The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Stir Up Sunday 2010 (Making Christmas Puds)

I had a look to see what dried fruits I had, having a weigh in with my eyes, I said yep that's enough, I had the SR flour, I had the suet, I had the booze, spices tons of the stuff, oranges and lemons, more than St Clements, all that was missing was a couple of apples, a bottle of Guinness and off we could jolly well go!

I had a look at Nigel Slater's recipe (I had made this one last year, turned out great), I then looked up Keith Floyd's, now if it was good enough for his mum well should one argue? last not least it was the good old M&S, this one had stood me in good stead for many years prior to Nigel coming onto the scene.

In the end I thought, does it really matter? they are all just a variation on a theme, the original boil in a bag boudin, so I went back to basics, just throw in all that was left in the store cupboard.


1.5kg of dried fruit (dates, apricots,cherries, raisins, sultanas, currents, figs (it is after all figgy pudding) and cranberries
200g beef suet
150g of SR flour
About 350g of fresh white bread crumbs (about is because I bought a 500 g loaf and took out the soft white inner crumb
250g of soft brown sugar (well I am a diabetic so this was the sugar reduction- ahem)
150g of nibbed almonds
100g of candied lemon peel
100g of candied orange peel
1 large boskop apple peeled, cored and diced
2 heaped teaspoons of mixed spices
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 BIG eggs beaten
A good (very good) measure of Rum
330ml of Guinness


Mixed all of the dried fruit, candied peel, flour, sugar, suet, almonds, spices well together, then finely chopped the zests and added that to the beaten eggs, then I added the rum and the juices of the fruit, Slowly adding and mixing until all was a nice thick heavy homogeneous mass, Now in went the Guinness, I hadn't a clue how much should have went in, but taking KFs tip I added it until it gave a soft dropping consistency, guess what? it was the whole 330ml bottle. Keith did like a drink! Cheers mate!

This was set aside, covered overnight, Next morning Linda and I set about filling the basins, I cut out discs of baking paper, buttered them, Linda buttered the basin and molds.

Was quite a production line, Linda filling, disc on and then a aluminium foil cover, tied around the rim with kitchen string.

I have a 50 litre boiling pan that I used in times gone by for stews, curries and soups for the various sporting events in clubs that I am attached to. This took all ten of the dariol molds, I placed a metal tivot on the bottom and then filled the pan with water until it came halfway up the molds, switched it on full lid on and that was that.

The large one fitted perfectly into my IKEA pan with the steaming insert.

That went onto the stove and hey ho! everything is finished.

Roll on Christmas

The cookery club autumn Boar!

Hello dear friends

The cookery clubs autumn feast was hosted by Linda this year. Everyone with the exception of "moi" had their courses all planned and I think in the case of the starter made. I hadn't even thought what I would do, but as the starter, soup and desert had been spoken for, that in all reality only left me with the fish. I wracked my brains all the way up from Rheda to Kiel (370km) and decided to visit CITTI when I made better time than I thought, they have everything that a cook would want but I still couldn't get any inspiration.
When I got in Linda was just preparing (from the freezer) a nice stew, she had asked me to get some Turnip and a few other odds and sods, so she made a nice spud and tammy mash and peas to go with it. Real hearty grub, washed down with a bottle of Burgundy.

We watched Jamie and a few other programmes, poured some red wine over the boar that had been dry marinating in game spices for a few days and went to bed, but I couldn't sleep, it was bugging me what to do for the fish dish! So I got up and took out the Rick Stein Mediterranean Escapes, The river cottage fish book, and a Good Food fish book. I thumbed through them and got lots of ideas and then it dawned, why not do a medley of various small fish dishes from varying parts of the world.

I had seen crab claws at CITTI so was sure there would be plenty at the market the next day. So Ma' Smiths crab fish cakes where on the menu. I found a nice raw marinated fish dish in HFWs so that was another.
I had seen a Pad Thai recipe in The Good Food so with a bit of shaping that could be part of another.
So I read on through Ricks, flicking back and forth and suddenly it opened at the page with the deep fried mozzarella, prosciutto and anchovy sandwiches. I fell asleep on the couch only to be awakened by Linda asking me if I was all right, I replied that I was looking for fish dishes, she went back to bed shaking her head.

