Oeufs Brouillés à la d’Aumale
Scrambled eggs mixed with sautéed kidneys, tomato pulp and Madeira wine and replaced inside a topped eggshell
Côtelettes d’Agneau sur le Grillé Colbert
Grilled lamb cutlets topped with Colbert butter, flavoured with tarragon and the juices from the grilled lamb, and named after Jean-Baptiste Colbert, a Minister to Louis XIV
Petits Pois à la Crème et Pommes Nouvelles
Creamed baby-peas with new potatoes
Chaudfroid de Poulet à la Jarretière
A cold dish of breasts of chicken poached with vegetables that are first coated with a Veloutée sauce (butter, flour and consommé); then decorated with the arms of the Order of the Garter made from herbs and thinly sliced and shaped vegetable and truffle slices; before being sealed in an aspic jelly made from the chicken stock mixed with cider.
Salade St. James’s
A salad of rice, truffles and mushrooms
Derby Beef, Jambon, Langue et Boeuf froids
Derby Beef: Large rolled silverside that has first been pickled and then boiled with turnips, carrots, onions and peppercorns; and then chilled in its own cooking liquid.
Langue: Beef tongue served cold after having been pickled in a preparation of juniper berries, thyme, bay leaf, water, salt, saltpetre and brown sugar; and then boiled in plain water, chilled, and coated in cochineal coloured aspic jelly.
Boeuf: Cold roast beef that has been cooked on the bone (“Heifer meat is usually better than that obtained from steers” observed King George VI’s royal chef, Rene Roussin)
Asperges à la Vinaigrette
Chilled asparagus dressed in a vinaigrette made from oil, vinegar, tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives
Pêches St. George
Peaches steeped in a syrup made from orange juice, rum and Curaçao
Corbeilles de Friandises
Edible baskets filled with fresh strawberries and cream
Menu dated 14th June 1937
Luncheon hosted by Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle, in honour of the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
This day had been dormant for 23 years. The ceremony of the Order of the Garter had been cancelled in the midst of World War I by King George V who never found occasion to re-instate the service that had been founded in 1349 by Edward III.
In 1937 however, fresh from his coronation just a month earlier, King George VI reinstated the grand procession as Knights of the Most Noble Order of Garter did the short walk in full ‘Garter’ regalia from Windsor Castle to the Royal Chapel.
“His Majesty was dignified and grave”, The Times informed its readers, while “the Queen has perhaps never looked more regally beautiful than in her Garter robes and the plumed hat of black velvet; of a fashion commonly thought of as Tudor, though it may be even older”.
In addition to the Queen there was only one other female amongst the Order's limited and elite 26 members: The King’s mother, the dowager Queen Mary, who was accompanied in the procession by Knights including the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent and Prince Arthur of Connaught.
The future Queen Elizabeth II, then an 11-year-old Princess, watched the service from a special gallery within the Royal Chapel that had been built by Henry VIII for Catherine of Aragon to witness the same ceremony.
The Court Circular officially records that after the service:
“The King and Queen gave a Luncheon Party at which Queen Mary and Members of the Royal Family were present, and to which the Knights of the Garter and their wives, the Officers of the Order and the Officers of the College of Heralds had the honour of being invited. The String Band of the Coldstream Guards, under the direction of Lieutenant J. C. Windramn, played a Selection of Music during Luncheon”.
The royal chef, Rene Roussin, crafted a menu to not only dazzle the King’s Knightly guests, but to do justice to the splendour of the reborn feast. Not only was there a dessert of Pêches St. George in honour of the Order’s patron Saint, but centre-table was the especially named Chaudfroid de Poulet à la Jarretière (Jarretière being French for ‘Garter’).
In the numerous journals of Cuisine Classique, there is no recognition of the culinary term “à la Jarretière”. However, it is likely the dish consisted of a traditional Chaudfroid using the chicken breast "and as much of the wing meat as possible" from a "bird which should be young and plump", according to Monsieur Roussin. It is likely the breast was then wrapped with an edible miniature replica of the belt of the Order of the Garter, before being sealed in a thin layer of aspic jelly.
(above and below) King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on Garter Day at Windsor Castle in 1948
(Above photo:s (and masthead photo) Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021)
All rights reserved. Jake Smith © 2021