Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Maultaschen!

Hey Peeps!

My absolute favorite German food is… MaultaschenMaultaschen is a specialty from Swabia, a region in the Southwestern part of Germany. They are kind of a large ravioli stuffed with meats and greens. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. The legend goes that because Christians aren’t supposed to eat meat on Good Friday, they decided to ‘hide’ the meat in the ravioli so that God couldn’t see it. Clever, no?

Anyway, I really only like the ones my grandmother makes. We start by getting the meats at our local butcher shop.

View of the butcher shop showcase.

If only I could capture the smell. It's the best.

Various meats and organs.

Miscellaneous parts of the pig. With potato salad, of course.

The day before is always chopping day. This year, I impressed my grandmother with my newly-gained knife skills. She said I chopped just like Vincent Klink, who is a German TV chef. Here are the ones we end up with.

From left to right: Landjaeger, smoked pork belly, Jaegersalami, and below smoked ham-sausage (gerauchte Schinkenwurst).

Knife skills, baby!

I was, of course, proud of myself. In addition to the meats, I also chopped up some scallions and broke up stale bread into smallish chunks.

The day of, my grandmother sweats the greens/onions, meats, and bread in a big pot.

The filling, all ready to go.

Once it cools down, my grandmother adds the finishing touch: Braet, which is basically raw sausage filling (finely ground). It’s a pinkish color, and it makes the filling stick together really well.

Mixing the fine sausage paste in with the filling.

At this point, we roll out the pasta dough we got from the local baker.

Unraveling the dough.

All is ready. Egg white in the small cup.

Three little dabs, all in a row.

You brush the dough with the egg white, and then fold over the edge, and cut the Maultaschen into their final form.

The final Maultasche is about as big as my hand.

We then simmer them for about 10-12 minutes.

The uncooked Maultaschen await their fate patiently.

Simmering.

Drying the Maultaschen on a board.

We separate them onto a wooden board so that they don’t get soggy.

Using up the rest of the dough.

There was some dough left over, so the thrifty Swabian cuts it up into strips to dry.

Traditionally served in broth.

So good!

Showing off its innards. Beautiful.

I can still remember exactly what they taste like. Of course, I could make them here in Vermont, but I’m almost scared to do it. After all, it could never be the same.

~ Carolynn

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