The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Game Stock

2 kg of game bones and trimmings (in this case Roe), One of our friends brought a bag of bones along with a piece of deer.
2 carrots

A large piece of celeriac

White of a leek
2 onions, 1 halved, skin still on and cut face browned.

The other skinned with 2 bay leaves pinned on with cloves.
Roughly chop the vegetables and add the browned onion and brown the bones etc. in a little neutral oil.

Transfer to a hot oven and roast for about an hour,

 tip the lot into the pressure cooker with the following.

A bunch of soup vegetables.  Peeled and chopped, the onion studded with the bay leaf and the cloves.
1 crushed garlic clove

Add to the bones in the pressure cooker along with,
The game spices

Consisting of:

A piece of cinnamon bark
1 teaspoon of black pepper corns

6 juniper berries

6 allspice berries

½ tsp. Of mustard seeds
Crush roughly with a pestle and mortar.

Add a small bunch of parsley including stalks

1 sprig of thyme

4 sage leaves

Deglaze the roasting pan with 200ml of red wine and the vegetable stock, add this to the pressure cooker and then cover with vegetable stock (I added some of the beef stock from the steak and kidney).


Allow to boil,

 skim off the scum as it rises (tip, don’t have the pot fully on the ring, it will then boil at one side, forcing the scum to the other side)

 put the lid on and pressure cook at full pressure for 1 hr.

After pressure cooking strain through a sieve allow to cool (in this weather the balcony is fantastic) and remove the fat that solidifies on top, you now have a fantastic game stock, ready for sauces, soups or by freezing and filtering,and turning into a clear consommé

The de-fatted reduced stock

Oxtail, beef shin and sheep’s kidney pud. (in the Heston Style)

I had made Heston’s  oxtail and kidney puddings in  Dariol moulds for a Kikoklu dinner a couple of years ago, they had turned out very well, I had that time served with poached oysters. This time I decided that I would make a single large one, it isn’t often that I make suet puddings as the Doc doesn’t think they are the best thing for a diabetic to eat.      

So as I was on the way home from work on Thursday I popped into Herr Tönnies Abattoir, it is one of the largest in Germany if not in Europe (though he is building an even larger one in Russia). The abattoir processes 30,000 half pigs per day (the other stuff like the local beef, goats and sheep are not included in these figures), it is also one of the largest employers of labour in the area, unfortunately most of it not local but comes from the former East Block. But sorry this has nothing to do with my Pud!

I bought oxtail, the thick part with loads of meat and 2 slices of beef leg with the bone in (Hinter Beinscheiben).

So the ingredients for the pudding was:

1.5 kg of oxtail

1 kg of beef shin

4 large sheep kidney’s

1 bunch of soup vegetables (leek, celeriac and carrots)

150g of mushrooms

300g of onion

2 tsps. of tomato puree (I used this in place of fresh roasting tomatoes)

2 bay leaves

Sprig of thyme

1 star anis

10 pepper corns

750 ml of beef stock

750 ml of chicken stock

200 ml of Madeira

500 ml of red wine

A good splash of brandy


First make the mirepoix, dicing all of the vegetables quite small, Soften the vegetables in a little oil, then the mushroom and finally the caramelise onions, put all these in the pressure cooker. 

Heat some peanut oil in a pan and brown the meat a single layer at a time. When well and truelly browned remove with a slotted spoon and put on top of vegetables in the pressure cooker.

Pour off the fat from the pan that had the meat in and deglaze with Madeira, brandy and red wine, flame off the alcohol and add this to the pressure cooker.

Next add the 2 stocks, the spices and tomato puree, give it a stir,
put the lid on and bring up to steam at the highest pressure, turn down the heat to the lowest and let it cook for 2 hours. (Heston says 1.5hrs but I was out at the market while Linda was watching it, that is what she done, watched it)

I cooled the pot and allowed the contents to cool a little (it is hot, very hot indeed so watch it) now remove the oxtail and shin with a slotted spoon and strip the meat from the bones (it just falls off).

Pour the stock through quite fine sieve, pressing through to get all the taste and goodness out of it discarding the residue.

Reduce the stock by about 1/3 and adjust the seasoning.

Pour about 1 ltr into a clean pan and poach the skinned, cored and diced sheep’s kidneys until they are soft and cooked.

