- Former royal chef Darren McGrady just recreated one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite meals in a video.
- McGrady demonstrated how to make Gaelic steaks, and revealed that Her Majesty prefers well-done meat.
- “The Queen was never one for surprises in the kitchen,” he added.
Guess who doesn’t like garlic and orders well-done steak? The one and only, Her Majesty, The Queen of England. According to former royal chef Darren McGrady, who worked for the royal family for 15 years, Queen Elizabeth II isn’t “a real foodie”—she “eats to live, she doesn’t live to eat.” She likes the same few, traditional dishes on rotation, and in a video for Delish, McGrady recreated one of her favorite classics: Gaelic steaks.
He demonstrated the recipe using beef tenderloin steaks, but mentioned that the Queen herself usually prefers venison. After seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, he cooked them in butter and oil, which is when he revealed the Queen’s preferred meat temperature. “Chefs, we cook medium rare all the time,” he said. “So it was really, really important that we got a really good sear on the steaks and cooked her steak well done.” In the case of a prime rib or rib roast main course, she always gets the first slice, knowing it’s well done on the outside.
Onto the steak sauce, where the titular Gaelic element is incorporated. If you didn’t know, Gaelic is the native language of Ireland, so Irish whiskey is a must-have for authentic taste. After sautéing onions and mushrooms in more oil and butter, McGrady flambéed the mixture with the Irish spirit and added cream before bringing it all to a boil and then allowing it to reduce.
“The Queen was never one for surprises in the kitchen,” McGrady said. Some of the dishes on her regular menu (which she selects from a chef-curated menu board) date back to Queen Victoria’s era, including the kitchen’s classic chocolate cake. “Just every now and again she’d come back from somewhere she’d visited and say, ‘I had this dish and I’ve got the recipe. Can you make this please?’” McGrady said. “And we’d have to try something new.”
The Queen also loves meals made from the royal estate, McGrady said. Often, they would use vegetables from the gardens where he worked at Balmoral Castle. Paired with the Gaelic steaks were a parsnip-potato mash with lots of cream and butter and baby carrots. “Calories didn’t really matter,” he said. Probably because he could never fill the Queen’s plate. According to him, she’s “not a big eater.” She likes small portions, and usually saves the starches (a.k.a. carbs) for when she’s entertaining.
Princes William and Harry on the other hand, in their younger years at least, loved almost anything McGrady cooked. In another video for Delish, he recreated their beloved iconic cottage pie—a recipe that, according to McGrady, has been served in the royal family for over 100 years.
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