A taste of Winter

bill the horse close up of snout
interesting ice-cream cone with some orange stuff in it

The amuse bouchée at last night’s A Taste of Winter dining event at Liss Ard Estate – hand picked crab creme brûlée, Parmesan crisp and crab aioli is a sesame waffle cone.


The cone was a delight – pure crab flavour like a bisque mousse. The brûlée of chunky crab cream flavoured delicately with tarragon was unctuous and rich, but the Parmesan crisp really set off the whole things bringing the flavours together in every well balanced mouthful.


A big portion for an amuse but a real treat! Anticipation for what was to come next was palpable…   .

rare Venice dinner

Our starter course for Liss Ard Estate A Taste of Winter dinner was simply Devine!


Beautiful venison from Ballinwillin House Farm and corned in house at Liss Ard and cooked, in my view, with wonderful dexterity. Corned then seared, the venison had two textures is one: cooked and tartare… it may look rare to some, but for me this kind of treatment of a fillet of venison is bang on! It is the King of Meats and each cut should play to its strengths. The fillet cut is lean and therefore would dry out with over cooking. Even though rare, there was no blood. The mushroom pate served with it were wild and foraged from the grounds of the estate; the carrots confit. Silky textures throughout.


The one element that had us all baffled was why the “berries” on the plate had the aroma and taste of #truffle – of course we stupidly assumed the berries were either juniper or elderberry, but they couldn’t be because of the flavour! We were reliably informed later that these were Truffle Berries – spherified pearls of black truffle. And as I overheard one guest say, and to which I heartily concur: “tis far from truffle berries we were raised!”Beautiful dish: inventive, perfect Cookery

scallops and salted popcorn from a Taste of West Cork

Fish course at last night’s “A Taste of Winter” event at Liss Ard Estate – and what a triumph this was.When reading the menu, I was excited to see this course. I could imagine the burst of colour that would be present: white scallop, bright orange cured roe, deep purple beetroot and black popcorn and salt.


Presentation wise, this dish did not disappoint. Flavour wise, it challenged and required the diner to explore the flavours and textures but once figured out – oh my, oh my…this was one clever dish indeed!


The cured scallop roe in itself was very intense with an equally intense hit of salt..expected from the roe but heightened by the curing process. The King Scallops, diver caught and almost indecently plump were cooked to perfection – right on the turn from raw to cooked so they were still butter like and sweet. The popcorn, tossed in squid ink lacked flavour by itself but a fun texture. The beetroot earthy as you would expect. Put it all together, and the popcorn became salty and familiar, the sweetness from the scallop reflected in the crisp pea shoots, paired back slightly by the earthy sweetness of the beetroot. The surprise on the Plate was the Black Sea salt crystals… I need to get me some of those – a neat little thing that could otherwise be ignored but actually the stitches pulling all the elements together in this dish.


Really fun in an adult way. I loved the colours, the creativity and the fun of this dish. Fantastic!


Main course at last night’s “A Taste of Winter” dining event at Liss Ard Estate – Partridge, Pears and Confit Duck Legs, corn kernels and garden herb oil.


Personally, I would have preferred the partridge breasts cut from the crown for me, but that’s only because I was in polite company and couldn’t pick the bones which I would have done in the privacy of my own home! Confit Duck legs are on my list of top ten most favourite things to eat and were a clever contrast to the gamey flavour of the partridge which was cooked perfectly – difficult with a small bird that can easily dry out even when cooked on the crown. The crunchy corn kernels provided a great texture contrast and the perfectly poached mini pear, sweet and soft acted as a great palette refresher between mouthfuls.


Well, if you can’t have partridge in a pear tree in winter time, when can you?  

chocolate fondant

Dessert at last night’s “A Taste of Winter” dining event at Liss Ard Estate was something super close to my food heaven! Dark chocolate fondant, orange scented clotted cream and mulled wine soused cherries… flick to the next image for the oozey money shot!


The fondant was so light and rich, it had a texture somewhere between a traditional fondant and a soufflé, that molten river of chocolate waiting patiently inside, rich thick cream and boozy cherries.


I have no words except “thank you” and “can you live at my house and make me this every day…please?!!”


What a way to finish off a great meal! DIVINE! 

cheese board

And so to finish last night’s amazing “A Taste of Winter” dining event at Liss Ard Estate we were treated to a fabulous cheese platter of Irish cheeses  Durrus Cheese, Milleens Cheese, Tipperary Brie, Dart Mountain Cheese (our favourite on the board), Hegarty’s Cheese and Cashel Blue, two House made chutneys – one sweet one savoury and a great choice of stacked crackers to go with.


Again pears from the orchard  to cleanse the palette between bites was a nice touch instead of the ubiquitous grape!


Thank you for a wonderful meal – we had a fantastic time; completely stuffed, happy and more than heartily satisfied. Great job all the way round!


Blog Credit: Flavour.ie 

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