Nut-crusted venison, pumpkin ragout and pan-fried dumplings by Römische Taverne Villa Borg

I love cooking with regional and seasonal ingredients, so when Urlaub Saarland asked me to join them in discovering Saarland products and cook with these, I was immediately game! In our ‘Dibbe Duo’ project, I’m visting Saarland over three months – each month I’m being introduced to two local producers to gather ingredients that I’ll bring to a local chef. Together we then proceed to develop a new recipe.

This October’s Dibbe Duo took me to Bioweingut Ollinger-Gelz in Perl, a family winery that’s been making wine for 150 years. They converted their production to organic wines in 2004, and you find some excellent pinot noir, auxerrois, riesling and other regional varieties here. I picked up a bottle of Pinot Noir for my Dibbe Duo Box, which also held some local cider from Pica Pica, hokkaido pumpkin, walnuts, regional mustard and herbs.

I then sat down with chef Christian Heinsdorf from the Taverne Römische Villa Borg – a restaurant set in a reconstructed Roman villa that also serves as a museum. Christian is an avid hunter, so he suggested we cook some seasonal venison with a nut crust, served with a pumpkin cider ragout and a delicious sauce made with Ollinger-Gelz’s pinot noir. And, to add to it, we’re using up some stale bread and turning it into a delicious ‘Serviettenknödel’ – a fried German dumpling which works perfectly in this delicious autumnal dish.

October 18, 2022