The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

leek, potato and bacon soup

1 large leek

1 carrot

1 parsley root (failing that a piece of celeriac)

350g potatoes

125g bacon (lardons or speck)

1 large onion

1 large clove of garlic

Chicken stock (or vegetable stock, I had some chicken stock left from the weekend)

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

1 sprig of origano

Freshly crushed pepper

Salt to taste, beware if using stock powder or cubes this may well have enough salt in it)

Slice the leek into 4 length ways and then cut into small dice, grate the carrot, dice the parsley root, cut the potatoes into cubes and roughly chop the onion, crush and chop the garlic.
The claw

Sauté the onion and bacon in a little oil until translucent, add the garlic, carrot, leek, sweat a little to soften then add potatoes, herbs and crushed pepper

Plenty of crushed pepper

Cover with chicken stock, bring to the boil, skim, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Remove the bay leaf and blend (for a chunky soup remove 1/3 of the vegetables, blending and return to the soup afterwards)

Serve with fresh crusty rolls, a filling, hearty soup for the winter, great after a shoot or midway through a one

Put a in good dollop of
Crème fraîche

This is a very well spiced soup (loads of pepper) As I used a chicken stock that was already well seasoned it needed no further adjustment, but if using a stock less well flavoured, it may need added salt.

By forgoing the bacon (It does add a lot of flavour) and using vegetable stock powder or cube (Marigold is the best I know), this is a vegetarian soup, for those that way inclined!!!

Zander filet and a walk in the Nature Reserve

I was up and about bright and early on Saturday morning, I had popped into the market to pick up a chicken that I had ordered on Friday from one of my neighbour (she has chickens and geese), I also picked up some fruit and veg, while passng the fish stall, I noticed that the fishwife had some nice zander filets about 350g, ahem I thought a nice lunch if I ever saw one. I also bought a handful of brown shrimps in their shells.

Off I jolly well went out into the fields, woods and wet lands, doing a bit of wild life watching, ending up in Rietberg (you remember,Karneval), this has a wonderful area of wet lands, these are the reclaimed fish ponds that belong to the Reitberg stud. The ponds where laid down when the Rietberg schloss occupied the grounds now owned by the stud. The Nature Reserve covers an area of many square Acres and is full of swimming, wading and diving water fowl, along with the small rodents, voles, moles, shrews etc that attract owls, hawks and falcons, the reed beds are full of warblers, tits and many other seed feeding birds and the surrounding hedgerows abound with finches eating their way through the last of the Autumn berries. I shall be writing up a page on this wonderful wild life area. It even has a herd of moufflon in the area, mmmm now that is a thought moufflon and chips.

It was a warm morning, in fact the end of the Autumn has turned out warmer than it was for much of what passed for a summer this year!

I headed for home having decided to return early on Sunday morning to catch the geese as they left to go to their feeding grounds, putting on the last of their fat prior to migrating further South.

Zander with brown shrimps in a shrimp sauce.

1 Zander filet (350g)

seasoned flour for dusting

2 table spoons of olive oil

50g of butter

Handful of shell on brown shrimps (peel, save the shells and heads for the sauce)

Shrimp sauce made from the shells and heads of the shrimps boiled in a little stock with a bit of onion, leek, orange peel and a teaspoon of tomato puree. Boil and pour through a fine sieve.

Chop a shallot, mushroom and speck, soften in a little oil, add the shrimp stock and reduce ( you can thicken with a bit of beurre manier) add the peeled shrimps.

Dust the zander filet in the seasoned flour (flour/salt/pepper), heat the oil in the frying pan when hot add the butter when it foams,

add the Zander filet and cook on one side until golden brown,

turn and quickly cook (the inside of the filet should still be opaque) put onto a warmed plate,

spoon over the shrimp sauce.

This was a very nice light lunch. You can serve it with a salad or a few fried potatoes to make a more substantial main meal. I just ate it alone with some crusty bread and a glass of white wine.

Pea Soup - Erbsen Eintopf

Pea Soup.

A few months ago I had bought a ham bone from one of the stalls at Kiel Wochenmarkt, it was a monster and had been languishing in Linda’s freezer ever since. She had been doing a bit of a re-formatting (nice word that) of her drawers (freezer ones) and had asked about it, I said put it out I shall make a big pot of pea soup at the weekend.

So here it is.

You shall need:

For the stock

1 ham bone (it may be from Holsteinische Katenschinken or if down South a good old Westfalisches Schinkenknocken)
A couple of onions studded with cloves and bay leaves
1 Carrot roughly diced
Green of a leek
A couple of slices of celeriac chopped
5 litres of water
Teaspoon crushed pepper corns

Bring the bone to the boil a couple of times discarding the water, (These ham bones and residual meat can be very salty). Then put the bone with the veg into a large pot with 5 litres of water (cover the bone),

bring to the boil and cook for about an hour, remove the bone ( you can shred the meat and add it to the soup, beware it can be very salty and have a strong smoky taste, some like it some don’t)

1 kg of whole dried peas, steeped overnight (or better still 24 hours)

White of 1 leek cut down the middle and chopped
2 carrots diced
Parsley root diced
1 medium onion diced
¼ of a globe of celeriac, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon of pepper corns (crushed)
1 teaspoon of dried marjoram.

There is a myth, nah, a fairy story about that you don’t add salt or seasoned stock to pulses before cooking, this is a load of poppycock, It has been proven as nonsense and I have once again done this!

