Here’s a bit of a photo-account of what I did in a day shift at the bar. Prep includes dessert and savoury elements which I like. I think this really keeps the day interesting, along with creating new dishes, one of which went on at evening service this particular Wednesday. I included almost everything I spent a bit of time on, although I didn’t think you needed any pictures of me doing the roster (rather time-consuming) and sorting out the bins! There are of course many small elements of prep too, but that would be too many pictures! A good day, and I only start at 11am!
We make our bread with a starter which was started/created on the premises, and the dough is made around noon every day. At the same time, the folded dough from the previous day is removed from the fridge, left to come to room temperature, portioned into boules and bench-rested like these above for about an hour, and then baked around 3pm, to be ready for dinner service. Above is snapshot of where the boules take a nap under cloths for an hour.
Since the bread is resting, I use the oven to cook meringue. These are very small so they don’t take long at all.
A friend brought kumquats and I decided to poach them as I don’t really have time for marmalade or candying at this time of the year. They are halved and then poached in a vanilla sugar syrup and good served with any chocolate-based dessert.
I butcher a pork shoulder, which becomes the base for a new terrine (we do sets of 4 or 6 terrines at one time). The meat is cut into chunks and minced with a coarse die, and the fat is cut in small blocks to create textural variance and keep the terrine moist.
By now the duck has arrived, and it too is butchered for the terrine, with the leg meat being ground and the breast cut into long strips to form the centre of the terrine, along with dried prunes.
The new bread base is made, at this stage the salt and last bit of water is not added yet, to allow the natural starter to get, well, started!
Bench-rest long over, the bread is baked, and for some reason is not slashed today (too busy taking pictures!)
Prepping and blanching vegetables for service, the above process is where the veggies are being shocked in ice water to stop the cooking process and therefore preserve their colour and quality.
Roasting chicken bones for stock. The duck carcasses are added to this for extra depth in the final stock.
The previous night milk was cultured and left to set, to finally become fromage blanc (fresh cheese). Here I am pouring the curds into cloths to drain the whey.
The vegetable order arrives, is checked and packed away. In the summer time it’s really important to get everything into the coldroom quickly, to preserve the quality of the produce.
The goat has arrived and I butcher it so that it can be marinated overnight, and turned into a braise tomorrow. This is great organic goat from Koondrook.
We marinate the goat with thyme, garlic and pepper, as the braise is in a classic, simple style.
Finally, I need to cook the porchetta in a slow oven overnight, so I bone the shoulders out, make a herbed bread stuffing and roll & tie the shoulders. They are then wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked in their own juices for 14 hours.
The next post will have some pictures of what all this prep becomes!