Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (2024)

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Traditional Polish kotlety are one of the most popular simple everyday meals in Poland. They are deliciously soft and succulent on the inside and crispy on the outside. Made using a handful of ingredients they come together in under 30 minutes.

See also Polish egg patties!

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (1)

Polish Kotlety Mielone, sometimes also called Polish ‘burgers’ or Polish ‘hamburgers’, are the most popular dish using ground meat in Poland (followed by pulpety meatballs). They even derive their name from this ingredient – ‘kotlety’ means ‘cutlets’ or ‘patties’, while ‘mielone’ means ‘ground’ or ‘minced’.

Growing up they were a staple in most Polish homes (a bit like bolognese is for many families) and I remember having them for dinner several times a month. Along with pierogi, bigos, golabki or meat jelly kotlety mielone are some of the most quintessential dishes of traditional Polish cooking.

What meat to use for authentic Polish kotlety

The most popular meat used to make these kotlety has always been pork (most often pork shoulder). Some people also like to use a combination of pork and beef. These days people often opt for healthier choices and use turkey instead (or in combination with pork).

Pork can be quite a fatty meat and has often been credited with making these cutlets soft and succulent. In my view, however, it’s the combination of all the kotlety ingredients that produces tender and juicy kotlety. In fact, if your meat contains too much fat the patties may shrink as they fry and turn out simply greasy (7-10% fat is sufficient).

Polish kotlety ingredients and substitutions

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (2)
  • Ground meat: see details above.
  • Stale bun: softens the mixture and absorbs the juices from the meat (also works well in meatball recipes). If you use breadcrumbs instead your patties will be good but not quite as fluffy and soft.
  • Water: for soaking the bun. Some people prefer to use milk instead, but it’s not necessary.
  • Egg: binds the mixture.
  • Onion: adds flavour and moisture.
  • Breadcrumbs: used for coating. Homemade breadcrumbs work perfectly.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Vegetable oil: for frying.

How to make Polish burgers: step-by-step

1.Prepare bun: Place in a bowl, cover with water and set aside for 10 minutes (if the bun floats on top cover it with a small plate, or similar, to make sure it’s fully immersed in the water).

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (3)

2. Drain then squeeze excess water from the bun (do this thoroughly). Shred the bun (it will be very soft).

3. Prepare onion: Either chop very finely by hand, grate or blend in a food processor (recommended).

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (4)

4. Make kotlety mixture: Combine the meat, shredded bun, egg, onion and seasoning.

5. Using your hands mix the ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, the mixture is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands as much (do this for 3-4 minutes). It will feel very soft. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, if possible.

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (5)
Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (6)

6. Form kotlety, coat in breadcrumbs: Remove the mixture from the fridge. Form round (or oval shaped) patties, place in the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly. They will be soft, but this is good as it means they will have a soft texture. You should get about 10 patties.

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (7)

7. Fry: In a large non-stick pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the kotlety over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until nicely browned (be careful not to brown them too quickly). Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove bits of breadcrumbs from the pan (and add more oil) before frying another batch.

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (8)

8. Serve immediately or briefly place on top of a paper towel sheet to remove excess oil (if necessary).

What to serve with Polish meat patties

For a typically Polish meal serve the kotlety with mashed or simply boiled potatoes and any Polish-style salad including sauerkraut, mizeria or beet. If you are pressed for time you can serve them with sliced dill pickles (this is a good way of using up any leftover pickles you might have after making dill pickle soup). Garden peas, cooked or steamed carrots, green beans and broccoli will also work well.

My favourite way of enjoying leftover kotlety is to have them cold, sliced through the middle, in a sandwich, with dill pickles, mustard or lettuce (a popular item in my lunch box as a child). I also love kotlety straight from the fridge with a spoonful of beetroot chutney.

If you like this recipe see also these other traditional Polish dishes, including potato pancakes, potato salad and chicken noodle soup.

