Macaroni And Mince (Ghackets Und Hörnli)

Switzerland’s cuisine isn’t exactly known for its complexity, which is no wonder when looking at our humble history. We may be one of the richest countries of the world today, yet our past hasn’t been as glorious; you don’t have to go back many decades to see how simple the Swiss used to live. My mum still talks about the very special days in her childhood in the 1940s when her uncle came to visit, bringing two Frankfurter sausages with him – half a sausage for each of the four siblings, a rare treat for the kids back then. Our cuisine reflects the simple lifestyle of our past – Hörnli Und Ghackets is a great example for it. This dish is known and loved by any meat-eater in Switzerland, and a favourite of many children, even the smallest ones. Traditionally it is accompanied by applesauce, like the Älplermagronen.

So, what does the name mean? Hörnli are macaroni pasta, translated it means ‘little horns’. Ghackets literally means ‘mince’.

Recipe (for 4 people)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2dl beef stock
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped (fresh or dried)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped (optional)
  • maraconi pasta
  • applesauce


Cook the macaroni pasta according to the instructions.

For the meat, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and fry it gently until soft.

Increase the heat and add minced meat and fry until browned.

Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir it in a little, then add the beef stock, mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir and cover with a lid. Cook on low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Add parsley if you like and serve with applesauce.

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