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Boundary Restaurant September Menu

Since taking over from Ian Wood at the beginning of August, I have been eagerly planning a menu that expresses the best of the season, and feel particularly lucky to be starting in a month that offers some of the finest ingredients available.

Game is obviously central to the new menu, particularly grouse, and as the season unfolds we will be featuring a volery of other birds and water fowl, plus rabbits, hare and venison. Lièvre à la royale, a dish Elizabeth David described as “a remarkable achievement by any standards”, will be included from 1 September. The new month brings other delights in the form of native oysters (only available when there is an R in the month), cèpes, girolles, apricots, Scottish raspberries and figs from Provence, to mention just a few of my favourites.

Of course, the à la carte menu will continue to include a full selection of fruits de mer, foie gras, summer truffles, smoked wild salmon, escargots, cuisses de grenouilles, marrow bone, Dover sole, a delicious bourride made with the freshest day-boat fish, plus rotisserie Landaise chicken, and my pastry chefs will be offering a glamorous passion fruit soufflé.

Finally, in celebration of our love of game, and together with the Château Boundary team, we are planning a very special event that will take place on Monday 26 September. Ben Weatherall of Yorkshire Game, one of the country’s pre-eminent game dealers, will be joining us for a talk that will be accompanied by a tasting of red Burgundy wine and a five-course dinner menu.
See link for further information.

Peter Weeden
Head Chef, Boundary and Albion

 
 

There are a few simple things I do to get the best out of game birds, firstly, I make up faggots of herbs (rosemary, bay, thyme & parsley stalks) which sit in the game bird’s cavity as they roast. Ducks tend to be best roasted in a pan not much larger than them to keep the fat from burning, I colour the skin on the hob first before a quick roast at a high temperature. Grouse, partridges, pheasants and the like are similarly started in a pan on the hob but then transferred to a slice of buttered on both sides crusty bread cooked at a lower temperature around 125 until the flesh is just set (and the bread trivet crisp but saturated in the middle with cooking juices). As timings can be different from bird to bird it is best to err on the side of caution and give a longer resting time and if necessary return the bird to the oven before serving. For a partridge or grouse the way to know if the bird is done is to give its leg a tug, it should be willing to yield if cooked. As for trimmings, I have yet to hear or taste a better selection than: Bread sauce, not too spiced, just an onion clouté (half an onion studded with a clove and a bay leaf) in some milk to aromatise, then once infused stale breadcrumbs and a knob of butter, covered and left to warm gently. Liver toast, ‘pâté’ made with the heart and liver of the bird, fried with shallots, deglazed with Cognac and mashed with a teaspoon of good gravy, spread on a crouton fried in butter. Breadcrumbs, should be coarse, and I think they are best cooked in the oven, turned occasionally, with plenty of butter or other good fat (duck or beef dripping work well).

 

Without getting all cerebral or bumptious, I wanted to share an aphorism that we've been discussing in the kitchen since I arrived. Its been around for a long time and we think it succinctly communicates everything we want to achieve at Boundary and Albion. With all the brilliant ingredients that September brings, I can't think of a better maxim.

It is attributed to Maurice Edmond Sailland (12 October 1872, Angers, France – 22 July 1956, Paris), better known by his pen-name Curnonsky (nicknamed 'Cur'). Dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, he was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the 20th century. He also loved simple food and regularly repeated the phrase:

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