Wednesday, 14 September 2011

So, we've had bats and blood, and now we move onto beetroot!

DE4 2EF.

This is the name of one of the desserts on the tasting menu at East Lodge.
It's East Lodge's post code, you see, and as the beetroot and damsons are grown here, by Mr H, I thought it would be a rather witty way to name our pre dessert after it.
See, and it's pretty local as well.
And, being honest, I was really trying to sneak beetroot onto the dessert menu without anyone noticing.
A couple of weeks ago, John Pemrose, the Conservative minister for Tourism, stayed at East Lodge, whilst doing a tour of the Peak District.
Sensible chap!
So, we cooked a "taste of the Peaks" menu for him and his guests.
The bouche was warm terrine of ham hocks and braised trotters.

A great start to the menu, its made by pressing braised pig's trotters and ham hocks, brushing with mustard and sprinkling with grated pork crackling.

Sort of a picnic I suppose! Garnished with a Bakewell Bitter jelly, some pickled vegetables and a mustard seed dressing, you could almost imagine eating it in one of the fine fields of Derbyshire!

Onto the fish course next, and not a problem for me!

We've been smoking our own salmon, trout and haddock for a few years now, and I think, finally got the cure right.

It's now dry cured with sugar, salt and pepper, left to dry for 24 hours and then cold smoked over oak.  We used trout and salmon for this dish, garnished with a salad of leeks and marinated potatoes, croutons and chives.
Those of you who know about French cuisine will work out its just a chilled Vichyssoise, I just couldn't be bothered to blend it, thats all!

So, you all know about our Derbyshire grouse and we also served some amazing Suffolk Down lamb, reared by Matt and David up at Highfield House Farm.

And, so, finally to the beetroot.
And damsons.
And goats cheese.
First we boil our damsons, strain and mix with an equal quantity of sugar. Boiled like a jam, until thick and setting, its left to firm up. It can be then cut like cheese. Great served with cold cuts and cheese, but I thought it would be nice in a pudding. We also made a sorbet with some of the puree, however being quite tart we added more sugar resulting in a softer setting sorbet, but with great flavor.

Fresh goats curd is whipped with double cream and sugar, to lighten the texture.

The beetroot is sliced wafer thin, and poached in a red wine vinegar, Port and sugar syrup, and left to infuse overnight.

A thyme and orange zest croquant give the dessert texture, while a garnish of fresh blackberries, orange segments and lemon verbena give a feeling of freshness.

Presented with the damson sorbet and paste, I think it makes a really interesting dish, and pretty local as well!

And it looks pretty dramatic, just like the Peak District.

Oh, and the other dessert?

The "Bakewell"!

Right, thats it, I'm going to talk about my modern classics next time, and how to present them!

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