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Friday, 26 December 2014

The wild boar story continues...

Well, it turns out that the Feldmann family opted for a leg of lamb with aioli, red cabbage and French beans for Christmas dinner. Today I have been receiving pictures of the boar stew as the preparation and cooking progresses.

I cooked myself a whole (yes whole) stuffed shoulder of lamb which I slow roasted in the oven for three hours and served it with roast spuds, spinach and mint sauce. It was originally £22 from Tesco but it seemed that nobody wanted to pay that much for it. So I got it at a reduced cost of £5.50 last Sunday and put it in the freezer. Whilst it was cooking  I had a merry time with the sherry bottle and a few glasses of red wine. Ho Ho Ho!!!

Here are some pictures from Germany via the internet of Thorsten's wild boar stew. Later on today I hope to add a picture of them all at their table. Such are the best joys of the internet! I can almost smell it cooking!

'Wild boar has a deep hue and an intense taste. The meat is aromatic without it being overly gamey. The flavour is full bodied with a sweet but piquant edge. The hunting season takes place during the Winter months and wild boar responds well to slow cooking preferably pre-marinated in gutsy red wines making rich, powerful stews and casseroles. It's meat has a wonderfully intense flavour that is helped by the boar's diet of naturally foraged roots, herbs, acorns and mushrooms, sometimes even truffles!' Copied in part from  (1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die)


And the finished meal. Lecker!!!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Wild boar stew for Christmas dinner

The other day my German friend Thorsten Feldmann told me that he was planning to cook a wild boar goulash for his family for Christmas dinner. His family know a hunter who is also a butcher.The way he described it sounded delicious. His family come from the Rhineland Pfalz part of Germany and so I looked up (through my tome Culinaria) what the traditions around this would be. First of all here is a picture of the boars in the wild.

Not for petting.

Traditionally the forests of the Rhineland -Palatinate are very rich in game including large herds of wild boar. Wild boar do have particularly wild manners and happily root around in meticulously tended front gardens outside of the forest and dig up despairing farmers' meadows and search out every last maize seed that has been sown! The animals can move around more or less unhindered in many places but more than 60,000 wild boar are killed each year by hunters.

They have been hunted more many thousands of years and even the fictional 'Obelix the Gaul' was obsessed with wild roast boar. A modern day version might have been the Wildschweinbraten marinated for two days previous to cooking in a mix of soup vegetables (carrots, leeks, celery stalks, and a bunch of parsley) then covered in red wine, butter and the marinade after draining and cooked until tender. When cooked the meat is kept warm and the juices thickened with bread crumbs. The joint is carved and served with the sauce and creamed potatoes and sauerkraut.

Thorsten has 3kg of wild boar meat to stew with a lot of red wine, spices, onions and garlic. The finished meal will be served with the sauce and dumplings.The boar was from close to the L543 Rheinland-Pfalz Offenbach an der Queich.

Thorsten and myself in Karlsruhe earlier this month.

I am hoping for some pictures from Thorsten of the rich boar stew and their Christmas dinner celebrations.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Out of the shit and into my food.

As I sit here waiting for Dyno-Rod to come and clear my outside drain (it is in the same situation as one who talks utter rubbish - yes very full of shit!) They are supposed to be coming between 12pm and 6pm. I am praying the earlier the better. How funny is this? I was half way through typing the word 'praying' and the phone rang. Lathan from Dyno-Rod was approaching. Two minute job. £86. Bargain! My generous landlady paid.

Dyno-Rod arrives!!

So, I have been off work for the last two days and yesterday I went into the city of Nottingham to do a little Christmas shopping and enjoy a coffee and mince pie whilst watching the frazzled shoppers stream by. The first coffee was had at Delilah delicatessen and whilst in there I made the short video seen at the top of this blog.

I had a mooch around Waterstones bookshop and bought a book on German history by Neil MacGregor. Whilst I was out another very cheap book had arrived in the post for me - Meat Around The World. £1.95 plus postage.So diverse are my interests! I also made another video for fun on and around the Nottingham Trams. Whilst in Karlsruhe recently I shot a small amount of tram footage (I intended to do a lot more) and I added this onto the footage I shot yesterday.

The Christmas Market was in full swing in the Old Market Square. I wasn't overly impressed but then I suppose I have been spoilt with a real German Christmas Market in Karlsruhe (more about this in a future blog post). The image below is myself and Emma Brown my actress in Greetings from the Trenches - a play I wrote, directed and acted in early December at the Jakobus Theatre in Karlsruhe.

Later in the day I went to the CAST restaurant at Nottingham Playhouse for another warming coffee and a couple of free mince pies. As the song goes it was "beginning to feel a lot like Christmas". All the scaffolding was gone from the front of the Playhouse building and a simple Christmas tree was sitting basking in the early evening light next to Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror.

As the day wore on I passed by some attractive food shops and their displays and looked forward to my meaty dinner of rump steak, Spanish sausages and black pudding rings from The Bury Black Pudding Company all purchased from my local butcher in Ruddington.

The day before I had treated myself to a kg of rope grown Scottish mussels purchased half price at Tesco. I love mussels and these plump beauties were stunningly good!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Rack of lamb with steamed vegetables.

I'm quite busy tonight so it was a pleasure to turn on the gas oven and bang in a rack of lamb - cooking in olive oil for and hour at gas mark 6. Some new potatoes start to boil on the stove top half way through the cooking followed by steamed asparagus and spinach. For myself I cook down a whole bag of spinach which reduces into a succulent mini heap of greenery on the plate. I love French butter with aspects of crunchy salt so I add this to the vegetables as they finish cooking with a shake of good black pepper. Overall, an hour and a bit of cooking and a chance to enjoy a glass or two of red wine whilst wrapping a few Christmas presents.

For future blogposts I have some great ideas in the pipeline for immanent posts about the Saturday market in Leiden Holland, Dutch cheese, shopping habits in The Netherlands and German butchers' shops in Southern Germany. Plus Christmas dinner in my house with a small joint of fillet steak and bay leaf! See you soon. Phil!!!!