As you may already know, we have worked with the Milestone for nearly a year now. They have helped us evaluate our products and have provided valuable feedback as well as shared some of their tasty recipes. Being invited to attend one of their cooking courses was an exciting opportunity to see another side to The Milestone. We attended their Meat cooking course which started at 10:30 and upon arrival we were able to meet the other course attendees while enjoying a lovely coffee. We snuck upstairs to take a quick look at the pans before the course started and here’s what we saw.
Firstly, Chef Rob took us through basic knife skills which are always helpful in the kitchen. A great tip for chopping onions is to not cut off the root before chopping, here is a youtube video similar to how Chef Rob showed us.
The onion was then fried lightly to be added to black pudding which interestingly enough, is mostly made with freeze-dried blood nowadays. We made it mixing it with beer (any will do or use cider), spices and herbs of our choice. The more you stirred – the thicker the mixture became. We then set this aside and Chef Rob taught us how to prepare a whole chicken. First we cut the legs off and then removed the two breasts, such a helpful skill to learn! He then showed us how to remove the bone from the chicken leg to make Chicken Ballotine. This wasn’t too difficult, but the second attempt worked much better than the first. Once the bone was removed we put cling film on the side and laid the chicken leg on it and placed the black pudding in the middle. Next using the clingfilm we created a cylinder shape by rolling the leg tightly. Needless to say this is something that will take a bit of practice.
Then it was on to making our lunch! At this point I think all our stomachs were beginning to grumble. We used the chicken breasts to make a delightful Chicken Fricassee with mushrooms and red pepper. It was a treat accompanied by a glass of dry white wine. After lunch we continued dry curing our own bacon which some people flavoured with rosemary or thyme, I opted for some bay leaves. For those without a slicer at home (all of us) a helpful tip from Chef Rob was to par freeze the cured bacon in the freezer for just enough time for it to harden slightly, enabling you to slice it finer and more easily without a slicer.
We finished the day tackling the slightly intimidating Beef Wellington which turned out to be less intimidating than previously thought. We finely chopped the mushrooms and shallots and even had fun flambéing it before wrapping the beef in puff pastry. We had it for dinner the next evening and it was delicious. Shortly past 4pm with goody bags in hand we were on our way. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and would like to say a big thank you to The Milestone for having us! For more information regarding cooking courses at The Milestone check out their website for more details.
Written by Corin