Oxtail Ragout from 'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck (Danielle Acken)
Blog 10 November

3 delicious recipes inspired by Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Heavily influenced by France, Michelin star-studded Baden-Württemberg is considered as having the best cuisine in Germany. Throw a Baden-inspired German feast using Alfons Schuhbeck’s recipes...

To start: Baden-Style Snail Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

A bowl of snail soup (Shutterstock)

A bowl of snail soup (Shutterstock)

Ingredients

Butter: 100 g

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper

Garlic clove: 1

Parsley: 3 tbsp

Chives: 1 tbsp

Tarragon leaves: 2-3

 

 

Chervil: 1 tbsp

Onions: 2

Oil: 2 tbsp

Snails: 24

Baden white wine: 125 ml

Veal stock: 500 ml

Single (light) cream: 100 ml

Double (heavy) cream: 2 tbsp

Crispy toasted bread, to serve

Method

Beat the butter until fluffy and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Peel and crush the garlic in a garlic crusher and mix into the butter with 2 tablespoons of parsley and the other herbs. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Peel and finely chop the onions and sauté in the hot oil until translucent. Wash, pat dry then coarsely chop the snails and add to the onions. Cook briefly, then add the wine, stock and cream and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Cut the cold herb butter into small pieces and stir into the soup. Bring the soup back to a boil and fold in the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve with crispy toasted bread.

 

 

For the main: Oxtail Ragout

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Oxtail Ragout from 'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck (Danielle Acken)

Oxtail Ragout from 'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck (Danielle Acken)

Ingredients

Onions: 2

Carrot: 1

Celeriac: 120 g

Oil: 3 tbsp

Oxtail pieces: 2.5 kg

Icing (confectioners) sugar: 1 tbsp

Tomato puree (paste): 1 tbsp

Madeira wine: 80 ml

Port: 250 ml

Heavy red wine: 500 ml

 

 

Chicken stock: 1.2 litres

Juniper berries: 3

Coriander seeds: 5

Peppercorns: 5

Bay leaf: 1

Garlic clove, halved: 1

Sprig rosemary: 1

Strip unwaxed lemon zest: 1

Cold butter: 1 ½ tbsp

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Peel and cut the onions, carrot, and celeriac into 1–2-cm (1⁄2–3⁄4-inch) dice. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large casserole (Dutch oven). Sear the oxtail in batches over a medium heat and take out of the pan.

Sprinkle the sugar into the pan and lightly caramelise. Stir in the tomato pureé (paste) and cook briefly. Deglaze the pan with the Madeira, port and a third of the red wine and simmer to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add the remaining wine a little at a time, reducing at a simmer each time.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan or skillet and sauté the diced vegetables over a medium heat. Add the vegetables to the casserole (dutch oven). Return the meat to the pan and add enough stock to cover the contents with liquid. Cover with a lid, leaving a small gap, and braise the meat over a low heat until tender, about 3 hours 30 minutes. Then 30 minutes before the end, add the juniper berries, coriander seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf.

Take the oxtail pieces out of the pan and let cool. Remove the meat from the bones. Filter the sauce through a sieve into a pan, pressing firmly on the vegetables.

Simmer the sauce until reduced by half. Add the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest, let infuse for a few minutes, then remove and discard. Stir in the cold butter in small pieces and melt in the sauce. Put the oxtail meat into the pan and reheat. Season the ragout with salt and pepper. Serve the oxtail ragout on plates. Accompany with stewed leeks and mushrooms.

Something sweet: Black Forest Gateaux

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Cooling time: 3 hours
Serves: 16

Black Forest Cake from 'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck (Danielle Acken)

Black Forest Cake from 'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck (Danielle Acken)

Ingredients

For the sponge layers:

Butter, for greasing

Flour, for dusting

Eggs: 6

Sugar: 150 g

Salt

Plain (all-purpose) flour: 120g

Cocoa powder: 40g

For the cherries:

Sour cherries (from a jar):  500g

Icing (confectioners’) sugar: 1 tsp

Red wine: 180ml

 

 

Port: 70ml

Cornflour (corn starch): 1 tbsp

Caster (superfine) sugar: 3 tbsp

Pinch ground cinnamon: 1

Pinch ground cloves: 1

Grated unwaxed orange zest: ½ tsp

Honey: 1 tsp

For the cream:

Gelatine: 3 sheets

Double (heavy) cream: 800 ml

Sugar: 80g

Kirsch: 8 tbsp

Chocolate shavings: 4 tbsp

Method

Grease a 26-cm (101⁄4-inch) springform pan and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 175°C/345°F/Gas Mark 33⁄4.

For the sponge layers: Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the egg yolks with 1–2 tbsp sugar until thick and pale. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the remaining sugar to soft peaks. Sift the flour and cocoa and fold in, alternating with the egg whites and yolks. Pour into the pan and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the cherries: Drain the cherries and reserve 250 ml (1 cup/8 fl oz) of liquid. Caramelise the icing (confectioners’) sugar in a pan, then deglaze with the wine and port and reduce by half. Dissolve the cornflour in a little cherry liquid. Add the sugar, spices and zest, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir in the cornflour and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cherries and adjust the sweetness with honey. Let cool, then set aside 16 cherries. Cut the cake crosswise into three equal layers. Soak the bottom layer with 2 tbsp kirsch. Top with half the cherries.

For the cream: Soften the gelatine in water. Whip the cream with the sugar to stiff peaks. Heat 4 tbsp of kirsch in a pan. Squeeze the gelatine well, dissolve in the kirsch, then incorporate into the cream.
Spread a quarter of the cream over the cherries. Top with the second sponge, soak with kirsch, add the cherries and spread with cream. Cover with the last layer of sponge. Put the cream in a piping bag with a star tip. Cover with cream and mark out 16 sections. Decorate each section with cream, topped with a cherry and chocolate shavings in the middle. Chill for 1 hour.

 

'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck is published by Phaidon (ukphaidon.com)

'The German Cookbook' by Alfons Schuhbeck is published by Phaidon (ukphaidon.com)

Germany is a patchwork of distinct regional cultures. From the northern coastal regions surrounding Hamburg, to Munich in the Alpine south, Frankfurt in the west, and Berlin in the east, its cities and farmland yield an extraordinary variety of ingredients, influences and culinary inspiration. The German Cookbook is a captivating collection of recipes brought together by one of the country’s most famous chefs, Alfons Schuhbeck. Within this 488-page tome, the author showcases a remarkable array of dishes from this often overlooked cuisine.

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