Ballymaloe Day 79: “There once was a man that ate a motorcar…”

Another uneasy night in bed, I woke up barely before demo and hopped over to the cookery school as quickly as I could.

On the menu for lunch today was venison, oysters and quail, and it was great to have a final lecture with Rory.

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(A very small quail!)

Rolling out meat for our beef Carpaccio, Rory told us of a rather intriguing story about a motorcar…

“There once was a man that ate a motorcar – he took it apart and rolled out each piece thinly – it tasted of nothing”, we looked at Rory incredulous, “it’s true! If you roll out your beef too thin it’ll taste of nothing”.

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(“Oh crikey, miliky! We’ve enough caul fat here to enrobe the whole class!” – Rory on battling with caul fat)

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(One of Rory’s beautiful creations – kind-of looks like a dragon)

“It’s an honour to be able to cook here, and to cook for people like you who love food”, I’ll miss his Roryisms!

A standing ovation for Rory for his excellent tutelage and inspirational food, it was time to eat some lunch but not before Darina drew lots for bread.

With my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get foccacia, I was delighted to get a white soda bread from the paper heap!

With a gap before my cook ahead, I went back to the Coach House to change into my chef whites and read through my recipe again.

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Heading into the kitchen for 3pm, I was a bit nervous and butterflies were building up in my tummy but thankfully it all seemed to go well (I’ll only have 14 minutes docked off my time for tomorrow!).

In a good mood, my next plan of action is to write tomorrow’s order of work and make sure I’m comfortable with what I’m doing – I’d reveal to you what I’m doing but I feel like I’d jinx myself.

Wish me luck?

Some random things I learned today:

  • If you’re making something like beef consommé, it’s perfectly acceptable to use a chicken stock instead! Bear in mind that beef stock tacks about 8 – 12 hours to make, whereas chicken stock will only take you about two hours.
  • Pork caul is pretty handy if you need to wrap burgers, haunch of venison and game. The fat will soak into the meat and make it extra delicious.
  • A rounded tablespoon is equal to one ounce.
  • A perfect curl of Parmesan may actually indicate that the cheese isn’t fully matured.
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