Ghackets mit Hörnli were what my Swiss friend Rebecca made me when we had our second child. I've loved it since (and so do our kids). It's a delicious and simple Swiss macaroni and meat sauce combo. The chunky applesauce on the same plate is a delicious surprise! I can't get enough.
I surprised my Swiss friend Rebecca with a classic Swiss meal called Ghackets (Gehacktes in German) mit Hörnli und Apfelmus that she prepared for us after our second child was born.
I found varying versions of Ghackets mit Hörnli on the web. Rebecca likes to add carrots into the mix, and I don't disagree with trying to get more veggies into our meals.
So after finding a delicious-sounding version with fresh sage and red wine that however missed the carrots, I decided that they needed to be in there to stay true to Rebecca's version. The result was perfect.
My favorite part about this meal must be the surprising addition of chunky apple sauce (I make my own) that's served right alongside the pasta and ground beef in the same bowl. Rebecca thought the applesauce was the best she ever had.
I've always been a fan of savory and sweet mixed together. While we sit there talking, she stirs her bowl's contents together, blending the applesauce with the noodles and ground beef mixture.
"That's pretty typical to blend it all," she says in between bites. "And to make this meal perfect, you need plenty of shredded, real Swiss Gruyère or Emmentaler cheese or a mixture of both on top." I agree.
Also, the quality of the ingredients you use can totally make or break Ghackets mit Hörnli.
The combination of all the flavors is divine: the rustic notes from the cheese, the sweetness from the applesauce, and the deep flavors from the beef cooked with sage, wine, and broth. It all works together so well. Plus the kids were total fans!
Ghackets mit Hörnli und Apfelmus: Swiss Noodles with Ground Beef and Applesauce
- 500 g ground beef
- 2 tablespoon butter plus one extra tablespoon to mix with the cooked pasta
- 1 yellow onion large, finely chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
- 6 leaves fresh sage finely chopped
- 350 ml red wine most red wines will work great in this recipe
- ½ teaspoon better than bouillon I use the organic vegetable version plus 100 ml water (or use 100 ml of stock instead). I like to use this when I only need small amounts of stock or broth.
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 handfull fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
- 500 g elbow macaroni
- 538 g Grandma Hoerner's Big Slice Original applesauce one jar
- 100 g shredded gruyère
- Over medium high heat, allow the butter to melt, then add the ground beef and break it apart into small pieces. Cook until starting to brown.
- Add the onion, carrot, garlic and sage and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the red wine, Better Than Bouillon, water and the tomato paste and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and stir with one tablespoon of butter until the butter is melted.
- Add the parsley to the ground beef mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve in pasta bowls, adding pasta first, then ground beef mixture and finally the applesauce on the side. Sprinkle with freshly grated gruyère and more fresh, chopped parsley.