milk – if you only have fresh bread – remove the crust and toast it until it’s lightly dry, if you don’t have any bread on hand you can add some breadcrumbs but the cutlets are more moist with bread soaked in milk
    • onion – you could also try to sautee the onion in butter (I prefer them with raw grated onion)
    • cold water – this is really the secret ingredient of these cutlets! it may seem weird to add water to the meat mixture but please trust me – this is what makes these cutlets so tender and not dry
    • seasonings – these cutlets are seasoned with just onion, salt, and pepper, sometimes I like to add more seasonings like thyme, oregano, paprika, or French herbs but I wanted to make the most common version that is usually made by grandmas
    • breadcrumbs – use regular, finely ground breadcrumbs and not panko breadcrumbs
    • you can stuff these cutlets with sauteed mushrooms and cheese
  • See blog post for serving suggestions and storage instructions.
  • Calories = 1 cutlet (1/5 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine polish
Keyword ground pork patties, kotlety mielone, polish hamburgers, polish meat patties

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