Well that was a bit of a supercharged week, I must say. We get quite a few people remark that – phew, we must be really busy in the run up to Christmas when quite the opposite is true. I suspect that it’s quite different in the bigger towns and cities where you may have office workers …. well…workers, having office parties, but not here in bumpkinsville, no siree. This year was even deader than usual with reports in the papers of the French staying at home this year for the holiday. No doubt everyone’s been scared to death with constant talk of Eurozone collapses, financial crises and so on.
However, there was a little surge between xmas and new year – a lot of snowless skiers included! It’s so warm and sunny here it all feels wrong (especially to the ski station owners).
I think I excelled myself, pulling off in one week 1. A 6 course xmas lunch 2. Maintaining our permanent menus 3. Lunch menus 4. Curry night and 5. Something special for new years lunch. Phew!!! I was cooking like a demon constantly. However, I think it all went well, people seemed happy. Have sympathy for the teams in restos if you go out for a special occasion meal like xmas lunch – it’s quite a bit of pressure to get it right as you will be remembered – more than usual – as being a part of their great, or crap! christmas. Arghhhh.
However for xmas lunch I went for it, so to speak, threw caution to the wind and used sous-vide tech which is reasonably new to me, so was a bit of a risk to use it xmas day morning!! However, I did turkey ballotines wrapped in pancetta and stuffed with cranberries, chestnuts and sausage meat for the main course served with truffled potato puree, pumpkin batons and morels. The pumpkin was also cooked long and slow sous-vide and as a result retained its vibrant orange colour and texture. The ballotines I had rolled up in cling film and then sous-vided and cooked for one hour at 64 degrees and
Then held at that temp until the table was ready for mains when I just finished them off in the frying pan to caramelise them. then cut them on the diagonal into 3 and perched each piece on mash and dressed the plate with the rest. It all went smoothly, you’ll be pleased to know, and the great thing is that it is just impossible to overcook anything – in fact the meat just stays juicy and yum, even more special, given that turkey is notoriously difficult to keep moist.
Needless to say, am feeling rather smug. Mostly knackered, but quite pleased with myself! Heres hoping you all are pleased with yourselves this year!!