Feast Fit For a King

With the first Royal Wedding of this century just around the corner, lots of attention is being given to Kings and Queens and celebrations generally. And where would a celebration be without food – so what would be included in a Feast Fit For a King.

Roast Sirloin with Fresh Horseradish Sauce

This is a classic English dish reputed to have been knighted by an English king after he had dined particularly well off a roasted loin of beef. For a meal ‘fit for a king’ serve with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes.

Many people do not have the option of using a local butcher, sometimes there just isn`t one in the area or the household budget will not stretch that far. But for the occasional luxury, at least think about your local butcher – better taste, less shrinkage, more sustainable.    

To serve 6

1.1 kg (2 1/2lb) boned and rolled sirloin of beef

175 ml (6fl oz) red wine

450 ml (3/4 pt) stock  – the well known stockpot concentrates are so good now – it`s much easier than making ‘brown stock’

ground pepper


150 ml (1/4 pt) whipping cream

45 ml (3 tbsp) freshly grated horseradish

22.5 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) lemon juice

2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) prepared English mustard

white pepper

pinch of sugar (optional)

An alternative sauce can be made by using something like horseradish mustard mixed with cream. A great one is available from Pantry Preserves. http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/marketplace/vendors/pantrypreserves~Pantry+Preserves,Sible+Hedingham,CO9

1. Heat oven 230 C, 450 F, mark 8.

2. Put meat , fat side up, on a rack placed in roasting tin.

3. Cook for 15 mins

4. Reduce temperature to 170 C, 325 F, mark 3.

5. Cook for further 40 mins for rare beef,  longer if you prefer it well cooked. Baste once or twice

6. Blend all ingredients for sauce and spoon into serving bowl.

7. Keep sauce in cold place away from heat of oven.

8. Take beef out of oven. Move beef and rack off roasting tin and put on plate – leave in warm place.

9. If there is a lot of fat in roasting tin drain some off. I have the benefit of a gravy separator from the 1950`s which makes a great gravy boat too. You can buy modern equivalents – they don`t have quite the same style though. We are trying to find more like mine. Watch this space 🙂   

10. Place tin over medium heat and stir in red wine, dislodging the sediment stuck in the bottom of the tin.

11. Boil until reduced then stir in stock. Again boil until reduced by about half. In my house the gravy lovers love lots of gravy so I have to admit I don`t reduce the liquid quite as far as some recipes recommend. And, horror of horrors I use Bisto to thicken it 🙂

Or this recipe might be worth a look


Coronation Chicken – 21st century style

Florist Constance Spry and chef Rosemary Hume are credited with the invention of coronation chicken. Preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Spry proposed the recipe of cold chicken, curry cream sauce and dressing that would later become known as coronation chicken.

I love Coronation Chicken – I`m sure I used to make it as a child – it is a great dish – so easy and if made well – soooo tasty. I also think it`s a great way to start introducing youngsters to the taste of curry.

Given that the hype over the Royal Wedding is very strong on this being a down to earth wedding and that Prince William and Kate are regarded as ‘regular guys’, I couldn`t resist sharing this recipe with you for Coronation Chicken Burgers.

1/2 red onion  (roughly chopped)

3 cloves garlic (peeled)

3 chicken breasts (skinless and roughly chopped)

1 tbsp mild curry powder

1 eating apple (peeled and cored)

75g/3oz raisins or sultanas

1 egg

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

1. Put onion, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in food procesor – whizz till finely chopped.

2. Add chicken breasts and whizz again until minced

3. Spoon mixture into bowl and tip in curry powder

4. Put apple in food processor and pulse briefly to shred it. Add to chicken mixture.

5. Tip in sultanas/raisins and add egg. Mix well. (It is best to use your hand but a fork will work if you don`t fancy that)

6. Divide  mix into 8 equal balls, roll around just to firm them up, then pat/squash into burger shapes.

7. Put in fridge for 20 mins to firm up. (Don`t worry if you don`t have time for this bit) 

8. Heat oil in frying pan – nonstick is best. Fry in batches of 2 or 3.

9. Cook on one side for 4-6 mins till golden brown.

10. Repeat on other side for same time.

11. Keep warm in oven in serving them all at same time.

12. Serve with salad ( or probably the kids will prefer it with wedges, burger bun or chips).

This dish must work with ready minced chicken and maybe cheaper. You just need to guess the equivalent of 3 chicken breasts 🙂  

 Victoria Sandwich

If we are talking Royalty we must mention Queen Victoria.

Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), one of Queen Victoria’s (1891-1901) ladies-in-waiting, is credited as the creator of teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from “a sinking feeling” at about four o’clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs into her dressing room.

Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o’clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea. This summer practice proved so popular, the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for “tea and a walking the fields. The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

Queen Victoria adopted the new craze for tea parties. By 1855, the Queen and her ladies were in formal dress for the afternoon teas. This simple cake was one of the queen’s favorites. After her husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861, the Queen Victoria spend time in retreat at the Queen’s residence (Osborn House) at the Isle of Wight. According to historians, it was here that the cakes were named after her.

Published on March 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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