German Meat-Filled Dumpling (Maultaschen) Recipe

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  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 24 dumplings (12 servings)
Ratings (16)

Italians and Germans both have meat dumplings like ravioli or maultaschen and potato dumplings like gnocchi or schupfnudeln.

The dough for maultaschen is usually egg noodle dough and the filling reflects the German influence of mustard, bacon, and marjoram flavors.

Spinach is added when the maultaschen (literally "feedbags" but probably named after the city of Maulbronn) are eaten on Holy Thursday before Easter, but every Thursday can be maultaschen day in Swabia.

What You'll Need

  • 2 2/3 cups/300 g flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 to 3 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 ounce/25 g bread (day-old, or rolls, cut into cubes and sprinkled with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 5 ounces spinach (frozen, 1/2 package, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (fresh chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram (dried)
  • 8 ounces beef ground round
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ​pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1 to 2 quarts broth (beef or other)
  • Garnish: chopped chives or parsley

How to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Mix flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, oil and just enough of the 3 tablespoons water to make a smooth dough.
  2. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until satiny. Form dough into a ball, oil surface, wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 1 hour.

Make the Filling

  1. Cook bacon and remove from pan. Sauté onions and garlic in bacon drippings until translucent.
  2. Mix together bacon, onions, garlic, bread, spinach, parsley, mustard, thyme, marjoram, beef, 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pinch pepper until well combined. If you want a finer texture, put ingredients through a meat grinder, too.

    Form the Dumplings

    1. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness or thinner. You should have a sheet about 12 inches by 18 inches. (You also can use a noodle roller to make flat sheets with 1/5 of dough at a time.)
    2. Score the dough with a knife, one time through lengthwise and five perpendicular cuts to make 1 dozen rectangles.
    3. Place 1 tablespoon dough on each rectangle.
    4. Fold rectangle over and pinch sides to close.
    5. Repeat with the other half of dough.

    Cook the Dumplings and Serve

    1. Bring broth to a simmer and place 1/3 of the maultaschen in the broth. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and drain. Keep warm if not serving immediately. Repeat with the rest of the maultaschen.
    2. Serve in a bowl with some broth and sprinkle with chives and/or parsley.