Old school Danish comfort food at its best. These Danish Breaded Pork Patties (Karbonader) have a crispy outside and a tender, juicy center, and filled with subtle flavors that make the pork the hero of the dish.
What are Danish Breaded Pork Patties (Karbonader)?
Danish Breaded Pork Patties, also known as Karbonader, are a popular dish in Denmark. They are made with a ground pork mixture that is shaped into patties, breaded and then fried. The patties are often served as a main course with a variety of sides such as boiled potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam.
The ground pork mixture for the patties typically includes pork shoulder, salt, pepper, and sometimes a small amount of allspice or nutmeg. The meat is then shaped into patties and coated in a breading made from breadcrumbs, and seasonings such as salt, pepper and sometimes paprika. The patties are then fried in a pan with butter or oil until golden brown and cooked through.
Karbonader is often served as a traditional Danish dinner, and it’s a popular dish that can be found in many Danish households. It is also served in many Danish restaurants and is considered a staple dish of Danish cuisine. The gravy is typically made from a roux and a bit of pork or beef broth, and the lingonberry jam is a sweet-tart condiment that pairs well with the richness of the meat.
There are also variations of the dish like Frikadeller and Bøf Karbonade, which are made with a mix of ground pork and ground beef or a cut of beef. Overall, Karbonader is a classic and beloved dish in Denmark, its simple yet satisfying flavor and texture make it a favorite among both locals and visitors.
At the Mart-Man’s request, I served these with caramelized onions and a rich and tasty brown gravy.
Ingredients in Danish Breaded Pork Patties:
Ground pork is my go-to but mixture of ground pork and veal is absolutory delicious as well.
Salt and pepper are the only spices added to the ground pork allowing it to truly shine. Trust me these pork patties are not bland at alllllll.
Breadcrumbs (I use Italian breadcrumb, shhhhhh it will be our little secret).
Eggs to make the breadcrumbs adhere to the patties.
Onions that become soft and sweet that are slightly sweet with a deep complex flavor from the caramelization.
All purpose flour to make a roux to thicken that luscious gravy and beef stock to smooth it all out.
Apple cider. I don’t know where I picked this trick up, but the additional of apple cider acts as the acid in the gravy. It gives the gravy a complex slightly sweet flavor that also has a touch of tartness. The layer of flavor it gives is phenomenal.
How to Make Danish Breaded Pork Patties – Karbonader
Combine the pork, salt and pepper and form into patties.
Add oil to a large skillet and melt butter in it. This imparts the butter flavor while raising the smoking point of the butter so that burning does not become a problem.
Fry the patties about five minutes on each side until crispy and the patties have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Remove the pork patties and set aside.
Add onion to the drippings in the skillet and cook low and slow until caramelized.
Remove onion from the skillet and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add the flour to the skillet and make a dark roux, stirring constantly.
Add beef stock to the roux about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes until all of the flour taste is gone.
I like to strain the gravy to get rid of any of the fronds tha have come up from the bottom of the pan and finish it off with a pat of butter. This makes it sickly smooth.
Spoon the gravy onto the bottom of a plate, top with Danish Pork Patties and caramelized onions. Serve and make all of those taste buds so very happy.
If you love it, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and this would help me with future recipes!
Contact me if you would like to see any of your childhood favorites updated or reinvented.
Danish Breaded Pork Patties (Karbonader)
- 1.5 pounds ground pork
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1.5 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4 tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 onions sliced
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- Combine ground pork, salt, and pepper and form into 5 about a 3/4 inch patties.
- Heat a large skittle to medium - medium hit and add the oil and melt the 2 tbsp of butter.
- Fry the patties about 5 minutes per side until an internal temperature of 145° is reached. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium - medium low and add the sliced onions. After about 10 minutes add a touch of salt to the onions and continue to cook for another 30 minutes until soft and caramelized, stirring often.
- Remove the onions from the skillet and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Increase heat to medium - medium hi and add the flour whisking continuously until the flour has reached a nice dark brown color. If you feel like the roux is cooking too quickly simply remove the skillet from the heat until cooled down a little and return to the heat source.
- Add beef stock about 1/4 of a cup at a time, whisking each well in between to incorporate before adding the next 1/4 of a cup.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until nice a thick.
- This is options, but I like to strain my gravy through a sieve to remove any fronds that have come up from the bottom of the skillet.
- Return the gravy to the skillet and finish off with a tablespoon of butter. Whisk in well until melted.
- Serve layering the gravy, pork patties, and topped with the caramelized onions.