Have you ever wondered how and where they prepare the food of the royal family and just how good they taste?
Windsor Castle’s Great Kitchen is considered as the oldest kitchen in England that is still working until today. This place has been used to prepare food for royalties since the time of Edward III in 1360.
This kitchen now has modern utensils and appliances, but a lot of its structures and furniture has been around for over 200 years.
For centuries, this kitchen has been headed by various renowned chefs such as Marie Antoine Carême from France, Swiss chef Gabriel Tschumi, and Egyptian-French chef Henri Cêdrad to name a few.
As the chef changed, so do the decoration and the settings of the dining table. However, the royal dining mark of the best gold and silver has always been around.
There is also a long line of royal cookbook legacy starting with The Forme of Cury, which was made by a master chef serving Richard II who reigned from 1377-99. Another notable royal cookbook is The Recipe Book of Mildred Nicholis who became part of the Royal Household back in 1908.
Here is an example of the Queen’s favourite menu – cutlets of Windsor lamb with sauce Paloise. This dish uses Windsor Estate spring lamb and English asparagus that arrives in the shops late April. The main recipe includes the following ingredients: 12 cutlets of French-trimmed lamb, 100ml herb oil, 36 English asparagus spears, 750g Jersey Royal new potatoes, and 30g butter.
For the sauce you need 1 small bunch mint, 350ml white wine vinegar, 1 tsp white peppercorns, 100g finely chopped shallots, 250g unsalted butter, 3 free-range egg yolks, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Pick the mint leaves, chop up the mint stalks, and then mix it with the vinegar, shallots and peppercorns in the pan. Let it boil until the mixture will be down to two thirds. Blanch the mint leaves for about 15 seconds in boiling water, then refresh with cold water. Squeeze the leaves until they are dry before chopping them.
- Melt the butter in the pan and keep it warm until it is ready for the sauce.
- Whisk the egg yolks along with the vinegar reduction in a heatproof bowl over a pan with simmering water until pale yellow foam appears, called sabayon.
- Put the warm butter in the sabayon and whisk it all the time. The sauce should look like mayonnaise. Squeeze lemon juice and the blanched mint you chopped.
- Peel then trim the asparagus. Wash the Jersey Royals properly then boil it in a large pan with salted water. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until it becomes tender.
- When the potatoes are already cooked, strain them and then heat them to dry off. After that, add butter. Cover and keep warm for 10 minutes so that it will absorb butter properly.
- Use freshly milled pepper, sea salt, and herb oil to season the lamb cutlets. Then grill them for 3 to 5 minutes each side.
- Put the lamb somewhere warm and let it sit for five minutes. Cook the asparagus in salted water for five minutes.
- Finally, serve the lamb with Jersey Royals, asparagus, and a pot of sauce paloise.