Three Chimneys Restaurant ScotlandSkye High: Three Chimneys
When you're in one of the world's most remote locations, the Skye's the limit. That's the kind of innovative philosophy that inspires Michael Smith, Executive Chef at the Three Chimneys. Isle of Skye's legendary restaurant upgrades your standard haggis, neeps and tatties into a menu of highly inventive – but no less quintessentially Scottish – creations. Then again, Skye's remote location also means that these dishes are sometimes hard to reach. In the meantime, Smith shares his secrets for recreating them at home.
For the venison
Lay out the bacon strips separately onto a sheet of baking parchment and cover with another sheet of parchment. roll out and stretch thin the bacon with a rolling pin. Now begin to wrap the bacon around the venison. This is best achieved by picking up the loin with 1 hand and tightly wrapping the bacon around with the other, making sure to overlap each strip a little to completely cover the loin. Once covered, leave at kitchen temperature for an hour.
Put the crowdie in a bowl and beat in the cream to loosen the cheese. Add a little seasoning (as the crowdie is naturally salty); add mix until smooth. Add the creamed crowdie to the potato and give it a good mix, just as you would with butter and cream normally. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.
Begin by boiling the stock until it has reduced to approximately 300mls. Now mix together the wine and vinegar and warm gently in a pot and keep at hand. In a dry heavy based pan, add the sugar and heat it moderately until it melts and starts to caramelize. As soon as it begins to smoke, carefully and immediately pour in the red wine mixture and bring to a boil. Now add 100g of the brambles and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before liquidizing in a blender. Now add this to the reduced stock along with the remaining brambles. Keep hot.
On a moderate to high setting heat a heavy based, non-stick frying pan and then add rapeseed oil. Now place the wrapped loin in the pan and begin to color the outside by searing and turning the meat gradually. The beauty of this technique is that by the time the bacon is completely cooked and colored all the way around the loin, and then rested in a warm place for 10 minutes, the loin should be perfectly medium rare. If you desire a more cooked piece of meat then simply place in a medium oven for another 5–10 minutes, depending on individual preference, before resting.
Once rested, carve the rested loin into 4 and serve onto warm plates with the crowdie mash before spooning over the hot bramble gravy. Curly kale and wild mushrooms make a seasonal addition to this delicious highland supper.
Crispy Oatmeal Seafood
Shuck the oysters and drain on some kitchen paper. Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon of oatmeal to the breadcrumbs and lay out in a shallow tray. Gently drag an oyster through the egg white and place in the crumbs. Gently cover the oyster in the crumb mix. Repeat until all the oysters are covered. Deep or shallow fry in oil at 180C for 90 seconds or until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.
Wild Garlic Mayo
Put the egg yolks and mustard into a blender jug along with good dash of the vinegar and S&P. Place the lid on the jug and turn onto to a medium setting. Now begin to add the oils in a slow and steady stream through the hole in the lid. The mixture will start to emulsify. Once all the oil has been added, check for acidity and seasoning, adjusting to taste, then add the wild garlic and blend on a high setting for 1 minute. This should give the mayo a vibrant green colour as well as a delicious garlicky taste. The mayo will keep in a jar in the fridge for a week.
For the Iced Syllabub
Combine the sugar, lemon juice and zest, clove and honey by whisking them together in a bowl. Now add the cream and whisk until just thick. Now drizzle in the whiskey to taste (approx. 80ml) and gently whisk in. It is important not to overmix the cream as this will result in a less smooth texture once frozen. The mix is now ready to be spooned into molds, individual rings or a cling film lined bread tin for example. Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably over-night.
For the Scrunch
Preheat the oven to 170C. Pour the honey and oil into a small saucepan and warm through gently on the stove. Place the warm oats and broken shortbread into 2 bowls respectively. Take around 1/3 of the honey/oil and pour onto the shortbread. Pour the remainder onto the warm toasted oats. Now mix each bowl well, making sure to evenly coat the oats and shortbread with the liquid. Spread the 2 mixtures onto separate baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown, checking once or twice to make sure the scrunch is not catching. Move the mixture around with a spoon if so. Once golden, remove and cool. Once cold, mix together the oats and biscuit which should be crisp and crunchy.
For the Jelly
Pre-soak the gelatin in cold water. Gently warm the ginger wine in a pan. Remove the soaked gelatine from the water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Whisk it into the warmed wine until fully dissolved. Now pour into a shallow container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until set.
Just before you remove the syllabub from the freezer, have the scrunch, set jelly and prepared strawberries at hand. If you are serving individual molds then take them out the freezer at the last minute and release each one onto a cold plate/bowl. A chef’s blowtorch comes in handy for this but if unavailable, warm a tea towel with hot water and wrap the mold with it quickly to release the frozen cream. Then just sprinkle the scrunch on top, spoon on some jelly and serve with the strawberries, dusting with a little icing sugar.