Lithuanian Beef-Stuffed Matzah Balls



¼ pound ground beef

1 tbsp. vegetable oil


2 large egg yolks

2 tbsp. schmaltz, melted and cooled

2 tbsp. matzo meal, approximately

Pinch of salt

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Matzah Balls:

2 large eggs

2 cups water

10 tsp. chicken fat or margarine plus 2 tsp. for oiling pan

1¼ cups matzo meal

1 tsp. salt, plus 2 tsp. more for boiling water

3 quarts rapidly boiling salted water

2 tsp. cinnamon 


To make the filling:

Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add beef and sauté until brown. Drain beef in a strainer and let cool. 

Stir together cooled beef, egg yolks, schmaltz, matzo meal, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to one day. 

To make the matzah ball mixture: 

Beat eggs in a medium bowl with a fork until frothy. Stir in water and chicken fat and mix well. Gradually pour in matzo meal while mixing. Add salt and stir to incorporate. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 1 day.

Fill a large soup pot with water and add 2 tsp. salt; bring to a boil. 

To stuff matzah balls:

Using wet hands, form matzo meal mixture into eight to 10 balls of equal size. Flatten each ball and place a teaspoon of the filling in the center; pinch matzo meal mixture together to encase filling. 

Place matzah balls in boiling water, cover pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a medium baking pan and set aside. 

Carefully transfer matzah balls to a colander to drain. Using a slotted spoon, place matzah balls in prepared pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake matzah balls in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Serve one matzah ball in a bowl of chicken soup.

Makes 8-10 matzah balls.