As all foodies will no doubt agree, part of the pleasure of dining out is pouring over the restaurant’s menu and reading, with growing anticipation, the description of each carefully crafted dish.
With The Pierhouse’s summer à la carte menu, we were intrigued by the Scottish Lamb dish whose description reads: “Roast loin of Black Isle lamb with a seaweed crust, truffle pomme purée, pickled samphire & spring vegetables served with a rich rosemary & redcurrant jus.” Sounds fantastic, we thought, so we asked Head Chef Laura to describe the inspiration for the dish.
“The Scottish Lamb dish is a little bit of going back in time. We were thinking about our location here in Port Appin on the shores of Loch Linnhe; we are so lucky to look across the sea to the most wonderful scenic isle of Lismore – an island full of history and a long tradition of crofting. We thought about what, in latter years, used to happen with the way that food was put on the plate. Crofters with small holdings would have had sheep. Lambs and sheep would forage on the seashore and eat seaweed. This still happens a lot but not to the same extent – it’s beautifully simple as the seaweed so enhances the flavour of the meat.”
This inspired Laura to source Black Isle lamb and top it with a seaweed crust. The idea for the pickled vegetables is also a nod to yesteryear, before refrigerators, when crofters would pickle, cure or salt as much meat, fish and vegetables as they could to get through the winter. The samphire – a taste of the sea. All of these individual ingredients came together to create the complete dish complemented by a rich jus and the truffle oil marrying with the potatoes to give a delicious earthy flavour.
Chef Laura summed the dish up perfectly: “It’s Scotland on a plate – the fantastic produce that we can produce on our shores. A testament to what Scotland has to offer.”
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