‘Quirky’ British dish loved by the Queen Mother is as easy to make – recipe

The Queen Mother had a private chef throughout much of her royal life, one of which was Michael Sealey who served for 40 years.

While she indulged in an array of quintessentially British meals on a daily basis, one of her favourite dishes comprised seafood and eggs, known as “Oefs Drumkilbo”.

Packed with flavour, the traditional recipe calls for a mixture of lobster, gelatin, mayonnaise and ketchup, along with a range of fresh herbs and spices.

According to Stewart Turner, head chef at Berry Bros & Rudd, the “retro” dish makes is “one of those quintessentially quirky British dishes”.

Reportedly a favourite of both the Queen Mother and her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, the historical recipe found its origins in the kitchens of Drumkilbo House in Perthshire.

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Eggs Drumkilbo is similar to the classic prawn cocktail but is made with lobster or crab meat, chopped egg and Sherry jelly instead. This recipe by Berry Bros & Rudd is a close match to the one served at Goring Hall, made with a few extra ingredients for a “luxurious” twist.


Serves six:

  • 200g picked white crab meat
  • 200g poached lobster – diced
  • Three plum tomatoes – peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 50g cucumber – diced
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 50g crème fraîche
  • One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Four to five drops of Tobasco sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One tablespoon of chives – chopped
  • One tablespoon chervil – chopped
  • One tablespoon tarragon – chopped
  • Two heads of gem lettuce – some outer leaves removed, and the heart shredded
  • Nine soft-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • Six radishes finely sliced

Sherry jelly:

  • 150ml medium Sherry
  • 50ml orange juice – sieved
  • Two leaves of gelatine

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Chef Stewart recommended starting with the Sherry jelly to allow time for it to set. To make this, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for two minutes, then squeeze out any excess water.

In a small pan, bring the Sherry and orange juice to boiling point. Add the gelatine and remove from the heat instantly. Once dissolved, transfer the liquid into a small tray or container, aiming for a depth of between 0.5 to 1cm.

Put in the fridge to set for a couple of hours then move on to the seafood cocktail. Mix the shellfish, cucumber, tomato, herbs and lettuce together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise and crème fraîche; season with the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Mix the contents of each bowl together and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the Sherry jelly from the fridge and arrange a plate or glass with lettuce leaves. Top with a generous serving of the shellfish mixture.

The chef recommended dressing the dish with samphire, a little lemon and olive oil, a scattering of the egg halves, iced jelly and radish.

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