It is a real foodie time of year when a chill arrives in the air. Game is abound, braising, soups, mushrooms, comforting winter spices, using vegetables and fruits that are stored inside away from the frosts, preserves, pickles and cures start to come out of the dry stores. It’s food that warms you, and I really look forward to it. Dishes like the starter; glazed “tart” of pig cheeks and penny bun with roasted celeriac, pear sorbet and wild cress uses a number of those elements. The braised pig cheeks are pressed into a flan ring lined with roasted celeriac and topped with thin slices of sauté cep mushrooms. We blow torch the surface to caramelise the mushrooms and serve a slice with the pear sorbet and foraged Hairy Bitter Cress.
Our current menu choices for game are Partridge and Hare, both require a decent level of technical skill to show off how delicious they can be. The Hare loin has a beautiful texture and flavour similar to venison, but with a more delicate and slight livery flavour. Paired with bitter sweet chicory, a faggot made with the legs, parsnip and preserved blackberries for main course. View my latest A la Carte menu here.
It’s also so close to the festive season, and we are well underway with our preparations. Warm homemade mince pies are a must have, and below I share with you our recipe for the filling that we make in advance. Enjoy!
Mincemeat Filling for Mince Pies
makes around 800g of mix
Mix all except for the brandy and store covered overnight so the flavours can mingle. Cook in a deep tray in the oven for 30 minutes at at 100 degrees C so that the mixture is hot and the suet has melted. Take out and cool on the side, stirring every 10 minutes. After about 30 minutes the mix will start to come together as it cools, at this point stir in the brandy. Store in sterilised jars with a piece of wax paper until needed.
William Robinson Lunch - Wednesday 26th November
Towards the end of the month, Gravetye is holding a special William Robinson lunch with dishes that were likely to have been prepared and enjoyed in his time at the Manor. I will be preparing this menu of interesting dishes, and taking a journey into Gravetye's culinary past. There are still a limited number of places avaiable for this special lunch on Wednesday 26th November.
In the Garden News
Tom talks about cut flowers and how he and his team prepare for next year by sowing an early crop of sweet peas…
At the Manor News
With Christmas on the horizon, we present our 12 Treats of Christmas, Christmas gifts and beautiful seasonal floral arrangements…