Kotlety Mielone: Ground Pork Patties/Cutlets

Kotlety Mielone z Wieprzowiny

Kotlety Mielone (pron.: ‘cot-lettie myeloneh’, meaning: ground cutlets), like all traditional recipes, have thousands of variations. But what nearly all Polish-style ‘Mielone’ have in common is that they are made of ground pork, and use bread, breadcrumbs and egg as a binder. 

With this recipe, we’re sticking with tradition and delivering ‘Mielone’ patties that are soft, crispy-skinned, and seasoned to perfection. 

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Many Polish cookbooks (from the 19th century onwards) offer recipes for some sort of cutlets, formed from finely chopped meat – may it be beef, veal, pork, and even fish. 

The naming for them varied: from ‘Mielone’, through Lesser Poland’s ‘Sznycle’ (not to be confused with Polish-style schnitzel) to the Silesian ‘Karminadle’. But in the end, they’re all ground meat patties, breaded and fried.

Our good old ‘Mielony’ only really rose to fame under the communist regime. Back then, it became a synonym for recycling leftover meats from previous days; and therefore contemptuously nicknamed the “review of the week” (Polish: ‘przegląd tygodnia’).

At home, grounding the meat was also a good way of utilising cheaper pork cuts of questionable quality, that were too tough to fry or roast. 

After transformation, ground pork patties have stayed on the Polish menus – this time in a more premium version, using higher quality meat.

👂 Pro Tip: ‘Kotlety Mielone’ is plural, ‘Kotlet Mielony’ is a singular

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make these Kotlety Mielone?

Not really, but remember – there is no tasty ‘Mielony’ without properly selected pork. 

Ingriedients for Polish-style Ground Pork Patties (Kotlety Mielone)

Choose meat from trusted sources, preferably minced by the butcher just before buying, or at home. Select cuts that aren’t too lean, the best cuts are ‘Łopatka’ (pork shoulder) and ‘Karkówka’ (pork chuck).

Can you make these Ground Pork Patties with a pre-packed mince from a supermarket? Sure, I’ve used it before myself. But it’s fair to say that the taste just isn’t as great. The difference is notable. That’s why it’s worth adding a dollop of mustard to the meat, to pump up the flavour. 

Equipment-wise, you’ll need a large bowl and a large frying pan (skillet) with the lid, and ideally with a heavier bottom.

What should you serve with these Ground Pork Patties?

Mielone are traditionally served as the main course, usually alongside:

  • Potatoes (boiled, baked, puréed), cooked groats (buckwheat, hulled barley), dumplings (Kopytka, Silesian dumplings, pyzy…)
  • Side salads (Mizeria, raw veggie salads), fermented veggies (dill pickles, sauerkraut: braised, fried, or raw), steamed veggies.

Sauces aren’t a common addition. On a rare occasion, Kotlety Mielone are served with gravy, mushroom, tomato, or a dill sauce.

A popular way to use up leftover pork patties is to use them in a sandwich, using a bread roll or a burger bun. Just spread some mustard and mayo, add a few lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, perhaps a dill pickle? And that’s it.

Can you make Kotlety Mielone another way?

Yes! There are as many recipes for Mielone, as there are home cooks.

The main variables are:

  • Filler ingredients: breadcrumbs, milk-soaked bread roll, or cooked groats (barley, millet, or semolina)

    These fillers are important because they absorb the juices from the meat as it cooks, locking the moisture and “trapping” all the flavours within the patty. Most old-school recipes suggest breadcrumbs, but cooked groats are rising in popularity as a filler (that’s a revived idea from the old-Polish cuisine)
  • Eggs or no eggs? Eggs bind the meat and filling together, but too many will make our pork patties too dense and spongy (not cool!). I find that 1 egg per pound of meat is more than enough.
  • Onion: raw or fried? That’s up to you, but from my experience, the latter method is better and tastier. Additional ingredients: mustard, chopped herbs

    A tablespoon of mustard and finely chopped dill, parsley, or chives are a popular addition to the meat mass.

To make this recipe lighter, bake them instead of frying: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C) with fan-assist, or 390°F (200°C) without. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place Mielone on top. 
  3. Place on the middle shelf and bake for approx. 40 minutes. If they seem pale on the outside, move them to the top shelf and switch on the broiler/ top heating only. Bake for a few minutes, watching the oven like a hawk – they’ll brown in a matter of minutes.

What diets are these Pork Patties suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for a traditional diet. To make it gluten-free, use cooked millet as a filler and swap the breadcrumb coating for almond meal.

