I wonder what H.M Elizabeth II had to eat when she was a guest of Ireland. I hope the powers that be used the opportunity to showcase our wonderful Irish food and cuisine.
The first Irish strawberries and potatoes would have been available along with Irish salmon, new season lamb and of course Irish Hereford prime beef.
I do believe the good lady has a passion for quality plain and locally produced food which require just tender loving care and simple cooking.
I just hope somebody made some brown and white soda bread for her and that she did not get the mass product variety masquerading as Irish soda bread.
Many years ago I had the privilege of serving dinner to this gracious lady at a state banquet she gave in honour of the Indonesian President at Claridges in London. She chose to showcase the best of British by serving smoked salmon sent down from the highlands along with Prime British Beef with a bouquet of English in season vegetables followed by in season fruit sorbet. What a wonderful evening it was. So I was very excited to see H.M Elizabeth in our beautiful country.
I do hope she enjoyed some wonderful Irish traditional home produced food. If I had been asked to cook for I would have given her some of the following dishes which I would dream fit for a Queen
Stuffed Irish Steak
2lb Round steak (Hereford Prime)
8oz White bread crumbs
2 tbsp Chopped fresh herbs
(parsley, Thyme, Sage) or 2tsp
1 Small diced onion
2oz soft butter Salt and pepper
Mix altogether 1pt Beef or chicken stock use a cube 4 carrots sliced 2 onions sliced 8 potatoes peeled 4 sticks of celery sliced Salt and pepper Bouquet Garni 2oz flour 1 tbsp Tomato puree Olive oil or dripping
Ask the butcher to cut the steak into a pocket shape tell him you are going to stuff it. You need it to be a large piece battered out so you can stuff it or as i said ask him to cut a pocket in it he will know what you are talking about.
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together no need to melt the butter or cook the onion. Place the stuffing in the pocket of the beef or if a large flat piece place it in the centre and roll up the meat.
Serve the stiffed meat with some skewers or tie with a piece of string (bring the stuffing into the butcher and he will tie it up for you).
Place some olive oil or dripping into a pan or casserole dish suitable for the oven. Heat up until good and hot. Fry the joint of beef on all sides till nicely coloured.
Remove the beef from the pan and stir in the flour along with the tomato puree. Then add in the stock. Give a good stir or whisk then season with salt and pepper and add in the bouquet along with the joint of beef. Place a lid on top and put the dish in a preheated oven at 180° and cook for 1hour then remove and add in the vegetables give a good stir and place the potatoes on top.
Put the lid back on and cook for a further hour or until the meat is cooked.
This makes for a very fine dinner your guest or family will feel like a King or Queen.
Light Fruit Cake
Serve with afternoon tea
55g/2oz can dried peel
165g/6oz Castor sugar
250g/9oz flour 1tsp baking powder
Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the beaten eggs followed by the fruit and peel. Give a stir then add in the rest of the flour.
Place the mix in a greased lined 7” round cake tin or 6”suare (8” will be ok but the cake will be lower). Place in a preheated oven 160°/gas 3 for about 1 ¾ hours to 2 hours till cooked. This is a very nice light fruit cake served in the afternoon with hot tea poured into a China Cup. Sincerest thanks to all of you who have been in contact with me and my family at what is a very difficult time.