This was episode 6 of a 15-part TV programme presented by Michael Buerk. This episode looked at Royal Jubilees.
Chef Anna Haugh recreated a dish from Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012: Roast Saddle of Welsh Lamb and a Braised Shoulder of Lamb – which is a hearty lamb stew.
As with past episodes, they don’t list the ingredients, nor tell you the quantities in the TV programmes, but you can see what they’re doing.
- In a large frying pan, sweat down finely chopped/cubed celery, onions, carrots and one star anise. There wasn’t a lot of this, probably 4 heaped tablespoons in total.
- Add more oil to the pan and add the raw lamb, cut into stew chunks, to the pan – there was
a big pile of the lamb, the size of a medium cabbage in quantity.
- Add tomato paste. Add rosemary, chopped finely. Add a lot of white wine, half a bottle probably. Litre of stock. Lid on, cook for about 2 hours, let it simmer away, a light simmer.
Next it was the Saddle of Lamb:
- Sear off the saddle of lamb. Oil in the pan, sear it in a smoking hot pan, it should sizzle
when you put it in. Searing gives a lovely caramelised flavour. Move it around with tongs.
Be patient, taking 5-10 minutes to get it evenly seared.
- Put the saddle of lamb into the oven at 190C for 20 minutes.
- Rest the lamb for 10 minutes. Carve it into fat slices, about 1cm rounds for serving
Serve with British asparagus, Isle of Wight asparagus was on the original menu. Serve a slice of the saddle and a pile of the stew, with asparagus.
Anna Haugh also made a gravy. This was made from infused mint with reduced lamb stock and a little butter.
Chicken Stew & Herbed Dumplings
Anna Haugh also did a Chicken Stew with Dumplings. Cook the chicken stew for 30 minutes, add the dumplings and cook for a further 20 minutes. She added an egg to her suet dumplings mix – to stop the dumplings falling apart. I never do this, I like dumplings to grow to be huge and it’s irrelevant to me if they fall apart!
Anna Haugh put cock’s comb into the stew – that’s the red floppy part of the cock’s head. Michael Buerk wasn’t too keen on the taste of the cock’s comb – Chicken Financier.
Paul Ainsworth’s Castle Trifle
Using a whole bottle of Cornish sparkling wine, put that in a pan and bring to the boil. Add a sprig of thyme, vanilla, one star anise, some sugar. Next add a pile of strawberries (cut in half) and raspberries and allow them to poach (they didn’t say how long for, but they looked almost the same when he removed them.
Sieve the fruit, retaining the liquid, then bring the liquid back up to a simmer, add gelatine and mix until the gelatine’s dissolved.
Build a Trifle Palace
- Spoon the fruit at the bottom of a large trifle dish.
- Add a layer of chopped Cornish saffron cake – better than regular sponge fingers
- Add the jelly layer. Set for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
- Create a custard from milk, vanilla, custard powder, cool it. Spoon the cold custard on top of the trifle. Cool this in the fridge
- To make the creamy top layer use double cream, vanilla and icing sugar. Spoon that on. Cool in the fridge
- Paul Ainsworth then made a honeycombe, the bicarb makes it rise. Crack the honeycombe and sprinkle those bits on the top – finally grate your favourite chocolate bar on top.
From Mildred’s book they found a simple Cerise recipe for Victoria’s golden jubilee, which Anna suggested Michael Buerk should make, but he didn’t. It was a cherry in syrup topping for ice-cream.
Mildred’s recipe was explained as: cherries, kirsch, ice cream . Bring it up to the boil, reduce a bit.
Anna Haugh’s Chocolate Delice
This is a variation of a dish served at Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. It includes cornflakes, which wasn’t in the original dish.
- Base: puree some florentine biscuits I think she said, making a praline paste
- Toast some cornflakes a bit more in the oven to give them a toastier flavour
- Pulse those two together in the processor.
- Press this mix into a flan base. This base would work well with a cheesecake recipe.
- Chocolate Custard: bring cream up to a boil for the custard. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sugar/eggs are whisked together while waiting for the cream to boil.
- Pour a little of the hot cream into the eggs/sugar and mix it through (no lumps)
- Put that mix back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot cream – this is the custard – thicken it stirring continuously.
- Pour the hot custard onto chocolate drops in a heatproof bowl – don’t touch it for a few minutes, let the chocolate melt on its own. Stir in until it’s smooth. Cool down.
- Add whipped cream into this cold chocolate by folding it slowly, a spoon at a time.
- Place that mix into the mould and flatten it out – it’s brown and white, you can see the two different parts still, so not 100% combined.
- Dust cocoa on top.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
- Serve – a hot knife will cut through nicely.
Who Was Mildred Nicholls?
Mildred Nicholls worked at Buckingham Palace from 1907 to 1919, when she left to get married. She started off as a “7th level kitchen assistant” and left as a “3rd level kitchen assistant”.
While she was in the job she kept a recipe book, writing down all the recipes she made. The book is now in the museum – and they republished it recently. The Royal Kitchen Maid’s Cookbook is the only surviving cookbook of its type in the Royal archives.
Buy the Book:
If you want to buy the book that has Mildred Nicholls’ recipes in, I believe it’s the book published in 2008 called For the Royal Table: Dining at the Palace by Kathryn Jones published by The Royal Collection (2008), which can be bought on Amazon UK – and is described as “a lavishly illustrated behind-the-scenes look at three hundred and fifty years of royal banquets, from Charles II to the present day” – if that’s not the one, then hunt around a bit for it, it must be there somewhere!
This is another area where they’re a bit vague about things! Very annoying for viewers.
E&OE. I’ve typed this up as I watched the programme, live, but it gives you an idea of how to make the dishes that many people will be able to work with!