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Grosse Projekte


Gewürze aus Santa Lemusa


A estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), which is quite commonly found in the rivers of the Northern Territory, can easily jump out of the water to grab its prey.

Crokodile Stew «Burdulba Creek»

Crocodile with Tasmanian Pepper

As the eleventh labour during his mission in Australia, Hektor Maille had to prepare a crocodile stew in Burdulba Creek. He decided to prepare a recipe with Tasmanian Pepper – perhaps to establish a link with his lemusan home, where this pepper is equally grown since 2006.

In contrast to the European Union, where crocodile meat can easily be found, in Switzerland it is, as far as we know, not sold at all. As a substitute one can use calf ragout. Of course, with respect to the varying cooking times required, other kinds of ragout can be prepared following the same principles and leading to similar aromatic results.

Crocodile Stew «Burdulba Creek» has a rich, slightly hot and, in a rather dark way, flowery taste, and emits the unique aroma of Tasmanian pepper very well. It's best to eat it with good piece of bread.

This recipe gains a lot if it's prepared the day before.

Ingredients (for 2 persons)

120 g smoked bcacon in cubes or gibs

3 fresh, red chillies, deseeded and flattened

800 g crocodile-ragout

1 big pinch salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

If needed some rape seed oil

4 dl strong chicken broth

3 tomatoes (400 g), peeled and finely chopped

400 g potatoes, peeled, in smaller pieces

1 big onion, finely chopped

0.5 dl red wine vinegar

1 dl red wine

3 TL Tasmanian pepper, slightly squeezed


  1. Heat a heavy pan over medium flame; roast the bacon in it until the pieces are very crisp and dark brown. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside on a plate. Leave the melted fat in the pot.
  2. Add the chilies to the hot fat and roast until they smell strongly and irritate your nose or your throat. Remove from the pot and keep aside with the chilies.
  3. Add salt and pepper to the crocodile ragout and fry it in portions unless it has a nice, beige color. Keep aside with bacon and chilies. Possibly during this process you will need to add some more oil to the pan.
  4. Add chicken broth and tomatoes to the pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes unless the liquid has reduced by a third.
  5. Add potatoes, onions, vinegar, wine, the browned meat, bacon and chilies. Bring to boil, reduce heat to the maximum. Put a lid in a way that there remains a small opening (e.g. by sliding a wooden spoon in between). Cook for 30 minutes, stir from time to time.
  6. Remove the lid and allow cooking on very low flame for another 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. You can eat the stew now but it will be much better if you allow the aromas to develop for a few hours, best for 24 hours or even more. So stop the heat. When the pot and the stew have cooled down put it into your fridge. Take it out of the fridge at least 2 hours before serving, than warm it up gently and cook for ten minutes or a bit more unless the heat has also penetrated into the pieces of meat.
Best if warmed up the day after: Hektor Mailles Crokodile Stew «Burdulba Creek».
For some the aroma of Hektor Mailles Crokodile Stew «Burdulba Creek» is almost a bit too much: M. Pravat at HOIO's menu-test for Episode 11 of «Mission Kaki», July 30, 2010 in Zurich.

More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:

To cook a crocodile stew in a river bed, as Hektor Maille was asked to do as his eleventh labour, is quite something, even for our secret agent:

First Publication: 1-8-2010

Modifications: 26-1-2011, 19-6-2011, 15-11-2011, 16-12-2011