My absolute favorite German food is… Maultaschen! Maultaschen 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.
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.
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.
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.
At this point, we roll out the pasta dough we got from the local baker.
You brush the dough with the egg white, and then fold over the edge, and cut the Maultaschen into their final form.
We then simmer them for about 10-12 minutes.
We separate them onto a wooden board so that they don’t get soggy.
There was some dough left over, so the thrifty Swabian cuts it up into strips to dry.
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.