One of our favorite guests and very loyal friend of Gliffaes, Ken Phillips asked us to a arrange a private dinner in the Drawing Room for his wife’s birthday.
“My pleasure”, I said.
“What would you like to have on the menu?”
“I’ll leave it up to you James, but I would like four courses please. There will 19 of us.”
And with that he was off. Now, this is not as easy to do as you might imagine as the only guidelines I had was no sweetbreads! Anyway between Karl, the Head Chef and I we decided that if we used as much seasonal produce as we could the dinner should receive a universal thumbs up.
This is the menu Karl came up with;
Smoked Chicken & Summer Bean Terrine with Black Bomber Cheddar Bread
Mini Lobster Thermidor
(Tail and claw meat with a saffron volute, cooked in mussel stock along with herbs and a little cheese and finished with a herb crust)
Leg of New Season Lamb Baked in Hay & Rosemary. Seasonal vegetables and Pink Fir Potatoes
(If you live in Wales you get to eat a lot of lamb so we decided to do something a little different and cook the lamb in hay which gives a lovely grassy sweetness to the lamb)
Summer Pudding, Lemon Creme Fraiche
(Plenty of fresh blackberries in the hedges around Gliffaes this time of year)
Coffee and petit fours
Thankfully the dinner went very well and we got a resounding thumbs up for the food.The guests brough their own wine which I am only too happy to decant and serve if that is what is required. (We do charge a fee for corkage)
Notes on cooking the lamb in hay.
Seal the leg of lamb in a pan until it has some colour. You need two roasting tins lined with hay and put the lamb in one along with rosemary, garlic and juniper, cover the joint with hay and put the second tin over the top, like a lid. Make sure no hay is poking out and wrap foil around both baking tins to seal them. Cook at around gas mark 5-6 for around 12 minutes per pound. Rest the meat in the hay for at least 20 minutes after taking out of the oven and by adding a little honey to the juices in the pan you will have a lovely gravy. If you would like more detailed help please call us and we will be only too happy to talk you through it.