Next morning up bright and early and off to the local DIY shop as Linda wanted a three piece wall papering table. (she is doing the lounge later in the spring and it would double up as the dining table). Next was off to the local Asia laden (they sell all manner of wonderful delicacies at rock bottom prices). Bought some small spring roll skins, mungo bean shoots, fresh coriander, chopped bamboo hearts and a couple of limes. Now it was a short drive to the market to buy the fish, Linda also wanted some stuff to go with the boar (the wild one not me).

Walking along the stalls, I saw yes they had raw crabs claws, I bought 8 large ones, I wanted some firm fleshed fish and what better than monk fish, so 2 thick slices of that would do the trick. I fancied some of those nice looking oysters as well so half a dozen went into the bag, just then the scallop meat caught my eye so 6 of those went the way of the oysters, we paid and the fish chappie put in a couple of gigantic tiger prawns just for good measure.

Shopping done off we went home. So my fish menu now looked like this:

Pad Thai spring rolls

Ma' Smiths crab cakes

Latin American Ceviche

Oysters how you want them!

Scallops wrapped in Tiroler Speck

Pad Thai Spring rolls


2 large tiger prawns, shelled, deveined and sliced

1 packet of spring roll skins small

Handful of mungo bean sprouts

1 carrot cut into match sticks

1 shallot thinly sliced into match sticks

1 red chilli seeds removed thinly sliced

3 pieces of light green leek leaf sliced very thin into strips about 1mm

1 tin of ready chopped bamboo hearts

good splash of fish sauce

very good splash or 2 of light soy sauce

2 table spoons of wok oil

Dipping sauce

A good glug sweet chilli sauce

1 table spoon oyster sauce

3 table spoons dark soy sauce

1 crushed clove of garlic

2 tea spoons soft brown sugar

Juice and zest of 1/2 lime.

1 thinly sliced red chilli

1 tea spoon of sesame oil

chopped coriander to taste


Heat oil in a wok (or frying pan), fry onion, add prawn, leek, carrot, next add the chilli, bamboo shoots, fish sauce and soy sauce, fry quickly and add the bean shoots and mix well. The mixture should not take longer than a couple of minutes on a high heat. All the vegetables should still be crunchy add the coriander at this stage and set aside, allow to cool.

Peel off the thin spring roll skins one at a time, lay out on a board with a point near you (in a sort of diamond) and place a spoonful of the mixture about 2/3 up along the centre line. Fold over the top point and turn the side points (wings) in towards the centre line, next roll the parcel towards you quite firmly you should have a spring roll ready for frying. As you make more you will get better and quicker.

Place these on a board covered with damp paper towel covered with a tea towel (this will stop them drying out).

Next make the dipping sauce.

fry the garlic in a little oil, add the chilli and sugar, then all of the wet ingredients, stir them all together, the sauce should be back of spoon consistency.

Next fry the spring rolls.
Heat a little neutral oil in a frying pan and fry them until golden brown and crispy. Serve together with the dipping sauce.

Ma' Smiths crab cakes


8 large crab claws (gave about 500g of white meat)

250g floury potatoes

Bunch of parsley

Squeeze of lemon juice

S&P to taste


2 Eggs

Panko bread crumbs

To serve

Crushed minted peas

I used crab claws, as that way you get only white meat, it is much quicker than using whole crab and pound for pound it is a lot cheaper.

Set a large pan of water on to boil, added some root vegetable off cuts (leek, celeriac and carrot) along with an onion, parsley stalks and marigold stock.
In went the crab claws and boiled for about 12 minutes. Removed and allowed to cool.
In another pan, I boiled the floury potatoes in their skins, when soft, ran under cold water, peeled and roughly mashed, added the cram meat, and chopped parsley. Mixed well, added the lemon juice and seasoned with Salt and Pepper. Formed mixture in chefs rings and allowed to cool. When ready to fry, lay out 3 soup plates in 1 add seasoned flour, another beaten egg and in the third the bread crumbs (I used Panko as they are very crisp when fried, but any crumbs will do).

