|Chris (left) and Luke|
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Sunday, November 19, 2017
Davidson's Craft Butchers
Standard Bearers in Montenotte
I asked our local butcher Chris Davidson about his plans for the run-in to Christmas. “We’ve already started”, he said. “It's the earliest we’ve ever started but people started asking so we started taking the orders. It is our fourth Christmas here and we have great confidence in our products at this stage.”
And top of the Christmas wish list are their free-range East Ferry Turkeys. Easy Ferry also supply them with eggs and chickens. “The most popular order is the boneless Turkey Crown, now selling all year round. Spiced beef too is incredibly popular. We use the eye of the round, a very lean cut, very good.”
“We have plenty of alternatives, including duck, beef fillet, crusted lamb, and pork steak Wellington. And we also have a special: Cranberry and sausage meat stuffing balls.”
Chris, from Cobh, is a 4th generation butcher. His great grand-father was a butcher in the harbour town, followed by Chris’s grand-uncle and then by an uncle. Chris himself started learning the steps, the ones well down the ladder, as a 14 year old at the well respected Jim Crowley butcher shop in Midleton.
He worked there during the holidays, even when he started going to UCC. “I was never bored, it was always interesting.” And the thing was that Chris himself was always interested and eventually decided that it was for him.
He started work in the Montenotte premises with the previous owner in 2009 and, just about three years ago, took it over. He found it hard to get used to the paperwork but “so far, so good” is his verdict now.”Every year has been better than the previous one. The three years have flown. Now we are more comfortable, more confident, particularly over the past six months.”
The “we” is Chris and Luke, the two full-time employees. He also had two part-time workers.
You’ll see newly installed flower boxes on the building and also notice Craft Butcher displayed over the Davidson doors. I asked Chris about that. A lot of hard study over three years by the looks of it.
“To be qualified as craft, you have to do the 8-module course. It is very comprehensive. It covers every single aspect of modern butchery. When you finish, there is nothing left to learn. You've been trained also to present your produce, to engage with and sell to the customer. All about hygiene and food safety. The qualification is all about reliability. I see it as being a standard bearer.”
Chris has put the training to good use, especially in their speciality range. They are very strong here and have won many awards at craft competitions. Davidson’s have been national runners-up with their Pork Steak Wellington and with their Home-made Meat Loaf, national champion with their absolutely delicious (personal experience) Crusted Rack of Lamb. And they have gold for quite a few specials including Steak Stir Fry, Butterflied Leg of Lamb, Chicken Pizzaiola, and Chicken Supreme stuffed with broccoli and gruyere cheese.
And, looking to the future, the plan is to keep up that standard, to keep innovating. “We’re always tipping away here, trying to improve the range. We plan to increase our presence on Social Media as well. And an upgrade of machinery is also on the cards.”
And you can, of course, get more than meat here. “Arbutus Bread is a fantastic product and we also have their pastries on Saturday mornings. We stock some kitchen essentials such as bread and milk. And newspapers of course. We have Green Saffron spices and the Gran Grans Chutneys are also available here.” Well worth a visit!
Davidson's Craft Butchers
7 St Christopher's Dr, Montenotte, Cork, T23 KV96
Hours: Open Monday-Friday· 8a.m.–6:30p.m.
Saturday: 8a.m. - 6.00p.m.
Phone: (021) 451 8184
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Taste of the Week
|Their Facebook pic|
What to have to dinner to-night? Sometimes I’m unsure, probably happens to most people. Then, if you’re lucky, you spot the answer on Facebook. Davidson’s, our local craft butchers, are pretty good on social media.
Pretty good at the essentials too. Just after someone asked the dinner question, a tempting picture of a Chicken Pizzaiola appeared on the butcher’s feed.
Three juicy chicken breasts marinated in a tomato and herb sauce, topped with grated mozzarella, fresh red onion and chorizo, the perfect lazy option for the weekend. These also won a Gold Award at this years Speciality Foods competition.
So a quick trip up the road. Covered the foil dish in more foil and oven-baked for 35 minutes. Then it was dinner time! And our Taste of the Week was excellent.
|Ready to eat!|
The chicken was superb, moist and tender. Obviously the marinade, with no shortage of punchy herbs included, did what it was supposed to do. The cheese melted down and the chorizo rings added spice and flavour.
And Davidson’s regularly come up with the goods. Great to have an innovative craft butcher on the doorstep.
Davidson’s Craft Butcher
(021) 451 8184
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Gonna be A Burger of a Week
Big and Bad Boys to Rock Cork
The first Cork Burger Festival runs from January 30th until February 5th. The local cafes and restaurants have climbed aboard in impressive numbers and, if you love your burger, you are going to have some tremendous choices over the week. Below you'll find a selection of what is on offer. More details on the Festival Facebook page here.
The White Horse in Ballincollig have a Seven Day Burger Battle on, with a tasty clash each night. Friday's duel between the Texan and the Mexican looks saucy with a repeat thrown in on Saturday if you want to switch sides.
