One of the great dishes to be found in Germany is Maultaschen soup, roughly translated as ‘snout-bag soup’. It’s a meal on its own, for it blends rich beef stock with little parcels of ground meat and greens wrapped in pastry. It takes a little time to make in one’s own kitchen, but the meal is reward enough, and its a great way to pick and use late summer greens from the gardener’s herb beds.
As always in our kitchen, we use home-ground Spelt flour to which eggs from our hens and whey have been added to make dough that ruminates away to itself overnight before we roll it out flat with a rolling pin on a floury surface.
The greens that go with the ground meat vary with the season; today we used French sorrel (dock), nettles, comfrey, parsley, basil, society garlic, and oregano fresh-picked from the garden, chopped fine and mixed in with fried onion and garlic.
We own a share in a cow, so our milk is delivered by the dairy farmer himself. He occasionally has calf meat for sale, which we pickle in whey and store in glass jars in the cellar for days like today. This pickled meat is very soft and tender, and can be blended into a paste with the fried greens using a bar-mix. Spread this on the thinly-rolled dough with a spoon, and butter the far end.
Roll this up and press the handle of a wooden spoon across it to form tight little ‘pasties’ that can then be cut apart with a sharp knife without the filling falling out. These are cooked in simmering (not boiling) water for ten-to-fifteen minutes, then added to a hot salted soup stock of beef or lamb or chicken – whatever you have. Serve and eat!