Game Buffet on September 23, 2022

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We will start our game season with our game buffet on September 23, 2022. Game in Grindelwald is synonymous with eating game in the Föhrenstube – always a delight.

Guests in the restaurants of the Derby Hotel Grindelwald will be spoiled with game specialties and autumn delicacies from the region from September 23, 2022.

Famous for its game dishes – the restaurants of the Derby Hotel Grindelwald will spoil you with game dishes from the region every year in September. Eating game at the Derby Hotel Grindelwald is in a class of its own, at fair prices!

Eating game has always been a tradition in our restaurants and we can claim to be one of the most popular game – restaurants, not only in Grindelwald, but in the Jungfrau region. This is not only shown by the table reservations for the game season or the fact that our game buffet is booked out very early every year, but also that we have guests from Great Britain, for example, who book a weekend with us especially for the game buffet every year.

Tip: Here you can still book quickly: Phone +41 (0)33 854 54 61 or online: Book a table

Look out for our game menu on our Culinary Calendar – click here.

We will now publish weekly game recipes until the start of our game season at Derby Hotel Grindelwald and its restaurants on our News page. Visit our news page regularly and sign up for our newsletter – click here.

Game – Grindelwald – Peter Bittner, the perfect combination for exquisite food

Grindelwald and its surroundings offer a lot of local game. Our chef, Peter Bittner, strives to prepare his dishes with game from local hunts, as long as the supply permits. He cooks with fresh seasonal and regional products and skillful craftsmanship to bring you top quality products. Peter Bittner has been master of pots, pans and spoons at the Derby Hotel Grindelwald for over 30 years. His passion for cooking and nature in Grindelwald are reflected in his dishes.

Grindelwald, the autumn and its (game) dishes

Soon it will be time, the game season in Grindelwald will start and you will meet with friends and family to eat game in Grindelwald! Then it’s time to say goodbye to the wonderful summer dishes and get ready for the cooler days. But don’t worry, autumn has plenty of culinary delights to offer. Look forward to hearty and tasty meals that are guaranteed to keep you warm well into winter.

The game season is a culinary journey through time. A true gourmet will not regret trying the different types of game offered during this season. The aroma and taste are incredibly varied and unique every time. Game is very peculiar in taste and opinions about it divide, but those who love it can look forward to many delights!

Even the famous comic book hero Obelix was a game lover: he was known not only for his appetite, but also his preference for roasted wild boar! By game is understood not only the wild boar, but also the deer, the rabbit, the stag and various feathered game such as the pheasant, the wild pigeon or even the wild goose. The meat is accompanied by typical autumn side dishes. Very popular is the red cabbage with glazed chestnuts, spaetzle and pickled pears, usually you get Brussels sprouts and mushrooms with the dish.

On the subject of meat quality, it is important to emphasize that there is no such thing as “inferior meat”, just as there is no such thing as “noble cuts”: every cut and every muscle has its strengths, which must be worked out and utilized for an optimal taste experience! Neck and knuckle are certainly not suitable for a quick round on the grill, but they are the first choice for braised dishes. A goulash made from sinewless back muscle can be just as unsuccessful as a short-roasted shank.

Game: preparation of the various cuts of meat

Short roast

Above the spine are two long back muscles, which in beef are used, for example, to cut roast beef, prime steak or rib-eye steak. The fillets are located just below the spine in the abdominal cavity and are small: in a deer weighing about 15 kg, the two fillets together weigh only 150 grams. The back muscles and fillets, which are detached from the bone and trimmed, consist of pure muscle meat and are completely free of tendons. Accordingly, they are uncomplicated in preparation – sear in a pan at maximum heat for a few seconds until a crust forms (in clarified butter or oil at high heat), then bake in a preheated oven at 80-120° C for a few minutes to simmer – ready and incomparably easy.

In addition to the back, the leg, commonly called the “hind leg”, is also suitable for quick roasting. If you cut the leg along the connective tissue layers into the individual muscles, the following sinew-free cuts of meat result: Nut, Roll, Lower Shell, Upper Shell, Hock, Hip, and the “Mayor’s Piece,” which is so small in venison that it often ends up in ground meat. Once the superficial, light-colored tendon plates and fat are removed, they all taste fantastic when roasted briefly. The exception is the “nut” that sits on the bone just above the kneecap. This muscle doesn’t lend itself as well to short roasting because it has a stronger tendon running through it lengthwise. If you prefer ground beef or pot roast, choose this cut instead.

