karl mueller

Bella’s Fault ! (“Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold”)

Greek Lamb Sandwich

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So  today, at around noon, I seasoned and seared this wonderful boneless leg of lamb I bought earlier, then put it in the oven to roast it slowly until rare, let it rest a bit, then serve with a nice salad for a great lunch.
Well, THAT did not happen ! 😦
As soon as I’d put the meat in the oven, Bella insisted that we go for a walk. I thought to myself ok, just around the corner, then back to take care of lunch.
But, as soon as we started our walk, she pulled me towards the park by the lake and I forgot all about the lamb in the oven. Needless to say, when we got back 1.5 hours later, the meat was well done. After kicking myself (mentally), I cut the leg into smaller, flat pieces, wrapped them in alu-foil and put it back into the oven at 375F for another 2,5 hours, at which point the meat was very tender and almost falling apart. I let it cool off a bit, then pulled it into fine shreds with two forks, seasoned it with olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, cayenne, oregano and voilà – the perfect topping for a Greek sandwich.
When I was an apprentice, my chef, Herr Mueller, used to say about cooking:
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” Any Cook Can Turn Gold Into Crap, But Only A Good Cook Can Turn Crap Into Gold. “
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And there you have it ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Lamb  on  ChefsOpinion
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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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Greek Lamb Sandwich

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