Next heat 1cm neutral oil in a frying pan,  fry the cakes until golden brown then turn and fry the other side serve warm with the dressing below.

Heat 300g of frozen garden peas in microwave add either fresh chopped mint or a couple of dollops of ready made mint sauce, crush with the back of a fork and serve as along with the crab cakes.


This is a type of food that I had many years ago when I was in New Zealand, it was called lemon fish by the locals and I next met it again at a Mess BBQ many years later when a Kiwi attached himself to the Royal Engineers in Berlin. I thought then, it was a virtual make itself food, tasty, refreshing and sharp.

I came across it once again in HFW River Cottage fish book so I adapted it to this.


2 thick slices of monk fish tail, second skin removed (that grey slimy membrane)

2 limes

2 lemons ( I had to my horror run out so used Hitchcock)

1 orange

1/2 tea spoon  soft brown sugar

1 shallot sliced paper thin

A 1cm piece of celeriac thinly shaved and finely chopped (you can use a couple of stalks of celery)

1 red chilli (choose what type a according to how much heat you want)

A handful of coriander leaves and stales chopped

A pinch of salt

Pinch of  hot Cayenne

1/2 a tea spoon of  sweet paprika powder


Remove that slimy grey second skin from the fish, take the flesh off the middle cartilage bone. You will have 4 meaty pieces. Slice each of these paper thin, place these on a flat tray or plate. Next slice the chilli, shallot and celeriac, sprinkle these over the fish, grate the zest of the limes over this then the juice of the limes, lemons and orange. Next the sugar, salt, cayenne and paprika powder.

Cover with cling film and leave for a few hours (I made this at 3 to eat at 8, which turned out about right as it happened. When ready to serve mix up all together and taste, it may need a bit more sugar, or any of the other spices the choice is yours.

Place into individual bowls, sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve (mine was part of the medley of fish so I didn't have any of the normal accompaniments)

Oyster anyway you want them

Nothing is easier than oysters, unless some want them steamed with various sauces, but even then it isnt, rocket science.

I had made a shallot red wine vinegar dressing with a hint of chilli and a few drops of Worcester sauce for those that wished. In the end two wanted them steamed, two took the dressing and two ate aux natural.

Scallops in Tyroler speck

6  Scallops

6 slices of Tyroler speck

freshly ground pepper


Roll the scallops in pepper, wrap a slice of speck around them, fixing with a tooth pick (unused if its for other people).

Sear the scallops on both sides turning when golden.

As I had made a dipping sauce for the spring rolls those that wished could use this.

And that was my fish course, I shall be doing the other courses and putting pictures to words later.

Now that you know what the fish course was,  I shall tell you about the rest of the meal!

The meal consisted of:

Mine and Rick's Amuse Bouch and Linda's Champagne cocktail

Martin's Foie gras with chocolate and orange

Kalle's Pumpkin and chilli soup

My fish medley

Linda's roasted leg of wild boar
with bread dumplings
Braised red cabbage
Sautéed mushrooms
Game sauce

Caroline's Hazelnut dessert

The Amuse Bouch

The evening was started off when the guests arrived, with a small amuse bouch, I had made a rather simple and nice little thing, the recipe was taken from Rick Steins Mediterranean Escapes.

6 thin slices of fresh white bread

softened butter

3 anchovy fillet's cut in half

1 packet of mozzarella (real buffalo) cut with a pastry cutter then sliced very thin into 6 slices

3 slices of paper thin Parma or St Daniel ham

1 beaten egg

Bread crumbs

Oil for frying

I used a 3cm round pastry cutter and cut rounds out of the bread slices (12), these where buttered, then a round of ham, then a round of mozzarella, then another round of ham topped with a piece of anchovy fillet and the finished with a round of bread. when ready to serve, heat the oil dip the bread in the egg, roll in bread crumbs (make sure that the edges are well covered and fry in the oil until golden brown. Serve immediately with Champagne cocktail

The starter

Foie gras with chocolate and orange

This is a recipe taken from a nice little recipe book (I know as Martin and Marianna gave it to me as a birthday present), with lots of fascinating starters presented in glasses, small cups etc. The recipe book is called food and glass.


