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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cheat's Maultaschen

It's been more than two weeks since I posted anything. I have been down with a bad cold :( and I couldn't focus on cooking nor on taking photos. It seemed as if time flew, but how many things have happened in that space of time: a merciless earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and a war in Libya. 

On a brighter note, spring has finally arrived, so, with new-found strength, I went to the market and bought a bagful of spinach, orach, ramson, celendine, radishes, spring onions, parsley, and beetroot. Isn't spring wonderful? Yesterday, I made a delicious spinach and ramson salad with oranges and toasted nuts, which I'll post here some time soon. 
I have been thinking about Maultaschen for a while (yes, I miss Germany), but since my baking skills are pretty bad at the moment and the dough didn't come out as smooth as I wanted, I decided that I had to cheat with my Maultaschen! Hmmm.... 

Maultaschen is a traditional Swabian dish which is similar to Italian ravioli or Chinese dumplings. It consists of dough pockets filled with minced beef and spinach. I first had Maultaschen in Stuttgart three years ago and I love it so much that I just can't imagine visiting Bavaria and not having this exquisite dish, cooked either in a clear broth or with steamed cabbage.

Cheat's Maultaschen with Beef Cubes and Fresh Baby Spinach

Type of cuisine: German/European

Cooking time: 2 hours (1.45 h for the beef stock, 15 minutes to put everything together)

For the beef  soup, you will need

2 beef bones with some meat on them

1 carrot

2 small onions

1 small cube of beef stock (for extra flavour) - optional

2 spoons of tomato paste

1 small diced tomato

a pinch of nutmeg

20 spinach leaves (the smallest in the bunch- they are sweeter)

1 small packet of fresh tortellini or ravioli (250 gr)


Boil the bones, the carrot and the onions in 2 liters of water for at least 1 hour 45 mins. Drain the soup into another pot. Discard the carrot and the onions, as well as the bones. If the bones have some meat on them, scoop and cut it into small cubes, and put them back in the soup. Add a small beef stock cube for extra beef taste, the tomato paste, the diced tomato and the nutmeg.

Open the packet of tortellini and boil the pasta in the beef soup. Cut the spinach leaves lengthwise and boil them with the tortellini for 5 minutes before you serve the dish. 

tortellini filled with ricotta and spinach and small beef cubes

Even though it wasn't the real thing (no ready-made pasta can compare to home-made pasta), the beef soup and the fresh spinach certainly make up for this. I loved the rich taste of beef zest, the small bits of tender meat and the baby spinach that brought the sunshine and the spring onto my plate.

People who know me know that Germany is one of my favourite countries in Europe. What a great people! I love German hospitality and the wonderful German specialities: the cakes, the bread, the soups and the earthy dishes.

shopping street in Reutlingen, BW
downtown Stuttgart
a small hidden restaurant, pour les connaisseurs :)
Maultaschen in a tiny family-run restaurant in Filderstadt, BW

1 comment:

  1. I had maltashen in germany as well. Many many years ago. I have since been looking for it and to no avail camr up with nothing. I was ttying to recreate a frittata that a local resturant would makr in the fall. Well after years of searching I FOUND SOME!!! At aldi, they dont all carry the same thing but i stocked up and I am now trying to recreate this amazing dish.