Put the peas into a large pot, pour over the stock and cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until soft (it is quicker using a pressure cooker, but harder to judge when cooked). When they are just soft add the veg, pepper and marjoram, bring to a rolling boil, if too thick add some more water check that it doesn’t set on to the bottom.

When cooked, you can add some shredded ham, or cooked pieces of kassler.

I like to puree about 30% of the finished soup and then stir all together, you can add more stock or water if you wish to have a thinner soup, but I like the real rib sticker stuff!!!

Serve piping hot with fresh crusty bread (this is smashing Guy Fawkes night grub).

Medieval Chicken

We had been having a discussion on the Wildfood Board about trying new recipes and Ian had been talking about Clarissa Dickson Wrights recipe for Medieval Chicken from the Great British Food Revival. He had cooked it and thought there was a couple of things that could be improved (well that is how recipes develop after all). I had said that as I was at a loss of what to cook at the weekend I would give his changes ago.

So here is my take on it:

A pinch of the best Spanish Saffron threads

200 ml of Aubines de Goupil (a sweetish white wine from Gascogne)

200 ml+ of home made chicken stock, made from 3 chicken carcasses,  some root veg, leek, garlic, chopped mushrooms, onion,a bit of vegetable stock, pepper , cloves  all topped up with water, bring to the boil and simmer.

1 free range straight from the farm yard free range chicken, weighing in at 1.3kg

1 tsp of crushed black pepper

1 tsp of best quality (Sri Lanka) bio cinnamon

5 garlic bulbs (she said small, they didn't have small ones)

A largish piece of garlic peeled and diced

Spanish olive oil (I didn't want the saffron to feel lonely)

My sea salt from Ile de Noirmoutier (it is getting down I do believe I must pop down to the Saline’s and pick up a few more kilos, popping in to see may friends Jacquie and Ian of course)

A small leek sliced

A few slices of sweet onion (Spanish of course)

My process only deviated from the original in that I (on Ian’s recommendation) used half wine and half stock, and put the garlic bulbs in the microwave for a minute to get them started (Ian had said his was still a little hard, the garlic, if you please). I also put a bit of onion in the cavity and some under the bird along with a small chopped leek.

giving it it's first baste

The resting Medieval Chicken, before being put to the sword

The resulting chicken was moist, flavoursome and I did enjoy it, though no more than I would a normal chicken, less that Jamie’s Lemon roasted chicken and not half as good as my paprika roast chicken. I was expecting it to be more well exotic and was a little disappointed, though the potato, celeriac and garlic mash almost made up for it and the braised Savoy with bacon made it worth while!

The spud and celeriac mash

Potaoes (depends how much you like)
Celeriac (1/4 as that was all I had)
Good knob of butter
3 tspn of herbal creme frais
squeezed roasted garlic cloves
Nutmeg to taste
S&P to taste

The braised Savoy cabbage:

fry the lardons in the frying pan that I had done my bacon in for breakfast

Add the onions and soften, then add the Savoy

Add a bit of chicken stock and saute, lid on and braise until soft.

The finished meal.

But I do not think I shall be rushing to do it again, the chicken that is!

Pigeon Pie, that was meant to be a hare pie?

  Well now, I had left Rheda on Friday morning, it was dark and I couldn't see into my deep freezer, I had grabbed a couple of frozen hare legs or so I thought!!!! They turned out to be 3 pigeons? Never mind it is game isn't it?

My Pigeon Pie

3 wood pigeons, drawn and plucked

2 carrots diced small

2 onions sliced

1 clove of garlic crushed and chopped

Enough puff pastry to make a pie lid (there will always be enough cuttings to decorate)

1 egg beaten

Sauce to cover


Carcass and trimmings from 3 pigeons roughly chopped

1 small onion diced

1 parsley root diced

2 litres of good chicken stock (Linda’s was very good)

5 cloves

3 bay leaves

2 heaped table spoons of dried root vegetables (Getrocknete Suppengrün)

5 cm piece of cinnamon

5 juniper berries

2 teaspoons of game spice (see recipe)

20 ml of strong red wine (or port)

Buerre marnie to thicken (50-50 butter/flour)


Wash and skin the pigeons and remove the breasts and legs, break open and remove the hearts (any who had a heart, bum, bum).

Break up the carcass. Heat a little oil in a pan

add the carcasses and trimmings, brown, add the stock, the dried veg, cinnamon, juniper berries and game spices. cover with water.

Lid on, cooking at a rolling boil, skimming any scum that rises to the surface.

Bubble up and push through a sieve, return stock to the pan, and thicken with a beurre manie (I made more than enough’ as I find that it freezes great and is fantastic for quickly thickening any sauce). Adjust seasoning.

Making the Filling

Making the Filling

Season the breasts, legs and hearts with salt and pepper, cutting each breast in half, soften the carrot, onion and garlic in oil, when translucent add the pigeon and colour. Add the wine and cook, DO NOT over cook, they should still be juicy.

Put the pigeon and veg into a pie dish, pour over the sauce. Cut some strips off the sheet of puff pastry to form a bed on the pie dish rim, brush the puff pastry strips with the egg

and place the rolled sheet of top pushing down to make a seal, cut off any overhanging pastry and fork around the edge. Cut out pretty leaves and other poncy things, placing these around a hole that you formed in the centre of the pie crust. Brush with the beaten egg.

Pop into a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 15 minutes.

We ate it with Brussel sprouts and creamy mash, all washed down with a bit of French dry red.

Fantastic, The yorkies are out of Lindas freezer, they had been their since coming back from England in June and she thought it as good a time as any to use them up. She does have some good ideas that lass!

A smashing Autumn meal at under a fiver including wine