Food fit for a Royal: Dishes you can make that even The Queen would be proud of
We are coming up to a very special occasion as Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday; a remarkable achievement for our very own figurehead monarch. Darren McGrady was The Queen’s personal chef for over 11 years and had the privilege of dishing up some of the finest cuisines for the Royal Family and their guests. The Queen loves hearty and wholesome food, often opting for grilled meats and traditional English dishes. She eats to live rather than ate to enjoy, according to McGrady. As celebrations sweep the heart of London and the rest of the UK, we here at Kudos Delivered have decided to collate the perfect dishes to let you feast like a Royal.
As you would expect from the Royal Family, traditionalism is a key aspect of everyday life, and this is no different in the kitchen. Traditional foods such as cottage pie and peas are favourites of Prince William and Prince Harry, alongside the more unconventional poached chicken, rice and fishcakes. Below is a fool proof recipe for the perfect cottage pie which will leave you dining like a true prince or princess.
‘Royal’ cottage pie
For the mince
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1¼kg beef mince
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- large glass of red wine
- 850ml beef stock
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
For the mash
- 1.8kg potatoes
- 225ml milk
- 25g butter
- 200g strong Cheddar, grated
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft for about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine (if using) and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 mins. By this time, the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins, if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
- Meanwhile, make the mash. By putting the potatoes in a large saucepan and covering them in salted cold water. Bring them to the boil and leave to simmer until tender. Drain well then allow to steam dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
- Spoon meat into two ovenproof dishes then pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins or until the topping is golden.
According to McGrady, The Queen enjoys the simpler side of food rather than complicated cuisines and her choice of breakfast really proves this. Who would have thought that The Queen herself indulges in Special K and fruit for breakfast?
Afternoon tea isn’t much different for her either as she enjoys, a simple selection of scones sliced and served with cream and orange jam – is there anything more quintessentially British?!
The Queen is also a fan of steak dishes. Only the finest cuts of local beef and venison produce from Sandringham and Balmoral are combined to form a delicious Gaelic steak, served with mushroom, cream and whiskey sauce.
- 44.37ml unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 85g white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 (453.59g) filet of beef
- freshly ground coarse black pepper
- 29.58ml Irish whiskey
- 177.44ml half and half
- 2.46ml Worcestershire sauce
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have filets at room temperature. Sprinkle with black pepper.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over a medium high heat in an ovenproof skillet. Sauté shallots for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are slightly brown and the shallots are soft. Remove and set aside.
- Turn the heat up in the pan. Sauté the steaks quickly on both sides (this should take between 2-5 minutes each side).
- When the steaks are nicely seared, put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes to finish (depending on the thickness of the steaks). Take them out when the internal temperature reaches how well done you like your steaks. Remove the steaks from the oven and put on a plate.
- Melt the other tablespoon of butter in another pan over a low heat, add the steaks and then sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Pour the whiskey over the steaks and ignite.
- When the flames die down, turn the steaks over for about 30 seconds. Remove and tent the steaks on a warm plate.
- Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan with the whiskey and slowly add half and half. Turn the temperature up a bit.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Stir and cook for a few minutes to thicken the sauce and pour over steaks.
Now dinner is over, it’s time for drinks. Queen Elizabeth, like many of us, loves cocktails – gin based ones in particular. Gin and with plenty of ice and a slice of lemon to complement the taste is a firm favourite with Her Majesty. When gin cocktails aren’t on the cards, The Queen regularly enjoys wine and Champagne when entertaining guests or at dinner parties.
We think the best way to finish off dinner and drinks is to have a delicious dessert, and The Queen coincidentally has a sweet tooth too. On her 80th birthday, she ate a decadent Belgian chocolate cake garnished with a variety of fresh berries. As part of her afternoon tea regime, a chocolate digestive cake is served using a recipe created by Queen Victoria’s head chef. Along with some of the recipes in used in Queen Victoria’s era, many of the pots and pans also remain unchanged in order to preserve a sense of tradition and history. Keep up the regal love of chocolate with this indulgent Belgian chocolate cake recipe…
Regal Belgian chocolate cake
- 100g Belgian milk chocolate
- A little unsalted butter, to grease
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 25g cocoa powder
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 125g light soft brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
For the filling and decoration
- 150g Belgian dark chocolate (minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids)
- 50ml milk
- 125mI double cream
- 2-3 tbsp raspberry jam
- 150g mixed summer fruits (strawberries, raspberries & blueberries)
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt slowly in a heat-proof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once melted, set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 360F /180C / Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm round cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Stir the oil, 75ml water and sugar into the melted chocolate, then whisk in the eggs. Pour half the mixture into the well and fold in, then mix in the remaining chocolate.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 20‑25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack.
- Make chocolate ganache icing by melting the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl like before. Stir in the milk then set aside to cool.
- Whip the cream in a separate bowl until thick and moussey. Use a large metal spoon to fold one large scoop of the cream into the chocolate mixture. Continue to gently fold in the remaining cream until smooth.
- Put one cake half on a stand and cover the top with jam. Place the other cake half on top. Spoon about half the ganache on top of the cake and slowly start to work it down the sides to cover the cake, adding spoonfuls of ganache to the sides until it is all covered. Put the remaining ganache on top and swirl into a pleasing pattern. Pile the fruit into the middle of the cake, slice and serve.
Taken from: Chocolate Fit For a Queen
If you want to eat like a King, Queen or Prince at your desk, get in touch today and ask about what royal recipes we can deliver to your office.