Maultaschen is a classic German dish, originating in the Swabian region. It consists of an outer layer of pasta dough that contains a filling consisting typically of hazelnut beef, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs, and onions and seasoned with different herbs and spices such as pepper, parsley, and nutmeg.
Maultaschen are similar to Italian ravioli but are usually larger in size – each Maultaschen is about 8-12 centimeters, or 3 to 5 inches, long. These are almost always rectangular or square in shape. Maultaschen has a long history and has historically been associated with Lent, where Catholics would refrain from eating meat. The purpose of creating these pasta pockets was to sneak the meat inside of them and thus hide it from God’s eyes. The carnivorous Catholics may get their meat fix in this way without calling the lightning down from heaven.
Save time by preparing and freezing the meat filling in advance. You can also make a double batch while you’re at it and freeze the Maultaschen so you can thaw and cook them whenever the need arises.
About German Maultaschen Recipe
Maultaschen, in Swabia, is the traditional dish associated with the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Lenten commemorations. Catholics and other Christians are urged to abstain from eating meat during the time of Lent. However, these days are humorously associated with Maultaschen because the meat in the dish is hidden under the pasta dough, and God can not see it.
Among the anecdotal stories of the origin of the dish, one suggests that Maultaschen was produced for this reason by the Cistercian monks of Maulbronn Abbey. In fact, a Swabian German nickname for the dish, Herrgottsbescheißerle, means “small God-cheaters.”
When you grind your own meat, the pork shoulder is a perfect choice, since it has a decent fat-to-muscle ratio. Also, do not be afraid when choosing a beef cut if it is a fatty cut. The fat will help to connect the meat to create the perfect texture when you mix it.
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