Downton Abbey Inspired Go-To Dinner Party Menu

ON THE MENU:

Creamy Carrot and Parsnip Soup
Smoked Trout Fillet over Greens
Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Roast Potatoes, Green Beans and Gravy
Cheese and Biscuits
Strawberry Rhubarb Pavlova

Carrot Parsnip Soup Image 1

BLUEPRINT: This Go-To Dinner Party would be sure to receive a stamp of approval from the Dowager Countess herself — A creamy velvety carrot and parsnip soup to start, followed by smoked trout over greens. For the main course fillet of beef, rosemary roast potatoes, sautéed green beans served with gravy. For the cheese course, some old world cheeses with British biscuits (aka crackers) and a Mrs. Patmore inspired berry pavlova. The soup can be made the day before, as can the meringue for the pavlova. The trout over greens can be completely prepped and ready to plated. The green beans can be blanched just needing a quick sauté prior to serving. The cream can be whipped and compote made ahead – both being kept in the fridge until ready to serve. The cheese can be placed on the platter and biscuits at the ready to be place on right before serving. The beef fillet and roast potatoes can be completely set up and ready to pop in the oven. Make sure to go Silver Service all the way and use the Kitchen Moxie worksheet to work out your timing for the beef and potatoes.

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 2 lemons, 2 1/2 cups strawberries, 6 stalks rhubarb
  • Produce: 1/2 lb carrots, 1/2 lb parsnips, 2 medium onions, 7 – 8 oz baby arugula, 3 lbs baby red potatoes, 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
  • Fresh Herbs: 1 bunch curly parsley, 1 tbs fresh rosemary
  • Meat & Fish: 2 eight oz pkg Ducktrapp Smoked Trout fillets, 3 – 4 lb beef tenderloin
  • Dairy: 4 eggs, 4 tbs salted butter, 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, small hunk Red Leicester, small wedge Stilton
  • Frozen: n/a
  • Staples: 5 tbs olive oil, 3 tbs mayonnaise, 4 cups chicken stock, 3 tbs garlic puree, 2 tbs corn starch, 1 cup beef stock
  • Baking: 8 oz superfine sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbs flour
  • Spices: salt, pepper
  • Other: 1 1/2 tsp prepared wasabi, 1 box Carrs Water Crackers, 1 box Nairns Scottish Oatcakes, 1/4 cup red wine

 

Creamy Carrot and Parsnip Soup

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, large heavy bottomed sauce pan with lid, chef’s knife, cutting board, knife, food processor (or blender or immersion blender)

Serves: 6 as a first course / 4 as a main

  • 2 tbs of salted butter
  • 1/2 lb of carrots (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 lb of parsnips (roughly chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter over low heat in the large heavy bottom saucepan. Add in the chopped carrots, parsnips and onions. Place the lid on top and continue to cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. You want the vegetables to soften and develop flavor, but not to brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. You want the carrots and parsnips to be very tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Place in a food processor or blender and pulse till smooth. Add in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Gently reheat on low and serve immediately.

To Serve: Put in warmed bowls of cups. Top with a little cream and chopped chives and serve immediately.

 

Smoked Trout Fillet over Greens

What you need: cutting board, chef’s knife

Serves: 6

  • 2 eight oz pkg Ducktrapp Smoked Trout fillets
  • 7 oz baby arugula
  • 3 tbs mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp prepared wasabi

Cut each trout fillet in half (reserving one) and remove the skin. Combine the mayonnaise and prepared wasabi.

To Serve: Place a mound of arugula on to each of six salad plates. Top with the smoked trout fillet and a dollop of the wasabi mayo. Serve immediately.

 

Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary Roast Potatoes, Green Beans and Gravy

Serves: 6

For the Tenderloin

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, roasting pan, chef’s knife, cutting board, aluminum foil, dishtowel

  • 3- 4 lb beef tenderloin
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs garlic puree
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Slice the onion and create a bed in your roasting pan for the tenderloin. Carefully trim the excess fat. Rub the beef with olive oil and garlic puree. Generously cover with salt and pepper. Place roast in the oven and cook until the thickest part of the beef reaches an internal temperature of 130˚F. For medium rare 3 – 4 lb tenderloin the approximate cooking time is 35 – 45 minutes, however you don’t want to overcook the beef, so using a thermometer is really the way to go.  Remove the tenderloin and let it rest covered in foil (with a dish towel on top) on a carving board for about 10 – 15 minutes).

