Menus for Change

A total of six Relais & Chateaux properties (Chewton Glen, Glenapp Castle, Idle Rocks, Pale Hall, Sheen Falls Lodge & Summer Lodge) recently took take part in Relais’ worldwide Menus for Change initiative as part of Slow Food’s ‘Food for Change’ Campaign.

Through Menus for Change, they hope to inspire people around the world to be more mindful about our food system, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Dishes showcase sustainable ingredients that will help combat climate change and protect biodiversity, highlighting the association’s commitment to preserving local heritage and the environment. The Food for Change campaign aims to create awareness of Slow Food’s mission to inspire change for good, clean and fair food for all.

Here’s three of the fabulous recipes to try for yourself at home. Butter Poached Lobster from Glenapp Castle, Duck, Walnuts & Chicory from Sheen Falls and Loin of Hogget with Tagine Jus from Summer Lodge.

Glenapp Castle
Butter Poached Ballantrae Lobster with Fennel and Pink Grapefruit

Serves 2

1 x1.5 lb lobster
8oz unsalted butter
2oz samphire
1 fennel bulb
2 pink grapefruit
Half glass of white wine

To prepare the lobster, place the live lobster in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and split head with a sharp knife along longitudinal midline on its underside. Place in boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and place in cold water. Split the head from tail and claws and place the claws back in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off water. Cool and reserve for another time!

Remove the tail meat from shell by cutting away the back of the tail with scissors. Cut in half lengthways and remove digestive tract.

For the butter poach, place 2 oz of water in pan and bring to a simmer and whisk in 6oz of unsalted butter to make a poach bath for lobster. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice and poach the lobster meat over a low heat for 12 minutes.

To make the sauce, segment one pink grapefruit and juice the second grapefruit. In a pan, reduce the wine and grapefruit juice by half and whisk in 2oz of butter and seasoning.

For the garnish, wash the samphire in water and season with pepper. Finely slice the fennel wafer thin and place in iced water for 10 minutes to crisp up. Dry and season with lemon, olive oil, pepper and salt.

To Serve: Warm pink grapefruit segments through the sauce and place on a plate. Add the samphire and poached lobster. Finish sauce with chopped dill and pour over dish  with the crisp fennel.

Sheen Falls Lodge
Roast Duck with Chicory, Duck Liver and Walnuts

Serves 2

1 whole duck
2 slices duck liver (foie gras)
1 baby chicory
200ml orange juice
20g apricot puree
3 tbsp golden raisins
20g shimeji mushrooms
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
50g mooli
50g walnuts, finely chopped
For the duck sauce
100ml runny honey
100ml fresh orange juice
100ml port
1L chicken stock
1 piece orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 shallot, sliced
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns

Begin by making the duck sauce, remove the two breasts from the duck and set aside. Break down the remaining duck carcass and roast in the oven at 180C for roughly 30-45 minutes until golden and caramalised. While that is roasting, add the remaining ingredients to a sauce pan bar the chicken stock. Reduce the liquid by half before adding the duck bones and topping up with chicken stock. Simmer the sauce for up to 1 hour until thickened and glossy, season to taste. Strain the sauce to remove all the bones and flavourings.

For the braised chicory, half the chicory lengthwise and place into a small roasting dish. Top with the orange juice and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the chicory is tender and the orange juice has reduced.

Peel the mooli and use an apple corer to cut out cylinders. Steam over a medium heat until just tender and remove.

For the mushrooms, flash fry them in a hot pan for 30 seconds, before deglazing with the white balsamic.

Score the skin of the duck and place in a hot frying pan, skin side down, to render out some of the fat. Once the skin is nice and crispy, flip the duck over and cook in the oven at 180C for 8-10 minutes until blushing pink in the centre. Let it rest for up to 10 minutes.

While the duck is resting, fry the duck liver in a frying pan over a medium – high heat to get a caramalised crust on the outside.

When you are ready to serve, top the duck breast and liver with the walnut. Place the apricot puree on the plate, topped with the pieces of mooli. Follow this with the duck breast, liver and chicory and a scattering of the mushrooms. Finish with the duck sauce and serve.

Summer Lodge
Loin of Dorset Hogget, Smoked Potato Puree, Tagine Jus

Serves 2

4 portions hogget loin
2 large Maris Piper potatoes
100g smoked butter
200ml whipping cream
200g curly kale (or cabbage)
50g dried apricots, sliced
40g smoked almonds, broken
150ml lamb jus
Tagine Spice Mix
¼ tsp Cumin seed
¼ tsp Coriander seed
¼ tsp Paprika powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
Small pinch cinnamon powder
Small pinch cayenne pepper

Begin by grinding together the seeds and spices for the spice mix and set aside.

For the smoked potato, bake the potatoes until completely soft before removing the flesh from the skin and pushing it through a fine sieve. Melt the butter and cream together and slowly add to the potato until the desired consistency is reached, season with salt and pepper.

Steam the kale until it’s tender but still green and al dente.

For the hogget, roast the loin for 6-8 minutes and allow it to rest.

Bring the lamb jus to the boil and add in a pinch of the tagine spice mix and sliced apricots.

To serve, spoon or pipe the smoked potato onto the plate, add the kale and place the hogget on top. Pour over the sauce and finish with the broken smoked almonds.

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