A couple of months ago I jumped on the sleeper to Cornwall to see Clarence Court HQ with Mark Hix, having recently been made an ambassador for the brand. After seeing all the happy birds I thought it seemed like a good time to put on an egg night at The Secret Larder.
Anyone who has ever eaten a Clarence Court egg will know why this was such an exciting prospect – from the bowling ball-sized ostrich egg to the pretty little quail eggs they are all stunning, with fat, rich, yolks and a flavour that makes the pale, insipid budget eggs seem on a par with pus-charged phlegm.
But I was wary of overdoing it on the egg front; it’s a special and not particularly pleasant feeling, that nausea you get when you’ve eaten too many eggs. So I came up with a menu that, I hope, showcased the versatility of eggs without totally, ahem, overegging it.
On arrival guests drank raspberry gin and tonics all frothed up with egg white – it’s a pretty straightforward drink. Blend raspberries with a little sugar and lemon juice and then strain. For one drink put equal parts raspberry juice and gin in a shaker with an egg white. Shake and pour over ice and top up with tonic water. Serve with a raspberry.
To start I’d wanted to do bantam scotch egg arancini but 1) couldn’t find bantam eggs and 2) slightly undercooked the risotto (by arancini standards – you need to overcook the rice) and so couldn’t form the rice around the eggs. Things don’t always go according to plan. So I did yet more quail eggs perched on a half an arancino. A nest, if you will.
By the main course I thought everyone might have had enough of eating whole eggs and so did very slowly braised lamb neck with an anchovy sabayon. A sabayon is like a hollandaise, in that it’s an emulsion of egg yolks and butter. This one contained a puree of anchovy and garlic. Guests seemed willing to drink it.
A huge thanks to Clarence Court for providing such amazing eggs. And there’s more!
Clarence Court are offering a chance to win two spaces to The Secret Larder in October. Just ‘like’ their Facebook page and give a reason why you should win.