Ballymaloe Box illustrates dining “At Home” gets better and better.
Dining “At Home” just keeps getting better and better. Our latest box, from Ballymaloe House, was just superb, from the beautiful presentation, to the quality of the produce, to the ease of putting it on the table once you had it At Home!
Ballymaloe by the way are just getting into their stride on this front as this is just their second “At Home”. The meal underlined the quality that the Ballymaloe kitchen, under Head Chef Dervilla, turns out day after day, course after course.
The star factor began at Ballymaloe itself, the box coming decorated with freshly picked tulips, which, once home, were quickly found a role as a table decoration. No bother involved and no bother later on either as only the main course required any heating at all and here the meat and potatoes were each timed to come to perfection at the same time. Some “At Homes” are much trickier, more troublesome.
But first, the starter, featuring asparagus that was picked that morning by gardener Mags in the Ballymaloe walled garden along with the garlic and rocket leaves, was already cooked for us. Better give you the full description: First of our season’s Walled Garden Asparagus Salad, Wild Garlic, Lemon Olive Oil, Roast Grantstown Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts. So we assembled this, according to instructions. Very easy, every simple and simply delicious along with some Ballymaloe bread and their rich Jersey Butter. A great start and that standard continued all through.
also on At Home Menu
The mains: East Cork Beef Cheeks with Gremolata was the basic description. Much more than that though including Boulangéres & Thyme Potatoes, Bay Scented Carrots, Mushrooms & Tarragon and that garden salad (which we lightly tossed with their Honey & Muscatel Vinegar Dressing). Finally, the Beef was sprinkled with the Gremolata. Again, totally pleased with this one, perhaps the best beef cheeks we’ve had in a long time.
The additions here were crucial and most came in their own little glass jars. As did the dessert: Panna Cotta and Espresso Jelly with Pistachio Langues de Chat. A very impressive Panna Cotta with that jelly a star. Happy out after that, like the cat that got the cream!
We did, by the way, take decent gaps between the courses, savouring the earlier ones and looking forward to what was to come. Next was the the cheese course. And, of course, it featured an all Irish line-up: St Tola Goat (from County Clare), Coolea Cow (from hills above Ballyvourney, Co. Cork) and Crozier Blue Sheep (from the Grubb family, the same people that make Cashel blue in rural Tipperary), all accompanied by Ballymaloe Cheese Biscuits and Membrillo Paste (each perfect and perfectly suited to the plate).
And that wasn’t quite it. There was a little jar of truffles, though to be honest, they were kept to go with the mid-morning coffee on the following day!
The box also contained next week’s menu:
Ballycotton Day Boat Crab and Garden Asparagus with Lemon Aioli;
Ballymaloe White Bread and Farm Butter;
Free Range Duck Breast & Ballymaloe Pork Belly with Marsala Jus, Wild Garlic Mash;
Bay Scented Carrots & braised Garden Green Onion, Shanagarry Green salad with Rosé Vinegar & Honey Dressing.
Chocolate St Emilion with Cocoa Nib Nougatine & Cream.
Fancy that? Order online or ring 021 4652531.
|Just about to tuck into dessert!|