Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The War to End All Dinners


Upon the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, we might expect a commemorative dinner hosted by Heston Blumenthal. Let’s only hope then that he doesn’t insist on doing his own research for the theme, else his cooking staff are in trouble. Here he is conceptualising:
‘I’m going to do a cut of beef – beef culottes (we’ve all heard of skirt steak, but Heston would have found a rarer cut, not quite skirt but culottes, named after the 1980s-favoured flappy shorts that looked like a skirt (the only instance of optically deluding garment)). Now I want the perfect marination with the ultimate enhancer of beef – mustard. But how best to infuse the meat? Aha! Well, I have help on hand. Here’s a letter dispatched by a Private Tommy Farrell of the Royal Fusiliers from the Western Front. In it, it says:
“To my dearest Elspeth,
Well my darling, I hope this finds you in good health…”;
Blah, blah, blah, until we reach what for me is the most interesting passage:
“… the warning went up, masks on. Poor old Sergeant Fellows couldn’t get his apparatus on in time. Bought it I’m afraid. Mustard gas…”
Mustard gas! That’s it! I submerge my culottes in a trench – much like the New Zealand Maoris do with their hangis, burying the meat underground – and waft over the mustard gas. In its gaseous form that mustard is going to penetrate the beef to the max…’ (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)

Blumenthal might then finish off his staff with the deadly mustard gassing used to devastating effect by the German military, having not been very thorough with his research. He would then prepare radish bayonets caramelised by a Third Generation farmer (going slightly off-theme here), parsnip obelisks drizzled with poppy seeds, accompanied by a triple-picked juniper berry jus (triple-picked involving picking the berries, putting them back on the tree, re-picking them etc – influenced somehow by the Mexican refried beans dish (see on this blogsite the Tiny Bang Theories entry September 2011 ‘From Refried Beans to Used Bog Roll’).
A break in courses would then follow in the Christmas version of the dinner where diners are invited to play a game of football, then resume at tables on the other side of the restaurant for the dessert – the Armistrudel.

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