En buntes Gschmisch an Hergottsbscheißerle. Or, for all those who don’t come from Schwabenland:
variations on the Maultasche!
One of the most beloved Swabian specialities, Maultaschen are a product of the season of Lent – that’s when many Christians follow the tradition of eschewing meat from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Our ever-inventive countrymen and -women thus decided to put one over on the man upstairs to get their protein, which is where the rather rustic alternative term Herrgottsbscheißerle comes from. Another legend holds that Protestant refugees brought Maultaschen to Swabia from northern Italy so they wouldn’t miss the ravioli of their homeland. If true, this would lend further credence to the belief that life round here really is la dolce vita.
Meanwhile, there seem to be as many origin stories of Maultaschen as there are different ways to enjoy them. Whether in broth, covered in glazed onions, or sliced up and fried with eggs, true Swabians are sure to have their own personal favourite.
For the dough
300 g flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
125 ml lukewarm water
Salt to taste
For the filling
1 kg beef mince
1 day-old bread roll
1 garlic clove
1 bunch parsley
1 kg fresh spinach
250 ml lukewarm water
Salt and pepper to taste
For Maultaschen with eggs, add the following:
More butter oil
For the glazed onions
To make the dough, put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead them into a consistent mass. (Quick tip: Adding the oil will give the dough the elastic quality you want.) Then leave it to rest for about half an hour.
In the meantime, peel the garlic and onions and chop them up fine for the filling. Wash the spinach and soak the bread roll in cold water. In a large pot, sautée the garlic and onions until glassy, then throw in the spinach and let it wilt. Once this is done, remove the spinach, squeeze out the liquid and chop into small pieces. Give the parsley a good rinsing, shake it off, and chop the leaves up fine. Put some of the parsley to the side to serve as a garnish later. Take the bread roll out of the water, squeeze it out, and tear it into small pieces. Put the spinach, onions, and garlic in a bowl, then add in the mince, eggs, bread, and chopped parsley and knead the whole mess thoroughly with your hands. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, let the filling sit for about 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a flour-covered surface before cutting it into small rectangles. Place a tablespoon of filling on one half of each rectangle
and fold the other half over to cover it. Press on the top – first gently to squeeze the air out, and then more firmly around the edges to make a seal. In a large pot, bring some strong meat broth to a boil and then leave it to simmer. Slide the Maultaschen into the broth and wait until they
start floating on the surface – that’s how you’ll know they’re done. Serve them up in bowls of broth and garnish with parsley, or put a dollop
of glazed onions on each one. For the version with egg: Remove the Maultaschen from the broth and let the excess liquid drip away. Cut them into slices and place them in a pan with butter oil. Pour in three beaten eggs, then stir everything constantly until the eggs have reached the desired consistency. Glazed onions go well with any of these variants. Simply peel an onion and cut it into thin strips. Heat up some butter oil in a small pan and sweat the onions at medium heat until golden brown. Garnish your Maultaschen with a spoon or two, depending on your preference.