A Simple British Dinner

Wednesday 12/10/2005

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Diary and Notes

Sometimes all you want is something simple and homely, the sort of thing the common man, the hoi paloi, the average geezer in the street would eat. You know the sort of thing, egg and chips, mushy peas, roast dinners.

I thought I'd do something along those lines for my guests - a nice simple dinner, simply prepared and nothing fancy or expensive.

Who am I kidding?

That's not me at all - the very thought that people would come from America and have to put up with everyday food just isn't my way at all - I want to show off, to prove to our foreign chums that British food stands tall amongst the cuisine of the world, that we can actually rustle up a tasty dinner and all the international rumours about our food being bloody awful are just plain bollocks.

So I thought I'd do something traditional and British but do it with a bit of flair. No simple farmhouse paté for starters but a tasty terrine of fois gras, no humble roast chicken and Oxo gravy but some excellent free range guinea fowl with a sweet and meaty sauce, and some port and Stilton of course, where would our fine country be without port and Stilton - it's the very bedrock of our culture.

So my brother and his friend Ana got a fairly traditional British meal but done in a slightly grand style. Every course was accompanied by a different drink as is the fashion at expensive eateries frequented by celebrity types (though my guests didn't seem to drink as much as me, odd chaps these Americans*, very odd indeed). We sat around for about two hours eating and chatting and then retired to the lounge to watch Father Ted on DVD.


* Ana is actually Romanian but she's been living in America for some time now.

Cake Blog

Frü: I've had Gü before, and now I've had Frü. A lemony cheesecake type thing which comes in a little glass ramekin. Quite good and even better with a glass of limoncina and a little more dribbled over the top.


  • Terrine of Fois Gras with Cornichons and Caperberries
  • Walnut Bread
  • 1999 Orvietto Classico (A very crisp dry M&S wine, similar to a decent Sancerre but ½ the price)

  • Guinea Fowl with Redcurrant and Port Sauce
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Roast Parsnips
  • Braised Celery
  • Buttered Spinach
  • 1999 Terre Du Lion Saint Julien (A little too young but getting there)

  • Frü
  • Marica's Dad's Home Made Organic Limoncina

  • Stilton
  • Port (Late Bottled Vintage)

  • Amaretti Biscuits
  • Coffee


    Guinea Fowl with Redcurrant and Port Sauce
    2 Guinea Fowl
    2 Rashers Bacon
    2 Bulbs Garlic
    1 Onion
    ½ Litre Chicken Stock
    Large Glass Port
    2 Tbsp Redcurrant Jelly
    25g Butter
    1 Tbsp Plain Flour
    Salt and Pepper


  • Drizzle a little olive oil over the skin of the guinea fowl then cut some bacon into thin strips and layer over the breasts. Grate on loads of pepper and place in a baking tray. Slice the bulbs of gralic in ½ and chop the onion into two and place next to the birds. Cover with foil and roast covered for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and throw away the garlic and onion. Drain the liquid off for the sauce. Bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes to brown the skin. Use any remaining juice for the sauce.
  • Sauce: Reduce the stock from the guinea fowl with ½ litre chicken stock, a glass of port and loads of redcurrant jelly. Make a roux from the butter and flour and add the hot flavoured stock. Stir until thickened then season with pepper and salt.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for four people