The festive season is upon us and Christmas is always a busy time in the kitchen at Gravetye. Preparations are underway for all the celebratory meals throughout December and one of my favourite meats is now on the menu; Goose. It was traditionally cooked on Michaelmas during late Autumn to mark the end of the harvests and the settling of debt between farmer and land owner, but now seems more frequently cooked as a Christmas roast. The flesh is quite lean, dark and dense, and covered in a thick layer of fatty skin that bastes the meat well while it cooks. It has THE BEST tasting fat, and produces the most incredible roast potatoes. In the kitchen we brine the goose crown, score, then gently sear to crisp the skin and finish in the oven. The carved breast is served with a garnish of celeriac dauphinoise, a pear gel, pancetta and Brussels, with a jus from the bones and roasting juices. For other dishes we render the fat from the bird and use this to confit the thighs, using the flesh for terrines or pressings.
The kitchen garden is looking rather bare at his time of year, but its produce is mostly hidden. Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips are all underground, dug up when required. Leeks and brassicas are still above ground and a large part of the autumn harvest is still being used from storage. Most surprisingly are the crop of Kiwi fruits, that are ready for picking now, and will be ripe for eating in a few weeks’ time after a stint in the potting shed. The unique kitchen garden provides the perfect place to grow these fruits, even in our colder climate. They are grown at the top of the slope, next to the back wall providing maximum shelter, sun and warmth.
2015 Spring and Summer Special Events
With the end of year fast approaching, I am pleased to introduce two special dining events that will be taking place at Gravetye in early 2015. I have tried to create menus that represent the time of the year, and I hope you will join us to celebrate the season!
For this special dinner, enjoy Champagne and fresh oysters before heading through to the dining room where George will take you through a selection of his wonderful shellfish dishes. Caught fresh from the South coast, shellfish at this time of year is in abundance and at its best quality, meaning the dishes will never taste better!
Spring is a stunning time of year at Gravetye and, as the gardens burst into life, so do the Manor’s menus. Utilising the freshest new season produce, George will showcase his repertoire of fantastic spring dishes making the most of some of the first crops from the Kitchen Garden. Join Andrew as he hosts this special lunch and our Sommelier, Sean as he takes us through the accompanying wines.
In the Garden News
Tom and his team have been busy preparing the borders in the flower garden for the stunning spring tulip display, including some exciting new varieties…
At the Manor News
Read on to find out about our Christmas preparations, exclusive treats and gift ideas, as well as an exclusive offer for 2015 and our exciting new special events programme…