How long can you keep these Mielone in the fridge?

Once you’ve put them out, ideally you should eat them at the time of serving.

To store the leftovers, allow them to cool first. Make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze these Pork Patties?

Yes. This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to freeze the leftovers as soon as they’re cold enough. Move them into a freezer-friendly zip bag and label them with a description and a date. Aim to consume within 3 months.

How do I reheat these Mielone Cutlets?

From chilled: 

On the stove: Melt a little bit of butter (or pour in a bit of canola oil) on a frying pan, then place the pork patties on top. Fry on low heat until they start to turn golden. Pour in a little bit of water and cover with a lid – that way they’ll reheat faster. 

In the oven: Move Mielone into a casserole dish, cover with a lid or a sheet of aluminium foil. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 12-18 minutes.

In the microwave: Line a microwave-friendly container with paper towels and place Mielone on top. Loosely cover with a lid and 

From frozen: Leave the patties to thaw overnight. Then proceed as above.

Smacznego!

Kolety Mielone - Polish Ground Pork Patties
Kotlety Mielone

Kotlety Mielone: Polish Ground Pork Patties (Cutlets)

Yield: 8-9 patties (3-4 portions)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Few things can beat the comfort of a plate of Pork Cutlets with a side of potatoes and a beetroot salad.

Following the portion size in this recipe, I tend to serve 2 patties per portion (3 if you're starving).

Ingredients

  • 1.1-1.2 pound (500-550 g) ground pork; shoulder, or chuck
  • ½ large bread roll (or 1 small one, approx. 1.4 oz, 40 g); stale or fresh
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk, stock, or water
  • 1 medium onion (approx. 4 oz, 110 g); white or yellow
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram; dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper; ground
  • ½ cup (50 g) breadcrumbs + some extra for coating the patties
  • 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) water
  • canola oil, lard, or clarified butter; for frying

Instructions

Prep work

  1. If you bought a whole cut of pork, ground it using the medium holes of your meat grinder.
  2. Slice half of the bread roll into pieces and place the slices into a container. Cover with milk, so that it’s fully covered. [You could also use stock or water instead]. Soak for at least 5 minutes.

Frying onion 

  1. As you wait for the roll to soak, peel the onion and dice it finely. The finer the onion pieces are, the easier it will be to form the patties later. 
  2. Heat up a touch of oil on the frying pan (skillet). Add the diced onion in and fry on a medium-low for 10 minutes or so, until the onion turns nicely golden. Move it over onto a plate and set it aside to cool.

Forming Patties

  1. Move ground pork into a large bowl. 
  2. Squeeze the milk out of the bread roll slices and add them to the meat.
  3. Crack in the egg. Add in diced onion we’ve fried and cooled.
  4. Sprinkle a tablespoon of marjoram, a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add in the breadcrumbs.
  5. Start kneading the meat mass (I do so by hand, to avoid extra cleaning). To make the process easier, you can add a tablespoon or two of water. It takes around 5 minutes of kneading to get a smooth mass. Don’t try to skip this process, this is important!
  6. Form equally sized balls from the ground mixture. In my case, one cutlet usually weighs about 3-3.3 oz (85-95 g), and I end up with eight of them. 
  7. First, form each cutlet by hand into a perfect ball, then lengthen and flatten it slightly (resembling a flattened tic-tac). 
  8. If any onion pieces are sticking out on the surface, you can push them in and reshape the patty again.
  9. Coat each cutlet in breadcrumbs.

Frying

  1. Prepare a large frying pan (skillet), ideally with a heavier bottom. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil, lard, or clarified butter. Set the heat on the highest setting.
  2. Add the patties in, and fry them for 90 seconds from each side (that’s 3 minutes in total). Do be mindful of the time, we’re frying on a high heat here.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the frying pan with a lid. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then flip the patties and fry for another 30 seconds.
  4. If you’re unsure about the doneness, you can remove one cutlet onto a plate and cut it in half. If the inside has a uniform, slightly grey colour, that means the patties are done. Don’t extent the cooking time unnecessarily, that will turn them dry.
  5. Line a plate with 2 layers of paper towel and carefully move the cutlets over. That way, we’ll get rid of the excess fat.
  6. And we’re done! Smacznego.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 678mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g
Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger changes the (often unfavourable) perceptions of Polish food through digital storytelling. She creates purpose-led, bite-sized videos, exploring her cultural identity through food. As a self-taught home cook, Kasia enjoys trying out recipes from old Polish cookbooks. She’s keen of all things smoked or fermented.


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