Fit for a Queen: Irish cuisine gets the banquet treatment

 

CLASSIC IRISH dishes got a truly gourmet twist at last night’s State banquet for the Queen in Dublin Castle.

The 172 guests at the black-tie event were served a first course of cured salmon with Burren-smoked salmon cream and lemon balm jelly, horseradish and wild watercress, with Kilkenny organic cold-pressed rapeseed oil.

The main course consisted of rib of Slaney Valley beef, ox cheek and tongue with smoked champ potato and fried spring cabbage, new season broad beans and carrots with pickled and wild garlic leaf.

For dessert, diners were treated to carrageen-set West Cork cream with Meath strawberries, fresh yoghurt mousse and soda bread sugar biscuits, with Irish apple balsamic vinegar meringue.

There was also a selection of well-known Irish cheeses, including Glebe Brethan, Milleens, Knockdrinna and the popular Cashel Blue.

For the wines, guests quaffed a white Sauvignon, Château de Fieuzal, Graves Pessac-Léognan 2005, and a red Bordeaux blend in the form of Pauillac’s Chateau Lynch Bages 1998.

On the arrival of the Queen, musician Liam O’Flynn on the uilleann pipes and harpist Denise Kelly played a number of traditional pieces from the Battleaxe Landing near the main entrance stairwell.

The after-dinner entertainment featured more traditional music from a variety of musicians, this time with dancers performing several traditional dances with reels, hornpipes and slipjigs.

On of the highlights was the song Eleanor Plunkett,which was composed by blind 17th century harpist Turlough O’Carolan.