There are several tendons in the shank or lower leg, so it is not recommended to use it for short roasting. Therefore, the shank is explained in more detail in the braised dishes.

Braising

The neck, shank (lower leg) and knuckle (lower arm) are constantly in motion and subjected to heavy use, resulting in thick, robust tendons, whether in venison, deer or wild boar. It is common to portray the sinewy elements of the outer extremities as less valuable, but this is not true. They merely require a little more care before they taste truly excellent.

It would be almost impossible to remove each of these tendons individually. You should work “with” them when preparing them, not “against” them. To grind the tendons, you need energy. You can do it with your teeth or with a meat grinder and its spinning knife, but the oven or stove is the most effective tool for this task.

Braising for hours (!) is the best way to use sinewy cuts, as the sinews are mainly made of collagen, which starts to dissolve at a temperature of 63°C. After some time, the meat becomes soft and tender, and the sauce that results is incredibly silky – far better than what a cut might be without those tendons!

Especially in autumn, when the days get colder and shorter and the need for warm goulash and spicy curry increases, it is occasionally unavoidable to supplement the meat of shank, knuckle and neck with venison from the shoulder and occasionally with the “nut” from the leg. On the other hand, the venison from the shank, knuckle and shoulder can occasionally be made into minced meat, especially in the spring and summer, for example, grilled venison cevapcici. In principle, the boundaries between minced meat and braised meat can be shifted, even if the many tendons occasionally clog the meat grinder’s perforated disc.

The flavor of game meats such as venison and wild boar is improved by removing all fat. However, wild boar fat should always be left on the meat. In addition, fat from venison, fallow deer and red deer should always be removed, whether it is minced or cooked in a pot roast.

The hunting season in general and game in Grindelwald

Game is hunted from September onwards. The red deer, like the roe deer and the stag, stand for a living forest. Hunting is not primarily about killing animals to eat them, it also has the task of preserving and promoting biodiversity. Hunters are responsible for balancing the game population and the habitat.

The Jungfrau Region is home to roe deer, deer, chamois, wild boar and many other species. Today’s world is characterized by climate change, which is also felt in Grindelwald and the Jungfrau Region. Although the glaciers here are retreating faster than predicted, the native animals, such as the deer, the king of the forest, are defying this change. Climate change is lengthening the alpine summer, and the deer are shortening it again for farmers. The deer return earlier from their wintering area to the alpine farming areas and the increasing population of deer means for the farmers that good pasture grass, which is needed for the dairy cows, is eaten earlier by the red deer.

Our first game recipe: is it better to make a game stock or a game broth?

First of all, venison bones are not useless. They are basically soup bones. Make use of the bones!

The rich game broth is a great meal on its own. Possibly add spaetzle, root vegetables or meat…. Bone broth, made from venison meat and bones, is also the basis for other dishes such as venison stock, venison jus and venison glacé. But what should be considered when making a game broth? Which bones may be used, how do you deal with sinews, and does the accompanying meat interfere? Do red wine and spices have a place in the broth?

It should go without saying that with any animal you carve, you should also use the bones and make broth. The approach here is minimalist – venison, water, nothing else. Most recipes use typical game spices like juniper, allspice and bay leaf, but also red wine and sherry, sometimes tomato paste… The result is the classic venison stock that can be used as a sauce base. Some recipes use salt, but this is a glaring mistake that has nothing to do with taste: The salt in the water inhibits the osmotic process that ensures that the meat and bone flavors are transferred to the water.

Game broth without wine

Stock, broth and soup, how best to season. A bone broth should generally be seasoned as little as possible. The idea here is to keep your options open, as often when you’re cooking, you’re not sure how and where you’ll end up using the “liquid gold.” To enhance a light salad dressing, red wine would be out of place. Allspice does not go well in an Asian soup. When reducing the broth to a strong sauce, water evaporates and the spices and flavors remain, this can quickly over-season the sauce. Less is more at this point.