Soho Bar have joined in the fun with their Three Rebels, three different sliders and a pint of beer for a tenner.
If you’re in Son of a Bun, watch out for the Wonka ticket. Each burger special you order on this fantabulous week will be hiding a Son of a Wonka ticket. If you happen to be the lucky winner of one of their 7 golden tickets you will be in for a treat! “For the next 5 months you will get to have our burger of the month on us!” Limit 1 burger each month per ticket holder.
New Douglas restaurant, 12 Tables, are running a Burger Battle Royale. On one plate you've got the Mick O’ and, on the other, its The Big Fella. That’ll take some sorting.
If you’re up to big, then maybe the Oliver Plunket is the place to be. Here’s the challenge. The Big Boy (he who dares, WINS) 32oz burger topped with Bandon Vale cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onions served with a side of fries; €30, finish it and it's FREE!
If you can't make it to a restaurant, Davidson’s Craft Butchers have offers on burgers all week. Keep up to date here.
You’ll find the Great Griffin in Dripsey at Griffin's Garden Centre. It looks tempting. Check out their Facebook page for giveaways.
And be sure too to tie up the horse at the Bad Boys where you can tuck into their 8oz Smoked Rodeo Burger topped with Chilli Con Carne Cheese and Sour cream. Bad!
The Meatball Place are also on board with a selection of Speciality Burgers, not just for the week, but for the month!
Nine Market Street in Kinsale are doing a four-course Burger meal (dessert is an ice-cream burger). A fab meal at a great price of €25.00 the lot. Date is Saturday the 4th from 6.00pm.
Lots more places involved including the Silly Goose (with Ali’s Kitchen). Check it all out on festival’s Facebook page here.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Taste of the Week
Davidson’s Crusted Rack of Lamb
The dog needed a walk and we needed something for Saturday’s dinner. The walk took us past Davidson’s, our local craft butchers. They are well known for their rack of lamb and that was how we came by our Taste of the Week.
The rack was crusted, the combination of Parmesan and walnut not that usual. It was a gem, the lamb tender and delicious and the crust a revelation, enhancing the meat with crunch and flavour. Oh, and there was a lovely wine to go with it: Ascheri Coste & Bricco Barolo, marked well down in O'Brien's Fine Wine Sale.
Davidson’s, the Craft Butchers’ National Champion Speciality Foods for 2016, are also very helpful and we were told how to cook it to get the best out of it: Oven roast for 40 minutes. It was a winner, a terrific Taste of the Week, set to be repeated!
|Lamb with roasted veg (Carrot, butternut squash, parsnip), a winter warmer!|
Davidson’s Craft Butchers
7 St Christopher’s Drive
Phone: 353 (0) 21 451 8184
Open: 8.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Mountain Cheese and Oregon Wine
Mont D’Or and Riesling. Divine.
One 500gram box of Mont D’Or (AOC) cheese from Bradley’s.
One bottle of Kings Ridge Oregon Riesling 2013 (Willamette Valley), 12%, €15.00 (reduced from 19.99) SuperValu Christmas Wines.
Sharing a half kilo of baked cheese is fun on a winter's evening as we found out this week. It is recommended for four but the two of us managed quite well, thank you!
Our cheese came from Bradley’s in North Main Street, Cork, and was the famous Mont D’Or from France (there is also a Swiss version). Like wine, the French version has its own AOC and is a much prized cheese from the Franche-Comté, made with whole cow’s milk, and is generally available only from October to March.
The rind (inedible) can be peeled back and the runny cheese simply spooned out. But baking it, in its box, is the treat. Again, it is not the only cheese that comes in a box. Camembert is another and that too can be baked. Sheridan’s suggest that both Durrus (360g) and Gubbeen (450g) can get the same treatment but they don't have a box so you’ll have to improvise with a sheet of foil.
Indeed, it was a recipe in the new book, Sheridan's Guide to Cheese, that we followed (more or less) with the Mont D’Or. You simple score the top rind, add in a couple of sprigs of thyme and a clove of garlic and a half glass of white wine and bake in a pre-heated oven for ten minutes. For some reason, the ten minutes was totally inadequate and ours needed double that.
It was carefully brought to the table, the rind peeled back and then we dug in with chunky bits of Arbutus Sourdough (bought at Davidson’s, the local butchers). And then we dug in again. And again… You get the picture! All the while sipping from the Oregon Riesling.
That gold coloured wine proved to be a gem and also quite a match for the cheese. White fruits on the nose and also that petrol but reasonably muted. Palate is crisp and fruity, fresh, light and fragrant, no sign of that petrol, good acidity and a decent dry finish. Some of the fruit used comes from one of the oldest vineyards, planted in 1968, and this “adds depth and complexity to our Riesling.” A Very Highly Recommended Riesling indeed.
So there you have it. Quite a treat. And wouldn’t all three, a box of cheese, a bottle of the Riesling and the Sheridan's book be quite a present for that special someone. They might even share!
- Got a tip too from Daniel Emerson of Stonewell Cider. He suggested having the Mont D’Or as a fondue with potatoes. “It is divine.”