300g of fois gras mi-cruit de canard (lightly poached duck fois gras)
50g of dark chocolate
150g of full milk chocolate
1 dessert spoon of peanut oil
1 small Glass of orange juice (blood orange if you can get it)
1 orange filleted (again blood orange is preferable)
3 leaves of white gelatin
1 tea spoon of caster sugar


You require 6 small glasses

Break both of the chocolates into small pieces and melt over a water bath together with the peanut oil.Place a sheet of baking paper or a silicon sheet on a work surface or chopping board. Spoon small discs that will just fit inside of the glass onto the surface, this is best done with the back of a warmed spoon. Allow to set.

Now make the orange jelly, soak the gelatin in cold water. Now heat the juice, fillets and sugar in a pan, add the gelatin and by a low temperature melt all together, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Next cut the fois gras into discs (either use the rim of the glass or a pastry cutter) place alternative layers of fois gras, orange jelly (place the glass in the fridge to set between the layers)  , chocolate disc, finishing off with a chocolate disc. Place all in the fridge and serve well cooled.

This is a fantastic starter that can be made well in advance, it is very, very rich, but also very, very special.

The Soup

Kalle's pumkin and chilli soup

This is also a one that can be made well in advance and kept cool until required, then reheated. It is also a one that it doesn't matter if you make too much as it freezes well.


1 Pumpkin or squash

Main course

Linda's boaring leg


1 boars leg

game spices (enough to give the leg a good covering)

2 carrots chopped

1 piece of celeriac chopped

1 leek (white and light green only) sliced and diced

1 onion roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves (crushed)

diced smoked bacon (geraucherte bauch speck)

oil for browning

1 bottle of red wine

1/2 litre of stock (game if possible, but a good vegetable if not,marigold is excellent)

S&P to taste


Rub the boar leg all over with the game spices (Linda used them out of a packet, I make my OWN nah nah na nah na), wrap in cling film and put in a cool place for at least 3 days. You can now go about doing other things like working and earning money towards my pension.
24 hours prior to it being cooked, remove the cling film, salt and pepper the beast and put in a roasting tin with a bottle of red wine (remove the wine from the bottle as the bottle adds nothing to tha flavour). Add a couple of cloves and a few juniper berries. If the leg is not covered turn it half way through the marinading time, but it is better to try and get it submerged for the whole time.

About 5 hours before serving (this does depend on the size of the leg, this was massive and so required quite a bit of cooking) Another thing, I believe that for a piece of meat this size a thermometer is indispensable.

Heat oil in the roasting tin and brown the leg all over. Remove and set aside.

Put the root veg etc into the bottom of the roasting dish, mix the stock and  marinade and add to the  roasting tin (about 1.5cm) along with the fried speck and crushed garlic.

Place a trivet over the veg and place the leg on this, cover with foil, push the thermometer through the thickest part but not touching the bone. Place in the preheated oven at 120°C for 20 mins, reduce to 180°C keeping an eye on the inner temperature, if it is climbing to quick, lower the temperature a bit more (we ended up at150°C) keep topping up with the marinade/stock mixture the meat is cooked to perfection when the inner temperature reaches 70°C, this means that everyone can have the meat how they like it. The outer crisp, the inner juicy, succulent and just how I like it.

Braised spiced red cabbage

1/2 a large cabbage shredded

3 table spoons of goose fat

1 onion sliced

2 shot glasses of raspberry vinegar

diced bacon

1 apple grated

1 desert spoon of soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground mixed spices


Melt the goose fat in a large pan, add the onion and soften, add the cabbage and the apple, sautée, now add the raspberry vinegar, sugar and mixed spices. In another pan fry the diced bacon until crispy. Keep stirring the cabbage until it starts to soften but still has a bit of crunch, add the bacon stir well in and adjust seasoning.

