Last night was the annual Hunter’s Dinner at Jayac.
It was all meant to start at 7.30pm which I knew would be a challenge for me on changeover day but Amar went on ahead with some of our guests and I was going to join them later. At 9 pm I was still waiting for the last new guests to check in when I suddenly remembered that they were having a surprise weekend at Euro Disney and weren’t arriving until Monday! No problem though as this is France & almost nothing starts at the right time.
I arrived at 9.15 pm and was greeted at the door by a huge stag’s head – a little hint perhaps of the evening’s fare? I’m not averse to eating the meat but I have to say I don’t like the thought of this magnificent creature’s remains being pinned to the wall like a trophy nor do I agree with the way in which they are hunted so I stopped only long enough to take a photo and moved swiftly on…
After an aperitif of rosé punch the dinner eventually commenced at 9.30pm with copious bowls of Tourain – a garlic & onion soup filled with large chunks of crusty bread. It doesn’t look particularly appetizing but does taste delicious – after several bowls of this ( all courses are served in dishes at the table and you can literally eat as much as you like of everything!) the Périgordine custom is to pour some red wine into the empty bowl & drink up all the remains of the soup. This is called the Chabrol and some die hard locals would rather not have the soup if they couldn’t have the Chabrol!
There was plenty of wine for the chabrol and for all of the meal as the Bordeaux flowed freely from then on in.
The soup was followed by half a melon filled with a very tasty & very strong port.
Next up was a palate cleansing pear sorbet …we should have guessed it would be doused with lashings of pear liqueur so strong it cleansed the palate & everything else as well!
With the palate now well & truly pristine out came the roast venison with a pepper sauce and white kidney beans…
The menu actually said “Gigot de cerf et sanglier” (roast venison & wild boar” which we assumed would be either/or but no, it was both! No sooner than the venison was served and the plate handed round again for seconds than another plate of roast sanglier appeared…All of the game was prepared singlehandedly by one chef who presumably didn’t trust anyone else to help.
Next came the cheese & salad (with an unfortunately salty vinaigrette which made the lettuce inedible) which was eaten while the raffle prizes were drawn.
A bizarre medley of prizes were on offer from kitchen chairs & watering cans to motor oil and dried cat food!! It dragged on a bit but it was all taken in good spirit & I suppose it gave a bit of time to digest before the dessert…
The meal was finished off with strong coffee…the cost for all of this ? A mere 20 euros each.
The next culinary event is a Mechoui on the 18th August at Paulin – a spit roasted lamb with all the trimmings. Having rolled home last night we’ll definitely be eating lightly for a couple of days beforehand…!