Mix the kidney with the rest of the meat, moisten with a little of the stock and cover.

Make the suet pastry,

500g of flour (it is normal to use self-raising, but having none I used double the amount of baking powder)
250g of suet , I used packet, but have made my own from sheep or veal suet, this surrounds the kidneys and the butcher will more than likely give you it for nothing. Just mince it and sprinkle it with flour to stop it sticking together in one lump.

1 pct. of Baking powder
1 tsp. of salt

300 ml of ice cold water
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl, mix in the suet and add the water a little at a time (I cut it in with a knife, but  just because this is how my mother did, though you do not want to over work it). Bring it all together and form into a ball cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Butter a pudding basin well

Roll out the ball into a circle and cut out ¼ reform into a circle and ease it into the pudding basin allow a good bit of overhang at the top make sure all the air is out between the basin side and pastry wall, use your fingers to force it down into the bottom.

Now fill the basin with the meat mixture, packing it in tight, pour in some of the reduced stock, roll out the top, wet the top edge of the pastry and place the top onto it and press together to seal.

I would normally have cut out a piece of greaseproof paper to cover and then pleated a piece of foil over the whole, tying round the rim with string. This plastic bowl had a lid so I decided to use this, foolish boy!!!, Place an upturned plate into a large pot, place the basin on top of this and add boiling water 2/3 up the side of the basin lid on and steam. Alas this foolish boy had forgotten that the suet pastry expands, it did this and forced the lid off, so I returned to first principles and made a foil cover tied on with string, the simple things always seem to work.

I steamed for 2 hours.

As it was coming to the end of the steaming, I reduced the kidney liquid even more adding a bit more thyme and anther slug of Madeira.

We had it with glazed baton carrots, sautéed Brussel sprouts and speck and creamed  mashed potatoes.

The finished meal

Smoked duck breast with braised savoy, cheese spätzle and cherry sauce

I had been thinking about doing this for a while, I had a wild duck in the freezer, but then thought that it may be better to use a free range one from the market. So that was it, bought it, scored it, salted and peppered it, rubbed it in game spices and herbs, wrapped it in cling film and forgot about it over night.

I had also bought a nice Savoy (Wirsingkohl) cabbage, a jar of cherries. The spätzle are not at all difficult, just takes a bit of patience,

So Sunday morning, I lit the my dome smoker, and placed a metal dish with beech sawdust, a sprig of rosemary, sage and oregano, a few bay leaves and a small handful of crushed juniper berries placed the lot on top of the coals. Lid down and waited until it had raised its head of smoke.

 Placed the duck breast skin side down on an aluminium grill tray and smoked for 10 minutes,

turned it over and smoked for another 5. Removed and let it rest, this process is for smoking not for cooking, so it should still be quite raw in the middle, with only the outside being crisp and smoky.

Went out for a pint and when I came home, made the spätzle,

1 egg

150 g of plain flour

salt, pepper, thyme and oregano

small handful of grated hard cheese (Berg Käse)

some milk to make a thick batter

Beat the egg, flour, milk, salt and pepper together until bubbles rise, add the herbs and cheese and beat once again. allow to stand for 1/2 hr.

In the mean time shred the Savoy and blanche, heat a little butter in a pan, add a sliced shallot and soften, add 50g of diced speck, when all is translucent, add the cabbage and sauté.

In another pan heat a little olive oil and fry the duck breast skin side down until nice and crisp, place in a pre-heated oven (180° C).

Now in a pan with boiling water scharb your spätzle (using a board and either the back of a knife or God Forbid a spätzle press). When they rise to the surface place them in a bowl with cold water. Heat some butter in a frying pan and sauté the "Käse Späzle"

Remove the duck breast cover and allow to rest.

During all this make your cherry sauce, put a couple of tablespoons of preserved cherries in a small pan along with some of the juice, add a little mustard powder, a slug of port and reduce until it thickens, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add a couple of sprigs of thyme, cover and allow to infuse.

Plate up the Savoy, Spätzle and Duck and pour over the cherry sauce,

It was quite a large breast so it did in fact do 2 days, it was quite wonderful, smoky, herby and gamey. It was crispy outside, juicy and pink inside.