Black Forrest

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

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Image - Property of Panoramio

Image: Property of Panoramio

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Click here for a short Video of Hotel Wiedenfelsen
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It  seems about time that I dedicate a dish and name it for the place which started it all for me, the wonderful, elegant and classy “Hotel Wiedenfelsen” in the  Black Forrest  in  Germany.
Before and during the time I was lucky to be am apprentice in this gem of a hotel, the tourist industry in Germany was dominated by hotels like this.
Medium in size, family-owned hotels and restaurants which were the pride of families which, in many cases, had operated these hotels and restaurants for generations. Sadly, because of changing demands, the industry took a sharp turn during the 70’s and many of these wonderful places became obsolete in a fast changing landscape of mostly chain-operated hotels. Only the strongest and the luckiest survived, while the rest gave way to cookie-cutter operations without charm and soul, or they just ceased to exist (including Hotel Wiedenfelsen). It has since seen various attempts to re-invent itself under different ownership, but has never managed to come even near it’s former glory).
Things were of course very different during the hotels heydays, the time during which I had the fortune to be accepted for a three-year apprenticeship under the tight and competent leadership of the Executive Chef (and son in law of the then-owners) Karl Mueller. Karl was a generous and warm person, taking care of us apprentices as if we were family. He was also extremely professional, strict and a severe applier of high culinary standards.
Although ours was a relatively small hotel (about 70 rooms, two restaurants and one banquet space), the standards with which our hotel operated were very high and impeccable indeed.
It was mostly because of these high standards of the whole family who owned and operated “Hotel Wiedenfelsen” that I have become the person I am and the chef I was for nearly five decades. Admittedly, it took an iron hand,  a (seemingly at the time) short leash and not a few “fresh ones” to shape me (and a bunch of other apprentices) into the professional I became, but, looking back today, I am grateful to the Mehr family and the Mueller family to have never given up on me and guided me into the right professional and personal direction.
All of this (and more) went through my head yesterday while I was cooking this dish which was the first lamb dish Chef Mueller taught me so many years ago………..
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Thanks Karl, Uschi, Herr und Frau Mehr. God Bless ! 🙂
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Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

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Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew “Wiedenfelsen”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Of  the thousands of readers and followers of ChefsOpinion, I am sure only a small handful will be familiar with this dish. To all others, I highly recommend this if you are a lover of hearty fare, especially now during the winter months.
Metzelsuppe, Schlachtsuppe, Metzel Supp, Kesselsuppe – the proper translation would be Slaughter Soup or Butcher Soup, which does not exactly sound politically correct these days. Sausage soup would be a more palatable name, although it would not give you the proper idea what this dish is all about.
When I was a kid, I grew up in  Gechingen, a small village in the  Black Forrest  in  Southern Germany  (Baden Wuerttemberg). Most of our neighbors were farmers. Once or twice a year, they slaughtered one of the pigs which most of them raised at the back of the house in the  Schweinestall ( Pigsty). It was a time honored tradition to bring the friends and neighbors which had no pigs of their own, each a pair of liver wurst, a pair of blood wurst, a small piece of boiled belly and a small amount of Metzelsupp. This soup was the stock which resulted by cooking all the sausages, belly, head, feet and tail of the pig in one large  Cauldron. Some of the sausages burst during the cooking. This, together with all the flavor from the meat and fat, as well as from the herbs and seasoning used in all the sausages, made for the most flavorful soup you can imagine. My Mom usually served it either with Spaetzle or Grießklößchen as  Einlage (garnish).
Later, when I was an  cook apprentice, we also raised pigs at the back of the hotel (as did many other hotels and restaurants at the time who were lucky enough to have the space to do so).
As a price, everybody who helped with the slaughtering got to share the head as soon as it was boiled, served sprinkled with coarse salt and accompanied by sour dough bread and a cup of Metzelsupp. Life sure was good then……..

Now, I did not slaughter a pig on my patio yesterday so I had to resort to some other methods and ingredients to come as close as possible to the Metzelsupp of my youth.
To be sure it was not as rich and mind-blowing good as the real deal, but it came darn close and made me real happy 🙂
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An Guata Wönsch I Eich Älle  !
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Click here for Semolina Dumpling Recipe

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen
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Preparation :
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liverwurst, blood wurst, pork wurst - remove casing, crumble

liver sausage, blood sausage, pork sausage – remove casing, crumble

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add sausages, onions and plenty of italian parsley to a strong pork stock, simmer for one hour, season with kosher salt and black pepper, check / adjust seasoning

add sausages, thyme, oregano, sage, majoram, onions and plenty of italian parsley to a strong pork stock, simmer for one hour, season with kosher salt and black pepper, check / adjust seasoning

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make semolina dumplings

semolina dumpling massa

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simmer dumplings in salted water until done, about 40 minutes, depending on size

simmer dumplings in salted water until done, about 40 minutes, depending on size

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almost........

almost……..

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plate dumplings

plate dumplings

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add soup, sprinkle with chopped parsley

add soup, sprinkle with chopped parsley

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen

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Metzelsuppe Mit Grießklößchen
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