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (9)

Top tips

  • Use either ground pork or turkey with approx. 7% of fat (or a little more, if you like, but I don’t recommend using meat with a high fat content).
  • To save time prepare the onion while the bun is soaking in water.
  • It is important to mix the ingredients together very thoroughly (spend 3-4 minutes doing this step) as this will give your patties a soft texture.
  • Rub a little oil in your hands (or sprinkle with water) before forming the patties (to prevent the mixture sticking to your hands).
  • Polish kotlety mielone should be bigger than meatballs but smaller than burgers.
  • You can prepare the mixture (and keep refrigerated) for up to 4 hours in advance. It might become a little too moist if left for longer.
  • Fry the kotlety over a medium heat making sure they don’t brown too quickly (adjust the heat accordingly).
  • Best served hot.
  • Keep leftovers covered, refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Reheating and freezing

You can reheat Polish kotlety either in the microwave or frying pan (using a small amount of oil), although they won’t be as fluffy (or crispy) as freshly made ones.

To freeze Polish meat patties arrange them in a single layer on top of a tray/plate and freeze for 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and transfer into an airtight container separating each with a piece of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and fry the next day as per Instructions.

Recipe

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (10)

Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe

Traditional Polish kotlety are one of the most popular simple everyday meals in Poland. They are deliciously soft and succulent on the inside and crispy on the outside.

5 from 1 vote

Print Pin Rate

Prep Time: 18 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes minutes

Servings: 10 patties

Calories: 102kcal

Author: Monika Dabrowski

Equipment

  • Food processor optional

  • Large non-stick pan

Ingredients

  • 1.1 pounds (500 g) ground pork or turkey approx. 7% fat, see *Notes below
  • 1 small stale bun or ½ large, plus water for soaking, see Instructions below
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium egg
  • teaspoon fine sea salt and ½ tsp pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons breadcrumbs for coating
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Prepare bun: Place in a bowl, cover with water and set aside for 10 minutes (if the bun floats on top cover it with a small plate, or similar, to make sure it’s fully immersed in the water).

    Drain then squeeze excess water from the bun (do this thoroughly). Shred the bun (it will be very soft).

  • Prepare onion: Either chop very finely by hand, grate or blend in a food processor (recommended).

  • Make kotlety mixture: Combine the meat, shredded bun, egg, onion and seasoning. Using your hands mix the ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated, the mixture is smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands as much (do this for 3-4 minutes). It will feel very soft. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, if possible.

  • Form kotlety, coat in breadcrumbs: Remove the mixture from the fridge. Form round (or oval shaped) patties, place in the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly. They will be soft, but this is good as it means they will have a soft texture. You should get about 10 patties.

  • Fry: In a large non-stick pan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the kotlety over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until nicely browned (be careful not to brown them too quickly). Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove bits of breadcrumbs from the pan (and add more oil) before frying another batch.

  • Serve immediately or briefly place on top of a paper towel sheet to remove excess oil (if necessary).

Notes

  • *Use either ground pork or turkey with approx. 7% fat (or a little more, if you like, but I don’t recommend using meat with a high fat content).
  • To save time prepare the onion while the bun is soaking in water.
  • It is important to mix the ingredients together very thoroughly (spend 3-4 minutes doing this step) as this will give your patties a soft texture.
  • Rub a little oil in your hands (or sprinkle with water) before forming the patties (to prevent the mixture sticking to your hands).
  • Polish kotlety mielone should be bigger than meatballs but smaller than burgers.
  • You can prepare the mixture (and keep refrigerated) for up to 4 hours in advance. It might become a little too moist if left for longer.
  • Fry the kotlety over a medium heat making sure they don’t brown too quickly (adjust the heat accordingly).
  • Best served hot. See serving suggestions in post.
  • Keep leftovers covered, refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: arrange in a single layer on top of a tray/plate and freeze for 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and transfer into an airtight container separating each with a piece of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and fry the next day as per Instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1patty | Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

*Nutritional information is automatically generated and should be considered as an estimate.

**A note about baking: If using a fan-assisted oven refer to your appliance's instructions and adjust the temperature accordingly.

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Polish Kotlety (Mielone) Recipe (2024)
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