Meat-Stuffed Onions in Beer Sauce (Bamberger Zwiebeln)

Bamberger Zwiebeln mit Kartoffelpueree

Chih-hung Chen / Flickr

  • Total: 2 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
574 Calories
22g Fat
54g Carbs
39g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4 - 6
Amount per serving
Calories 574
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 1252mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 39g
Calcium 148mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Filled Bamberger Zwiebeln is a hearty meal often served and happily eaten in restaurants around Bamberg in Frankonia. Two Bamberg specialties come together in this recipe, smoked beer and Bamberger onions, a special pear-shaped, heirloom onion grown only in the region (more information at the end of the recipe). A firm and mild-tasting onion are stuffed with a pork farce and braised in the oven with broth and beer, which make the gravy. This dish is commonly eaten with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.


  • 4 to 6 large, mild onions or Bamberger onions
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ​​parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ​marjoram
  • 20 ounces ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ​hard, white rolls or bread crumbs (soaked in milk)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground ​nutmeg
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bottle of Rauchbier or Kellerbier
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon or Räucherbauch

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the root-end off the onion so that it will stand flat in a pan. Peel the dried skin. Cut off the cap of the onion and hollow out the middle to leave a half-inch wall.

  3. Chop the onion centers into small dice.

  4. Sauté the onion centers in butter until translucent and sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley and marjoram.

  5. Add the onions to the ground pork, the eggs, and the milk-soaked rolls. Mix together with your hands, breaking up the rolls and adding salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

  6. Fill the hollowed-out onions with the pork mixture, mounding as necessary and place the onions in a Dutch oven or deep, oven-proof pan with a lid. Add 1 to 2 cups of broth.

  7. Cover the pan and bake at 350 F for 45 to 60 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.

  8. Pour the beer over the onions and bake with a lid for another 30 minutes or until the onions are soft.

  9. Carefully remove the onions from the Dutch oven and place it to the side.

  10. Stir some cold water into 2 tablespoons of flour.

  11. Pour this thin paste into the broth while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil to thicken. Cook for several minutes to remove the raw flour taste. You may also use an instant flour such as Wondra and follow the package directions to thicken a sauce or gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  12. Cook the bacon slices or dice and cook the bacon until crisp.

  13. Drain and garnish the onions with the bacon.

  14. This stuffed-onion dish is traditionally served with sauerkraut and "Stampfkartoffeln" (or "Kartoffelbrei"), which are mashed or pureed potatoes.

More on Onions in Bamberg

Of particular interest is the onion production in and around Bamberg. In the 17th century Bamberg was known for growing liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra or "Süßholz") and comfrey (Symphytum officinale or "Echter Beinwell"), both medicinal plants, but also for their onions and garlic which were also used medicinally as well as for seasoning dishes. To grow the onions, special measures were necessary. As the onions started to form scapes in early summer, the farmers bound pieces of wood to their shoes and walked over the onion fields. This would break off the flowers, which allowed the root to accumulate more energy and grow larger. That is why Bamberg citizens are often still called "Zwiebeltreter" or onion stampers. Even the typical, relaxed talk around the tables of the local brew-pub is often called "Zwiebeltreterei" (onion stamping) in Frankonia.