Sautéed Mushrooms in game sauce

250g of cream mushrooms quartered

250g of brown mushrooms quartered

1 large shallot diced

100g of diced bacon

S&P to taste

oil for frying

Bunch of parsley chopped

Pan juices from the roasting tin and any remaining marinade (pushed through a strainer)


In a large frying pan fry the shallot and speck over a moderate heat until the speck releases its fat and the shallot turns translucent, add the mushrooms, when they have started to give off their juices add the marinade. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Bread Dumplings

The bread dumplings where bought from CITTI and only needed cooking in a pan of rolling boiling salted water.

Carolin's pud, I shall get the recipe off her and post it later

Rabbit stew, dumplings and a walk in the park

It was a long weekend, so I have been slowly emptying my freezer ready for the bounties of the new hunting season.

I had a couple of rabbit saddles, that required eating so I decided on Rabbit stewed in cider with dumplings.

I prepared the two rabbit saddles, chopped them into pieces and dusted them in mixed herb, salt and pepper flour.

I diced some root vegetables (carrot, leek celeriac) Picked some fresh herbs from my balcony.

herbal sea salt, leek, carrot, celeriac, piece of caulifower, bouquet garni, pepper corns,  parsley, 2 cloves, a few juniper berries.

Next browned the rabbit in a frying pan and added on top of the veg along with the bouquet garni.


I then chopped up half a large onion, sautéd it with some chopped juniper hot cured belly and 3 crushed cloves of garlic in  the same frying pan, opened a bottle of cider and add 330ml to the pan. poured this on top of the rabbit in the Slow Cooker.

Made 6 suet, speck and onion dumplings and put these in the SC, put the top on set it on high for 5 hours and went for a walk in the Rheda Schloß Park to enjoy the wonderful autumn weather and the colours of the leaves.

the Schloß through the trees

The newly renovated mill wheel

The  autumn reflections from the carp pool

The miandering Emms

The Schloß from the river bank
I returned from my walk (and a couple of beers) to finish off the meal.

I made savoy cabbage, with diced bacon, and a mustard sauce.

sautéed brown mushrooms, and onions
The finished rabbit stew and dumplings

The wonderful Autumn meal.
  So that was a nice way to spend a day when here in NRW people go to the grave yards, tidy up the graves of the deceased and put red lights on them that twinkle in the dark.

So I thought I would post a few red sparklers of my own

Steamed game suet pudding

I was rummaging around in my deep freeze and came across some of  last seasons game, a pheasant and some diced hare (it had been too badly broken to do much else with it).

I had been parceling up some beef suet to send off to someone and it hit me straight away, it was cold and damp out so PING, it hit me like a shot, a nice game pudding.

You will require some diced game, anything will do, hare, rabbit, venison, wild boar, pheasant, partridge, pigeon, as it doesn't have to be pretty or young and it is going to be steamed long and slow, this is a perfect dish for broken and game past its prime. In fact older game has a much deeper (stronger) taste.

For the filling:

1 pheasant deboned and diced
1 hare deboned and diced
(use the bones for the stock)
game spices
salt and pepper
1/2 glass of red wine
1/2 glass of port
Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion sliced
100g of sliced mushrooms
50g of speck

For the stock:

game carcass or bones (anything you can lay your hands on)
a bunch of root vegetables
10 black pepper corns
5 crushed juniper berries
5 pimento (all spice) berries
1/2 a lemon
a couple of bay leaves
a spoonful of herb de Provence

For the suet pastry:

100g Beef suet
225g Flour
(you would normally use SR flour, but here in Germany you cannot get it)
so add 1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tea spoon of salt
1 tea spoon of dried ground rosemary
150ml cold water

debone your pheasant and hare (or any other game that you are able to lay your hands on), remove any shot, feathers, bone or fur that has been carried into the carcass with the shot.
The carcass after removing the breast and leg meat, if it is an old bird you will have to pull the leg tendons, also remove any shot and feathers that have been taken into the meat (this is what is lying to the lower left of the carcass.
The carcass and root vegetables etc for the game stock
Top up with water  and simmer gently for a few hours.

Dice and mix with the game spices and a desert spoon of flour, add the red wine and port. Set to one side to marinate (overnight in a cool fridge if you have the time).

Fry the speck. onions and mushrooms until all the liquid has dissipated, set to one side to cool.

