Maultaschen (“mouth pockets”) from Swabia, Germany

(The photo of the Maultaschen in broth is by Matthias Haupt)

When I lived in Germany, my favourite cuisine from the country was easily that of Baden-Württemberg. As I am someone who eats little meat, I loved the vegetarian options from the region, including some variety of spätzle and the vegetarian Maultaschen.

Maultaschen, which translates directly as “mouth pockets” (The word “maul” is possbly a short form of Maulbronn, so they could be “Maulbronn pockets), are a meal unto themselves. These pckets are made with a very thin wheat-and-semolina based dough and contain a filling. Traditionally this filling consists of mince meat. For those who are not a fan of meat (or don’t eat it for whatever reason), the vegetarian options are also just as popular and are easy to find. The most common of these alternatives is the spinach variety. For this post, we will be looking at the traditional Maultaschen. Don’t worry vegetarians! I will be sure to post the spinach alternative very soon.

The following amounts are for four portions:

Let’s start with the ingredients for the dough:

2 Eggs (small to medium)

200 g flour – UK/EU: Type 00 or 405, Rest of world: either a course wheat flour for everyday use or a pastry flour

30 g Durum wheat semolina

Salt

Ingredients for the traditional filling:

2 bread rolls (from the previous day – i.e. somewhat stale)

100 mL whipping cream

400 g onions

1 tablespoon butter

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley (approx 70 g)

Salt, pepper, sugar

300 g minced meat (mixed is fine)

200 g bratwurst sausage meat – you can also squeeze the meat out from a sauasage with a casing if you don’t have any loose meat handy

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

nutmeg

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 L strong stock (traditionally beef)

1/2 bunch of chives

Preparation:

  1. To make the dough, whisk the eggs with 3-4 tablespoons of water. Mix the flour, semolina and a good pinch of salt until it forms a strong, smooth dough. Knead the dough vigorously on a floured work surface for 1 minute. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the bread into thin slices and place into a bowl. Heat the cream and pour over the bread rolls. Finely dice the onions. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions, sautéing them until translucent. Wash the parsley, finely chop the stems, add to the onions and steam for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and leave to cool.
  3. Mix the mince meat, Bratwürst sausage meat, rolls, beradcrumbs, eggs and onions in a bowl until it becomes smooth. Season well with salt, peper, nutmeg and marjoram. Cover and place in the fridge to chill.
  4. Divide the dough into 3 portions. Roll out 1 portion on the floured work surface 2 mm (~7/100 of an inch) thin to approx. 42×30 cm (~16.5×12 inches). Place the batter on a kitchen towel. Spread1/3 of the filling onto the dough. Using a kitchen towel, roll the dough loosely from the long side. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to divide the roll into 4 equal pieces, pressing the dough firmly into place. Separate the pieces with a knife. Process the remaining dough and filling in the same way. Unlike ravioli, the dough does not have to completely enclose the filling. It will stick together enough that it won’t fall apart while cooking. These are your Maultaschen
  5. Heat the (beef) stock. At the same time bring the salted water to the boiling point, reduce the heat while simultaneously adding the Maultaschen and let the Maultaschen simmer for 10 minutes (do not boil!). Drain. Cut the chives into small rolls.
  6. Serve the Maultaschen in a little beef stock sprinkled with chives.

Alternative serving method: instead of serving in a broth, which would then be eaten with a spoon, you could also serve it directly on a plate with other side dishes. A typical traditional side dish for the Swabian dish is Swabian potato salad. Other options include salad and spinach. You could also go a step further and lightly fry the Maultaschen, cut them into strips and add bits of hard-boilled to it.

I hope you enjoyed this translation of the German recipe (found here: https://www.essen-und-trinken.de/rezepte/60131-rzpt-maultaschen-klassisch) und lass es Euch schmecken!


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