22 Mar The Season: April 2018
April is a month of contrasts; clocks springing forward means we’re technically in British Summertime, but how many other “Summer” months have songs dedicated to their rain showers?
We’ve put together a menu that creates a journey of contrasts, balancing light with shade, and delicate subtlety with crescendos of intensity. Ingredients like rhubarb, asparagus, and wild garlic are at their absolute, unimpeachable best at this time of year – peaking as rapidly and fleetingly as a souffle – while for others it’s a chance to bid farewell until it’s their time to shine again.
Some ingredients are plucked from nature – asparagus and wild garlic from the Sunday lunch menu is a dish that could only ever be put on a menu this month – while others are months in the making. Duck makes an appearance in our first course, having been shot in January and then smoked with a blend of seven teas, and cured until its flavour is the perfect intensity. It’s served sliced thin as a bresaola, along with pickled morels, mustard, and wild garlic.
Our cheese dumpling pays homage to the start of calving season by showcasing the diversity of what British cheese makers are able to produce with milk, while ale-glazed ox cheek and Sundays’ beef wellington satiate that craving and necessity for something a bit more and comforting.
When you think of proper, Yorkshire home cooking, you think of liver and onions. We’ve been working on a way of elevating the core ingredients to get this dish on one of our menus since before HOME even opened, so we’re very excited to champion it on April’s menu.
We’ve brined it for 5 days in full-fat, gold top milk – liver, naturally, absorbs the milk and cream, balancing the iron-richness to give it a flavour somewhere between wagyu and foie gras, and giving it the most incredibly tender texture. From then, it was simply a case of finding the right balance of onion to add sweetness without drawing attention away from the star of the show.
As much as we like our dishes to tell stories of seasonality and their environment, sometimes we can’t resist the urge to add a dish to the menu simply because we want it to be there. Razor clam has an incredible, subtle sweetness which we’ve balanced delicately with naturally briny sea vegetables, light in texture but intense of flavour.
Conversely, we’ve doubled-down on the oceanic flavours in Sunday’s cod dish, adding an intense salmon mousse, it’s topped with a squid-ink crisp as a cheeky visual reference to a trawler’s net. To steep it in seasonality we’ve added pureed sorrel – a bright, tart herb high in oxalic acid, which is the same thing that gives rhubarb its tang.
Speaking of which, we couldn’t claim to be a seasonal, Yorkshire restaurant without a visit to the Rhubarb triangle. We’ve used it to give a makeover to that dinner-party classic the baked alaska, balancing its sourness with floral vanilla and rose.
We’re sticking with tradition on Sunday’s menu, with our celebration of all the things that come to mind when you think of apple crumble – that crunchy, sugar-laden top layer with a moist, almost doughy crumb underneath, the caramelised apple stuck to the side of the baking dish. We’ve even found a way to relieve you of that agonising choice: custard, cream, or evaporated milk?
And of course, April means Easter, and it wouldn’t be Easter without chocolate. We’re finishing this month’s journey with an intense dark chocolate torte with a bit of warmth from gingerbread ice cream, ginger pastilles, and stem ginger syrup.
Hope to see you throughout April.