What ingredients belong in the broth?

It should be made without wine. This makes the taste clear: venison! Doing without spices is certainly not an easy decision, but you can compensate for this anyway. If you have sherry, brandy, juniper and allspice in the finished dish, you simply add it during preparation.

For the broth, you take all the bones, including the pelvis, spine and ribs. In addition, you also take tendons, whether the strong Achilles tendon or the tendon skins, which are produced, for example, when paring the roe deer. The collagen dissolves during cooking due to the heat and later, if you like, it provides a smooth, creamy sauce. The broth should solidify in the refrigerator, this only works with tendons. Also meat scraps should be cooked out if they don’t end up in the mince (or dog food).

How do I get a particularly intense broth?

You can prepare the finished broth a second time with fresh bones. This will make it even denser and more concentrated and it will gel already at room temperature. Here you can use the following procedure: After the deer is cut, take only half of the bones to make the broth and leave them in the pot for one night, then strain and refrigerate the broth. The next night, add the second half of the bones to the broth of the previous night. You should not necessarily hang the game whole in the classic way here, but pack it in vacuum bags. To get 2 liters of super intense bone broth, you can use bones from three roebucks in four nights to make the broth.

Is red deer or wild boar suitable for a broth?

Not only deer bones are suitable for a game broth, but also wild boar bones, they give a very intense, spicy flavor. The wild boar broth is particularly suitable for goulash or bolognese. The slight clouding of the broth is only visually disturbing. A clear broth can also be obtained with fallow deer and red deer. Those who like the special taste of field hare can also boil hare bones and will love the broth. Especially for a classic roast hare or a hare pepper, a hare broth is the best choice.

Do you need to clarify the bone broth?

After cooking, the broth still contains suspended solids: tiny meat fibers, connective tissue remnants, and possibly vegetable shreds. To obtain a crystal clear broth, it must be removed. There are various methods for this: You can use clarified meat, i.e. boil the broth with some minced meat and then strain it, or clarify it with egg, in which case the coagulating egg white binds the suspended particles.

However, this is not absolutely necessary. A skimmed broth contains hardly any suspended matter anyway, and it is only the smallest part of what you have cooked out for flavor anyway. Normally you should boil down the finished broth and pour the broth through a dish towel when filling the first jars, this will filter some out. This broth can be used for clear soups. The rest you fill unclarified and then use these jars for goulash and other stews, where in the end anyway no clear sauce is needed.

Recipe for game broth

Ingredients:

  • Knochen, Sehnen und Zerwirkabschnitte
  • Wenn man möchte:
  • 2-3 Zwiebeln
  • 1 Stange Lauch
  • 1 Knolle Sellerie (wenn das Grün dabei ist, gern rein damit!)
  • eventuell Gemüsereste
  • etwas neutrales Öl

Preparation:

As described earlier, the flavor is in the bones – To do this, break open all the bones and put them in a roasting pan in the oven to roast with tendons and meat. It should turn brown, almost black. To break the bones, in addition to the back of a knife, hatchet and saw, you can take a small bolt cutter. This breaks reliably and does not immediately fling the pieces of bone all over the kitchen.

How long should the broth be boiled?

If you want to add vegetables, first sauté them with oil in the pot and add the roasted bones. Pour in cold water until everything is just covered and bring to the boil. Skim off the foam that has risen and simmer over low heat for 8 or more hours. It depends a little on the stove, but it should work fine on the lowest setting overnight. The next morning, take the bones out of the broth, the attached meat is so soft cooked that it slides off the bone by itself (the dog is happy…). Now strain the broth again, perhaps reduce it further and let it cool. Especially in autumn, the animals have a lot of fat, which can be removed as a white “lid” after cooling.

Finally, warm the degreased broth slightly, then pour it through a kitchen towel. The cloth must be moved so that it does not clog too quickly. To use the stock as a ‘flavor bomb’, it is advisable to boil it down or freeze it in ice cube bags and molds, thus obtaining stock cubes for bolognese, salads, sauces …

Photo: Johannes Plenio

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