Biergarten Spanien, Ciudad Real Restaurant Review

 I´ve decided to resurrect my restaurant reviews although in the past this has almost seemed to spell the kiss of death to the restaurant as they ended up closing!!!However, I hope this isn´t the case this time.

The Biergarten Spanien is a fairly new restaurant and which is decorated and made to look like a German beer tent similar as to what you might find in the Oktoberfest. I love the central streamers and sign post that almost looks like a maypole. You can find German beer of course but it also sells Spanish and other beer....I´m not a beer lover myself so couldn´t really comment about the beer but you get a free tapa with your beer-ours was tiny sausages but a fairly generous portion).

My parents and I opted for the pork knuckle,sauerkraut and chips or mashed potatoes while my husband chose spare ribs with chips and my daughter had a children´s portion,of chicken nuggets and chips,which was huge. I hadn´t expected the food to be the best due to the low prices and I thought that it was probably a chain restaurant and sometimes chain restaurants aren´t as good  but I was pleasantly surprized as they served decent-sized portions, the food was hot and it was really tasty. Our pork knuckle was really tender and just fell off the bone. We then had a dessert for 2.50 euros. My husband,mum and daughter tucked into a brownie with a fruit coulis and ice cream but I decided to go for something more typically German and had the apple strudel with  fruit coulis.It was also supposed to come with a vanilla cream or custard like sauce but I didn´t see any evidence of it. However, it was still delicious.

There is also a little area for children to play although it is very small and consists of only a table or two and some chairs, where they can sit and colour.

All in all I enjoyed this new restaurant where you can try some German cuisine and would definitely reccommend it. It´s good food at a reasonable price.  We will definitely be going again!!


Cooking England County by County: Cambridgeshire:Huntingdon Fidget Pie

We´re kicking off the first "C" county with Cambridgeshire,again a part of England that is unknown to me including typical dishes from this area. Apparently as it is very flat, many airfields were built there during the Second World War and is still used for many army and RAF operations however Cambridgeshire´s economy is largely based on agriculture. It´s not surprising that one of it´s typical dishes is this Huntingdon Fidget Pie, which is packed with bacon & apples and was usually prepared during harvest time to feed the workers.It is a mystery how this dish got its name. I´d never heard of it before, let alone tried it but I´m so glad I have now. It´s definitely worth making  and it has become one of my favourite pies. The smell of it baking alone had me salivating! I mean, come on, bacon and apples in a pie.....what´s not to like?

I looked at various recipes including one in my Farmhouse Fare cookbook and one from the Essentially Catering website. I wanted to make as "traditional" a Huntingdon Fidget Pie as possible. I wasn´t sure if it was supposed to have a pastry bottom or just a pastry lid and whether to layer the filling as one recipe said or to mix up all the filling together due to the variations in the recipes. Also the quantities were huge, enough to make 4 pies so I ended up adapting the recipe from the Essentially Catering website. I had some frozen leftover shortcrust pastry ,which I had defrosted,and then I decided to chuck all the filling ingredients  in as this seemed a much quicker option than layering it.

Ingredients (for 2-4 people)

125g shortcrust pastry
112g streaky bacon (as I couldn´t get this I used smoked bacon)
80g onion,chopped
112g cooking apple(I used Reinetas),peeled, cored and cubed
4-5  fresh sage leaves,chopped
Pinch of salt & pepper
                                                      1/4-1/2 cup of water
                                                      Beaten egg for glazing

1.Preheat oven to 200ºC.
2. Chop bacon and mix with chopped onion and apple.Season with salt,pepper and sage.
3.Place filling in pie dish.
4.Roll out pastry for pie lid and place on top of the pie,crimping the edges and sealing well.
5. Cut a cross in the middle of the pie and fold back edges of cross to make triangles and exposing the filling. Add water.
6. Brush with beaten egg and bake for around 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
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