A serious word. Some of my venerated readers may possibly be travelling in Central Europe, Southern Germany, Bavaria and other places of former K.u.k. cuisinal heritage.
Serviettenkloß, if done properly and really earning the name, loves sauce: It soaks it up like a sponge; if you prepare meat, no matter which sort, and choose to have Serviettenkloß with it, you have to take care and make a lot more sauce as usual. Nowadays some Ersatzproducts litter the supermarkets pretending to contain “Austrian” Serviettenklöse: Plastic thingies containing grey material are cooked in boiling water and result in a cementlike sausage; single slices refuse to take in any fluid, no matter what, the surfaces being absolutely water repellant! The cold sausages are useful as sophisticated tools like clubs, hammers or such. The inventor of this perversity should be hit with them over the derrière, repeatedly.
It’s a Bohemian specialty. You need old white bread or some Brötchen, Petersilie (glatt), small onion, eggs, milk, salt … The bread is cut in cubes, soaked in milk. The onion is sliced in small parts and roasted. A dough is made. Traditionally it is put in a Serviette (ein Leinentuch) and cooked over boiling water (Wasserbad). We used a special pot that gave it the form of a cake (no, MJ, do not even think of it!), the inside was lubricated with butter – ideally you open the form, turn it around and voilá there’s the Kloß, I only came close to this. Brotstreusel are put in so decorating the outside of the later Kloß. The form is filled only to three quarters, locked well and put in a larger pot with boiling water. It takes some time. Of this basical receipe exist a large number of variations, some even use flour and potatoes – but that is Thuringian, they believe the potato is God’s gift to mankind, a bit like the Irish. Basically you put the pot on the oven and let it simmer until the meat is ready; goes with meat from the hunt or other. By the way: What is called “Gulash“, “Gulyas” etcetc. is in Hungary a soup. If you want to have original Hungarian shepherd’s stew in Budapest ask for pörkölt. The Viennese Gulasch comes in variations and goes very good with Serviettenkloß. It loves sauce, you know?