Camilla: I’ve no idea what to get Charles for his 70th

... made with PHEAS­ANT and al­most a whole pack of but­ter – as he re­veals in favourite recipe

Daily Mail - - News - By Re­becca English Royal Cor­re­spon­dent

WHAT do you buy the man who has ev­ery­thing for his 70th birth­day?

Even the Duchess of Corn­wall is scratch­ing her head when it comes to choos­ing a gift for her hus­band Prince Charles.

With just days to go un­til his birth­day on Wed­nes­day, Camilla ad­mit­ted: ‘Peo­ple keep ask­ing me if I have brought him a present and I haven’t. He is the worst per­son. He has a list [con­tain­ing porce­lain and items for the gar­den] and I’ve learnt through 13 years of be­ing mar­ried that it is bet­ter to stick to the list. He has a lot of things, but he knows what he likes and if you give him a present, he says, “Oh that’s lovely,” when he doesn’t think it’s lovely at all.’

The Duchess, 71, spoke ex­clu­sively to the Daily Mail ear­lier this week af­ter a gru­elling morn­ing on the cou­ple’s West African tour, where she un­der­took sev­eral en­gage­ments in Ghana, in­clud­ing a meet­ing as pa­tron of WOW, the Women of the World Fes­ti­val. She praised a group of young Ghana­ian cam­paign­ers look­ing to bring the con­cept to their coun­try as they spoke about the is­sues af­fect­ing them most, from so­cial jus­tice to sport, women’s rights and en­ter­prise.

Re­minded of how she told the Mail on his 65th birth­day that her one wish for her worka­holic hus­band was for him to slow down, she said: ‘As the French say, plus ca change! It doesn’t get any bet­ter. In fact, the older he gets, the more driven he gets.

‘I re­mem­ber my fa­ther, who was a very wise man, al­ways say­ing to me, “As you get older, the one thing you have to do is pace your­self.” So I’ve tried to get that over to my hus­band, but I’m afraid to say it’s fallen on deaf ears. He thinks, “I’ve got so much to do. I’ve got to cram it into th­ese years!”

‘Sud­denly you get to 70 and a sense of mor­tal­ity hits you. I just think he wants to get ev­ery­thing done and dusted.’

IT HAS long been known that ar­chi­tec­ture, or­ganic farm­ing and com­ple­men­tary medicine are high on the menu of meaty is­sues which Prince Charles likes to get his teeth into.

Less well doc­u­mented, how­ever, is what he most likes to tuck into for his sup­per — let alone just what a keen eye he has for a cut­ting edge and imag­i­na­tive new recipe. Un­til now.

For the Prince of Wales has given a mouth­wa­ter­ing in­sight into what sets his taste buds tin­gling by re­veal­ing that his ‘favourite recipe’ is . . . pheas­ant crum­ble pie.

And the heir to the throne likes eat­ing game birds so much he has ‘in­vented’ a pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor to that dish’s place in his af­fec­tions — a mous­saka made with grouse, in­stead of the usual lamb, which he calls ‘grous­saka’.

His crav­ing for such culi­nary creations will be re­vealed in next Wed­nes­day’s edi­tion of Coun­try Life mag­a­zine that he is guest edit­ing to mark his 70th birth­day, which falls on that very same day. In it, Charles tells how he owes his fond­ness for pheas­ant crum­ble pie to a friend, say­ing: ‘I got this recipe from some­one I know. It is de­li­cious.’

He goes on to say: ‘I in­vented a grouse one re­cently, coq au vin with grouse, as well as mous­saka with grouse (it doesn’t al­ways have to be lamb), in other words grous­saka!’

The fea­ture, ti­tled My Favourite Recipe, in­cludes an in­ter­view with John Wil­liams, the ex­ec­u­tive chef at The Ritz in Lon­don, and the recipe for pheas­ant crum­ble pie, along with pho­to­graphs of Mr Wil­liams pre­par­ing it.

Mr Wil­liams tells the mag­a­zine he thinks cook­ing with game ‘went out of favour for a while be­cause chefs weren’t han­dling it cor­rectly’.

He adds: ‘Peo­ple used to tell me, “I like my game green, man — it’s got to be very well hung”, but hang­ing should only be tak­ing place from four to six days, re­ally; just enough to make it ten­der and ready for the ta­ble.’ Mr Wil­liams also ad­vises read­ers: ‘The im­por­tant thing is not to over­cook game birds — make sure there’s juice in­side . . .

‘Sea­son­al­ity, of the kind you get with game, brings some­thing new to the ta­ble. We work on the prin­ci­ple that the in­gre­di­ents the an­i­mals live among tend to go re­ally well with them, so, at the mo­ment, we’re serv­ing [at The Ritz] a lovely dish of roast grouse with black­ber­ries and ceps. It’s very sim­ple.’

Ear­lier this year, the Duchess of Corn­wall gave a peek into her hus­band’s food habits when she ap­peared on a spe­cial episode of Mas­terChef Aus­tralia and talked about how much he likes cheese. She said: ‘Any­thing to do with cheese, he’ll love . . . any­thing with eggs, with a bit of lo­cal veg­eta­bles of some kind, he’d love that. You’d def­i­nitely see a smile.’

In the doc­u­men­tary, Prince, Son And Heir — Charles At 70, which aired on BBC One on Thurs­day, Charles ap­peared to sug­gest dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about a smelly sporran that there is, how­ever, one cheese that he is not keen on — goats’ cheese.

Laugh­ing, he said: ‘ It [ the sporran] goes round smelling like goats’ cheese, I never quite know be­cause it al­ways smells like my sporran and tastes like it.’

As for foods which the Royal Fam­ily would gen­er­ally rather avoid, gar­lic is known to be high on the list. On Mas­terChef Aus­tralia, Camilla was asked if that is be­cause they spend so much time chat­ting to peo­ple and replied: ‘Ex­actly — you just have to lay off the gar­lic.’

Per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, then, the pun­gent bulb is ab­sent from the in­gre­di­ents listed in the recipe for the Prince’s favourite pheas­ant crum­ble pie, the sauce for which is flavoured with ju­niper berries, bay leaves, thyme, pep­per­corns and a splash of sherry.

HRH The Prince of Wales’ 70th birth­day com­mem­o­ra­tive is­sue of Coun­try Life is on sale Wed­nes­day, No­vem­ber 14.

Hold the gar­lic: Pheas­ant crum­ble pie tick­les Charles’s taste­buds, he tells Coun­try Life mag­a­zine

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