Next make your pastry.
Mix all the dry ingredients together add the water slowly, it should be firm and not sticky, flour your work surface and roll out into a circle, cut out 1/4 (this will roll out for the lid). push the other piece into the pudding basin and join the slit side together with a little water and pressing it it. Leave the sides higher than the basin sides. Starting with a layer of game, then a layer of onion mushroom mixture, then a layer of game etc, etc. salt, pepper and season after each game layer adding a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. When the basin is packed full, top up with some of the game stock. Roll out the top, place it inside of the outer pastry and need the seam together (it doesn't have to be pretty) cut out a piece of grease proof paper, butter one side and lay that on the top.Take a piece of aluminium foil, fold a pleat in it and place it over the grease proof paper tying it in place around the pudding basin rim with kitchen string. place the whole lot into a muslin cloth and tie at the top.

Put this into a double boiler, steamer or a pan with a tivit on the bottom. Steam for at least 4 hours, mine was done for 5. keep topping up with boiling water. A tip that I learned from my mother, put a glass mable into the pan, if the water gets too low it starts to jump about making quite a din, you know it is time to top up with water.

 Remove the cloth, the foil and the grease proof paper and you should have something that resembles this

Cut it open and enjoy the rich aromas as they rise from the pud.

Serve with red cabbage, potato dumplings and Brussels sprouts, I made extra gravy using the game stock for serving with the pud and pouring over the dumplings (dumplings with game gravy are great all by themselves).

Cheers and not a bad Sunday lunch with the left overs from last years Christmas hunt

Red Deer shanks (Rot Hirsch steltzen)

I managed to crowbar the shanks from my mate who had shot a nice 2 year old stag a few days ago (he had no choice I had my carrier out of my pocket in a flash) and they where gone, disappeared, vanished, I managed to magic them back though when I got home! He needed my help to skin and butcher it, so fair dues. Thanks mate.

I put 2 of them in the freezer for a rainy day (I do hope it rains soon as MY freezer is full), the other two I dusted all over in my dry spice herbs and sealed into a plastic container. These I left for 3 days, then took them with me up to Kiel.

This was done in the Slow cooker but can also be done in the oven at a low heat.

You will need for the slow cooked deer shanks:

Game spices, rub well into the shanks (see my recipe or buy ready ground) and left in a cool place for a couple of days

1 glass of red wine added to the shanks 24 hours prior to cooking.

with a small handful of freeze dried root vegetables

A few small onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed and diced
1 sprig of thyme
a few leaves of sage
some sprigs of rosemary
1 bunch of soup vegetables consisting of, a couple of carrots, a piece of celeriac, white of a leek, a bunch of parsley including stalks
Some good stock ( we had some nice lamb stock in the freezer)
10 crushed pepper corns.
teaspoon of course salt
100g  of speck or fatty smoked bacon

Dice the veg quite small, put in the bottom of the Slow cooker, fry the onions and speck add to SC, then  add the shanks,the garlic and the wine marinade, add the stock.

Add the fresh herbs, peppercorns and salt

Pop on the lid set on high for an hour turn down low and go and do the shopping at the market or watch Saturday kitchen. Leave the shanks for about 5 hours on low to do their thing.

I had some nice fresh Bavarian semmel knödeln, a finished product,  cooking at a slow rolling boil

we had bought some fresh red cabbage at the market, to this was added a glass of red wine a small schnapps glass of raspberry vinegar, a tea spoon of whole cumin seeds, salt and pepper to taste

Remove the shanks from the SC and strain the liquid through a funnel sieve, pushing the veg well down to remove all of the goodness and taste! boil this up in a small sauce pan, with some dried rosemary needles a desert spoonful of blackberry and sloe jelly (or any other jelly like black current of black cherry, I have even added orange marmalade), reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.

We had bought some chanterelles and brown mushrooms at the market, these fried together with a bit of speck and a chopped shallot in a little olive oil made a nice accompaniment. Just in case there was a chance that we would be hungry we done some buttery potato and turnip mash.

The shanks and sauce
Red cabbage, wild mushrooms, semmel knödeln, potato and turnip (swede) mash

The finished meal