Dinner, Heston Blumenthal
I love the simplicity of the name, Dinner. The concept behind dinner is unique. Blumenthal has taken recipes dating back from the 13th century to the 1800's from collected cookbooks and created a menu for 2012. Not sure if he has changed anything but each selection on the menu is also given the date. Brilliant idea.
I had the Salamgundy, c. 1720. This recipe came from the Cook's and Confectioner's Dictionary by John Nott. Chicken oysters. Chicken oysters are the small round pieces of meat that are at the end of a chicken thigh. Some consider it to be the best part of the chicken. Served with thin slices of salisfy, small round dollops of bone marrow & a horseradish cream. Divine.
For dinner we did something on the menu and the special of the day. Black Food Pork Chop, c. 1820. This is based on Careme's residency in London. A perfectly cooked pan fried pork shop with spelt, ham hock & Robert sauce. On top are small pieces of crunchy pork rinds. Loved the crisp with the sauce.
I had the special although when I return I might go with a fish. The dishes, not surprising since they are from other centuries, are heavy in flavor. This dish is called Beef Royale, c. 1726 from James II when he lived in Westminster Abbey. A huge short rib that had been scored and put in a charcoal controlled oven. Then they put it in a suet for 3 days at 50 degrees. Afterward, the meat is taken off the bone and served with tongue cubes, smoked shallots and an anchovy puree and red wine reduction that is made with capers and tarragon. Smoked baby carrots and whipped root vegetables on the side. Rich and over the top.
Dessert is ordered in advance. The Tipsy Cake is a must, c. 1810 from the English cookery book by J.H. Walsh. Small pieces of sweet bread baked in a cassoulet with loads of sweet butter. A piece of pineapple on the side that is cooked in a spit fire. Amazing. The bread is like the best cinnamon roll in the world without the cinnamon.
We also tried the Brown Bread Ice Cream, c. 1830. A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Eliza RUndell. A salted butter caramel cream on the bottom and little pieces of crispy bread and pears surrounding that with a scoop of brown bread ice cream.
Just to send us off happy they brought us each a small chocolate ganache infused with earl grey tea and a caraway seed shortbread stick on the side. The shortbread stick was really dense and I loved the savory and sweet combo.
An incredible meal. Everything was delicious. Impeccable attention to detail. We walked home, got up the next morning and grabbed a flight back to NYC.