For the Gravy

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, wooden spoon, fine mesh sieve, warmed gravy boat

  • 1 cup beef  stock (I like to use 1 Knorr bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tbs flour
  • bits from the bottom of the pan
  • salt
  • pepper

Before you begin, “spoon” out the extra fat in the pan. This is the yellowish clear liquid. Heat the pan on your stove-top over medium-high heat and add 2 tbs of flour. Use a wooden spoon to mix that in with all the bits on the bottom of the pan – cooking the four. Next add the wine. The alcohol will cook off, but adds some great flavor to the gravy. Once you’ve successfully gotten all the bits off the bottom of the pan, add in about a cup of stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the gravy is thickened. Pour through a fine sieve to catch all the yucky bits. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:  Pour gravy into heated gravy boat or jug and serve immediately

For the Roast Potatoes 

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, roasting pan

  • 3 lb baby red potoates
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Rinse and half (or quarter depending on size) the potatoes. Place in one layer on a large roasting pan. Add the olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Stir to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook for about an hour. The potatoes should be browned and crispy on the outside and fork tender on the inside.

For the Green Beans:

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, medium heavy bottomed sauce pan with tight fitting lid, large sauté pan, chef’s knife, cutting board, steamer basket, large bowl with ice

  • 1 1/2 lbs green beans
  • 2 tbs salted butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Place the beans in the steamer basket and cook until just tender (about 3 – 4 minutes). Remove immediately and place in an ice bath (large bowl with water and ice cubes). This will stop the cooking process. Once beans are cool, drain, dry completely and set aside. Set up a large sauté pan with the butter and lemon. Just before serving, heat the butter and lemon over medium high heat. Add the beans and sauté until warmed through.

To Serve: This Downton Abbey meal is Silver Service worthy. Place the meat, potato and vegetables on separate warmed platters (garnished with parsley) with serving utensils. Go around the table, allowing guests to help themselves.

 

Cheese and Biscuits

What you need: cutting board, chef’s knife, large platter, serving forks/knife, six salad/dessert plates

Serves: 6

  • 1 package cars cracker
  • 1 package Nairns Scottish Oat Cakes
  • small hunk Red Leicester
  • small wedge Stilton

To Serve: Place cheese and biscuits on a platter. Place a plate in front of each guest and go around the table offering some to each guest.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pavlova

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, stand alone or hand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula (or off-set spatula if you have one), medium size pot, wooden spoon, citrus juicer, zester (microplane), baking tray,  parchment paper

Serves:  6 -8 (or in my house 4- 6 with at least a few folks going back for seconds!)

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz of superfine sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
  • 6 rhubarb stalks (approx. 12” in length) cut into ½” pieces
  • zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar (+ 1 tsp more for dusting the pavlova before serving)
  • 2 cups heavy cream

For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Prepare a baking sheet with a little non-stick cooking spray and then place a sheet of parchment on top. (The non-stick spray helps the parchment stay in place.) To make the meringue place the egg whites in a bowl and whip them until they are stiff. A good way to know they are ready is to stick a spoon in and scoop up a little. Turn the spoon upside down and if the meringue sticks it’s ready and time to add the sugar. Add the 8 ozs of superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is still going. Once all the sugar is in incorporated, spoon the meringue onto the parchment lined baking sheet creating a nest of bed for the berries and cream. I use an off-set spatula, but any spatula will do. It doesn’t have to be perfect- in this case rustic is good! Place in the oven and turn down the temperature to 275 ˚F. Bake for 1 hour and then let the meringue cool.

For the compote: Place the strawberries, rhubarb, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tbs of corn starch, lemon zest and juice in a pot. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, berries release their juice and the sauce starts to thicken. Take off the heat to cool. Refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).

For the Cream: Place the heavy cream in a cold (I put mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes before I use it) mixing bowl and whip. Add in the 2 tbs of confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.

Tip: I like to fold a little of the compote into my whip cream prior to putting on top of the meringue. It gives it beautiful color incorporates the flavor in another layer of the dessert. Let me show you.

To Serve: Place the cooled meringue on a serving dish. Add the whipped cream and spread out across the meringue evenly. Spoon the berry compote on top. Add a sprig of fresh mint and dust with a little more confectioners’ sugar. Slice the meringue and serve each guest a generous slice.

Leave a Comment