What did the Queen’s royal menu look like? The former royal chef spills the beans


Former royal chef Darren McGrady spent his years cooking for members of the royal family. During this time, he also shed light on their favorite dishes through interviews, tutorials and social media posts – including the particular favorites of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

So if you want to dine like royalty, check out this list where we’ve rounded up some of McGrady’s best recipes and feel free to cook, starting with brunch.

A fruity brunch

While sourcing an abundance of berries near Balmoral Castle, McGrady discovered the Scandinavian recipe called the “Veiled Farmer’s DaughterWhen the Queen chooses her day-to-day menu, she usually sticks to the same dishes, so when presented with McGrady’s new recipe without a proper ingredient list, a cheeky note was thrown back at the kitchen to ask yourself:

“What or who is the farmer’s veiled daughter?”

After finally helping the Queen officially approve the dish – which is a layered treat of sweet berries, cream and a toasted cinnamon sugar crust – it has become a regular addition to her menu. She ordered it up to three or four times a week in the summer!

Click on here for McGrady’s tutorial.

Afternoon tea and scones

As the midday hours approached, the Queen was known to love her afternoon tea. And don’t forget the buttery scones, either. This sweet duo actually dates back to the 19th century traditions of the Duchess of Bedford, who used to invite her friends over for tea.

However, for the Queen, whether she was inviting friends over or on her plane to another country, the sweet treat was literally a must. Royal chef McGrady was there to cook these iconic scones, regardless of time zone.

One day she might order plain scones, but the next fruit scones to mix it all up. Along with a slab of butter, jam or cream, the important factor here was afternoon tea. Tea was the must-have of which the scone was only a complement.

Click on here for McGrady’s tutorial.

The platinum jubilee

Throughout her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth has held many celebrations to mark her time on the throne, including her Platinum Jubilee in 2021. One of the common pleasures of these events – attended by at least five U.S. presidents and many, many corgis — was a citrusy lemon meringue parfait.

Topped with sweet berries and ice cream, the meringue creates a perfectly balanced summer refreshment that’s as at home at an annual pool party as it is at Buckingham Palace. If there are any leftovers, McGrady suggests leaving the meringue in the freezer for up to three months. However, the meringue never really lasted in the queen’s kitchen that long.

Click on here for McGrady’s tutorial.

Dinner for all

On Friday nights, royal staff were usually treated to the best fish and chips, along with a handmade sour cream dip. The queen’s corgis would also have received dinners fit for a king (or queen). In their case, that means a puppy-approved mix of meat, cabbage, and rice.

“When I worked at the palace, we actually had a royal dog menu,” McGrady said. Good morning! Magazine. “He would be chosen and sent to us in the kitchen every month by Mrs Fennick, who looked after all the dogs at Sandringham. He would list every day what the dogs should have. One day it would be beef, the next chicken of the day, lamb of the next day, rabbit of the next day and it alternated during these days. The beef arrived, we cooked it, we cut it into very fine pieces and then we did the same with the chicken. We would poach them, and again once, chop them up really, really small to make sure there were no bones so the dogs wouldn’t choke.”

As for the queen herself, she loved Morecambe Bay Pot Prawns For dinner. Morecambe Bay prawns are tiny brown prawns caught in the shallow waters off the Lancashire coast. In this dish, they are boiled in butter and a secret blend of spices, then packed in tiny jars and served with hot toast. As it was the Queen’s all-time favourite, McGrady has yet to reveal the secret recipe.

The end of the day

As the Queen prepared for sweet dreams, she loved a sweet treat – even though it had an admittedly sour name. She would order a lemon posset. The word “posset” refers to both a citrus confectionery and the spitting up of a newborn baby. Dessert is served?

While the possets can contain a variety of ingredients – ranging from ginger to star anise – the queen actually liked hers simply made with just lemon, sugar, cream and Amaretti biscuits. This rich and creamy dish was then garnished with blueberries and lemon zest. On special occasions, lemon posset can also be flavored with orange juice or liquor.

Click on here for McGrady’s tutorial.

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