This Saturday we are feeding 500 guests at a charity ball in Hertfordshire. On the menu is new season asparagus, Prosciutto, herb salad, chervil hollandaise, with red pepper tapenade for starters, followed by Blade of beef braised in red wine with dauphinoise potatoes and spring vegetables. For dessert a Salted caramel and chocolate cheesecake with strawberry sauce.
So how much beef do you order to feed so many? Well, I happened to be in the kitchens when the delivery arrived and I was astonished at the volume of ingredients! Here is a list of what arrived and following are the pictures I took!
180kg of blade of beef
200kg potatoes, (that’s 8 large sacks)
50kg onions (2 large sacks)
30 bulbs garlic
9 litres red wine
120 bunches asparagus
9kg Parma ham
50 pints double cream
30kg chicken bones for stock
10kg mane tout
10kg sugar snap peas
10kg green beans
1case red peppers
3 bunches time, 3 bunches rosemary
All meat needs to be diced, the sinew removed then braised with onions and cooked in the stock, wine and herbs.
John & MJ, our talented chefs had already made a start on the potatoes. 1 tray of dauphinoise potatoes done, 14 more to go! Each tray takes 45 mins to prepare with both chefs working very quickly. All potatoes were pealed, then sliced by hand and layered in the trays. They then cook for 3 hours and are then pressed for 12 hours.
They both worked so quickly peeling, chopping and slicing. It was fascinating to watch.
I wonder if any of the guests in Saturday night have any idea of the amount if work that goes into their plate of food?
Hats of to you chefs! You are truly awesome!