Menu of the Month – May by Chef Patron Chris Charalambous

Chris Charalambous, Chef Patron of Cail Bruich, has gained recognition for his modern style Scottish cuisine and menus that celebrate Scotland’s natural larder as well as the best seasonal ingredients available.

His May menu showcases seasonal asparagus, lovage, wild herbs and garlic and a symphony of peas.

Starter – Wye Valley Asparagus, Smoked Potato, Cured Pork Jowl, Lovage

Ingredients
For the asparagus:
1kg Jumbo Wye Valley asparagus
For the smoked potato:
2kg Rooster baking potatoes 40s
500g Smoked butter
500g Whey
500g Milk
Coarse Sea Salt
Maldon Salt
For the cured pork jowl:
100g sliced guincale(we make this in house but you can buy from any good charcuterie supplier)
For the potato & sourdough crumble:
100g old sourdough, torn into small pieces
100g potato skins
For the lovage oil:
200g lovage, blanched refreshed & dehydrated
200g pomace oil
200g rapeseed oil
For the lovage powder:
200g lovage
For the Asparagus & Wild Herb Salad:
100g Asparagus ribbons
Selection of wild herbs-ladies smock, scurvy grass, pink purslane, ground ivy, alexander’s, garlic mustard
Lovage Oil

Method
For the asparagus:
Peel & trim the asparagus & place into iced water. When ready to cook bring a pan of heavily salted water to the boil & blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes depending on the size. Refresh immediately in iced water, drain & store between j cloth.
For the smoked potato:
Bake potatoes on a bed of coarse salt at 180c for 50-60 mins. Warm the butter, milk and whey, and emulsify with a hand blender. Keep warm. Once potatoes are cooked, scoop out the flesh and pass through a tamis into a bowl, reserve the skins. Whisk in the emulsion till you have the consistency of a very thick puree. Season with maldon salt and place into a ISI Cream Whipper, charge twice and hold in water bath at 60c.
For the potato & sourdough crumble:
Take 100g of old sourdough, torn into small pieces. Fry the bread in foaming butter till golden, drain onto C Folds. Reserve the butter for another use. Take 100g of potato skins and fry at 190c in the deep fat fryer until golden. Drain, pat dry and dehydrate for 1-2 hours then pulse coarsely. Mix both potato and bread together.
For the lovage oil:
Blitz lovage & oil at 80c in a thermomix. Infuse for 1 hour then strain through muslin. Store in sauce bottle till ready to use.
For the lovage powder:
Dehydrate the lovage until completely dry then grind in a spice grinder.
For the Asparagus & Wild Herb Salad:
Toss everything together & dress with the lovage oil.
For the Asparagus & Wild Herb Salad:
To Assemble:
Cook the asparagus in a little oil on the BBQ or Plancha until evenly coloured. Toss in the lovage oil and season. Place onto a white plate and dispense a large mound of potato siphon next to the asparagus. Top with the fried bread mix and dust over the lovage powder. Finish with the shaved guanciale and a little asparagus and wild herb salad.

Main – Dornoch Lamb, Grilled Peas, Lamb Fat Pommes Dauphine, Ewes Curd, Fermented Wild Garlic

Ingredients
For the Lamb Rump:
4 x 170g Lamb Rump-trimmed of all sinew & silverskin & tied with butcher string
50g Lamb Fat
Thyme
Bay Leaf
For the Lamb Belly:
4 lamb belly’s
Maldon Salt
200g Yoghurt
Meat Glue
Curry Powder
For the grilled pea juice:
1kg fermented pea husks (3% salt for 1 week)
1kg spinach
100g water
For the pea puree:
1kg frozen peas
200g spinach
100g grilled pea juice
For the peas:
200g double podded peas
For the lamb fat pommes dauphine:
Choux Paste
375g water
125g wine
175 butter
75 lamb fat
15g salt
400g plain flour
10 eggs
200g dry mashed potato
For the ewes curd:
100g Fresh Ewes Curd
200g fresh wild garlic, picked & washed
100g emulsion
100g Lacto Fermented garlic (3% salt for 1 week)
For the wild garlic oil:
200g wild garlic
200g pomace oil
200g rapeseed oil

Method
For the Lamb Rump:
Vacuum Pac the rumps with the fat & herbs & cook at 62c for 35 mins. Rest until ready to finish cooking.
For the Lamb Belly:
Trim the bellies of all sinew and silverskin and season each evenly with salt, curry powder and a light dusting of meat glue. Place the bellies on top of each other and put into a large vacuum bag with the yoghurt. Seal then steam at 82c for 12 hours. Press the bellies with a heavy weight and chill overnight. Portion into rectangles and chill until ready to cook.
For the grilled pea juice:
Chargrill the pea husks in a little oil until well coloured. Mix with spinach and water and place in a juicer. Set aside until needed.
For the pea puree:
Blanch peas and spinach in heavily salted water for 2-3 minutes and refresh immediately in iced water. Drain and purée till smooth. Pass through a chinois, adjust consistency with pea juice and season. The purée should be the consistency of pouring cream.
For the peas:
Blanch the peas in heavily seasoned water for 30 seconds then refresh immediately. Drain and reserve until needed.
For the lamb fat pommes dauphine:
Combine the water, wine, fats and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once melted, add in the flour and beat vigorously until the mixture leaves the side of the pan. Place into a stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy. Weigh out 100g of the mix and incorporate with 200g of dry mashed potato. Mix well, season and shape into quenelles. Chill until required.
For the ewes curd:
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz at 80c for 8 minutes. Infuse for 1 hour then strain through muslin. Place into a sauce bottle till ready to use.
To finish & assemble the dish:
Seal and render the lamb rump on all sides till golden, baste with foaming butter then let rest for 10 minute. Seal the lamb belly on the plancha till crisp and golden. Fry the dauphine at 180c until lightly golden. Warm the wild garlic in seasoned emulsion. Warm the peas and pea purée together adding a little more pea juice if too thick. Swirl the peas on a white plate, placing the lamb around (try not be too neat). Add 3 pieces of ewe’s curd, the dauphine and wild garlic trying to make the plate look as natural as possible. Finish with a light lamb jus split with wild garlic oil and some wild garlic flowers.

Bio: Chris Charalambous, Chef/Patron, Cail Bruich

Proclaiming to be “mainly self-taught” and inspired by his mother’s cooking prowess from an early age, Glasgow-born Chris has charted a rapid path from the family kitchen – via René Redzepi’s restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen – to Cail Bruich: where traditional and contemporary cooking techniques combine to create ingredient-led menus which showcase the finest in seasonal farmed, fished and foraged Scottish produce. The importance to Chris of the provenance, freshness and quality of ingredients used in the kitchens at Cail Bruich is underlined by the development of a kitchen garden at the rear of the restaurant.

The family-run restaurant, which opened in 2008, has a modern, relaxed and unfussy style, with friendly, attentive and knowledgeable waiting staff on hand. It has forged an enviable reputation in Glasgow’s quality dining arena under Chris’s leadership, with Front of House support from his brother, Paul and father, Dimitri; his mother, Isabella handles back office and administrative roles. Cail Bruich was awarded 3 AA rosettes in 2016 and named one of the UK’s top 100 restaurants by the Sunday Times in 2017.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with his young family, playing golf and foraging.

Cail Bruich has been a customer of Wellocks since 2013.