Showing posts with label On the Pig's Back. Show all posts
Showing posts with label On the Pig's Back. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Smokehouse Sauce Bringing the Market together.

Smokehouse Sauce
Bringing the Market together.

In 24 Days in 24 Ways, Smokehouse Sauce is bringing the English Market together. Together on a plate, that is.
Smokehouse Sauce, fast emerging as a favourite across Munster, is the guest trader for six weeks at the start-up stall in Cork’s English Market. Emma Kelly of Smokehouse: “The English Market is iconic, a quality place to shop for quality. Traders here know their growers and suppliers. There is an honesty here, now so important as people become more aware of the importance of sourcing.”

So the mission for Smokehouse is 24 Ways in 24 Days. That means changing the dish daily and Chef Stephen of Elbow Lane is the man putting it all together on the plate. The sauce was the brainchild of owner Conrad Howard and his daughter and has been perfected in the Elbow Lane kitchen. It is  available across Munster Stores of Supervalu, in the Food Academy section, and also from independent butchers.
“It’s amazing to be here in the old heart of the city, to be collaborating with the English Market, promoting it and the traders,” enthuses Emma. A recent dish, the Ploughman’s Sandwich, with sauce of course, involved no less than four traders. Brown spelt bread from Hassett’s, Cheddar cheese from the Roughty Foodie, ham from the Chicken Inn, and salad from Superfruit, lunch for just four euro!

Before that, they featured Smoked Pork Empanadas, the pork supplied by Ken and Helen of the Meat Centre who have been trading here for 37 years. The package also included an apple and courgette salad and smokehouse sauce (of course!).
Tom Durcan's Spiced Beef, Hassett's Rye Bread,
Sauerkraut and Coolea Cheese from
On The Pig's Back
And the versatility of the sauce was again underlined with On The Pig's Back goats cheese bon bons, with pearl barley, pea sprout and beetroot leaf salad and Smokehouse Sauce dressing. Day Three was an interesting one:  Ham hock and scallion terrine (using meat from Bresnan's Butchers), with Smokehouse Sauce and homemade red cabbage slaw. And it’s not just meat. Cod from Kay O’Connell’s was used in delicious frittatas and enhanced with the sauce.

“There is a hard-to-match quality here in the market. We want to highlight that and support local at the same time, by combining traditional meats with modern flavours. The sauce itself is tomato based and may be used as a dip, a relish and as a marinade. It is extremely versatile. Use it with grilled, roast or cold meats, fish, cheese and vegetables.”
Aoife and Chris at the Smokehouse stall

So what is today’s dish? Check it out on their Facebook page by all means but do call in and try it out! And you must see their lively video celebrating the sauce and its arrival in the Market. Here's the link

For more on the Smokehouse Sauce, including recipes and stockists, check the website here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Taste of the Week. A Double Delight

Taste of the Week. 
A Double Delight
Almost panic at lunch-time! The cupboard was bare. Well not quite! The superb Pork and Plum terrine from On The Pig's Back was in the fridge. So what goes with pork only a little apple sauce. And, in a cool place, I just happened to have this terrific organic dry cider, one of the very best, from Highbank in Kilkenny. So, with the sun out, I enjoyed my delicious double Taste of the Week. What more would a man want? Sun, Pork and "Sauce".

Monday, September 15, 2014

Flight of the Bee Sensations

Flight to the Top for Bee Sensations
Irish Quality Food Awards 2014.

Great to be at the table with Bee Sensations last Friday evening when one of their lovely jams won at the Irish Quality Food Awards 2014. On the Pig’s Back and Burren Salmon were also among the victors on a night which is mainly for the supermarkets and the larger producers (such as Dale Farm Dairies, ABP Cahir, Kepak, and O’Brien Fine Foods who were all on the podium).

Munster based Bee Sensations are a husband and wife company, run by Tom and Croéin Ruttle. They are quite famous for their innovative (often blended) jams, which use honey instead of sugar, and of course for their honey. As it happened it was one of their jams, the Honeyed Fig, Rhubarb and Chilli Savoury Jam, that struck gold in the Grocery Ambient - Savoury class.

But there was a moment of unnecessary drama before the win was confirmed as apparently the wrong class was called out first. Still, the busy couple were soon able to relax as their name appeared on screen. It was about the only obvious hitch in a very slick presentation, introduced by Paul Kennedy and compered by celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio (“a farmer’s daughter”).

Birgitta Curtin is one of the heroes of Irish food and she keeps innovating and winning. Her success came  in the Fish section where her Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon with Seaweed Marinade came out on top. This came in for high praise from the judges: “really fantastic in terms of colour, texture and flavour”. Like Bee Sensations (and unlike most of the other producers), she didn't have a supermarket partner listed.
Olivia, of An Olivia Chocolate, and, sister Emily (left)
But Cobh’s Deirdre Hilliard and her company Just Food weren't as  fortunate in the Soups section. Her HiLo Super Greens Soup was behind a Lidl Ireland soup, Newgate Tomato Soup by Princes (the international food and drink company).

The cross-border event is labelled Irish Quality Food Awards not Quality Irish Food Awards. There is a difference as we all know from small print on food packaging! Honey is one often quoted example.

Cork’s Isabelle Sheridan of On the Pig's Back certainly enjoyed her trip to the Mansion House as she was named the Supervalu Small Producer of the Year.  Based on her French family recipes, Isabelle has been making chicken liver patés and terrines in Cork since 1995. Her Chicken Liver Paté with Garlic and Brandy is the product that led to this breakthrough and the organisers say they are sure “it will be a fantastic addition to Supervalu’s product line and look forward to working with On the Pig’s Back”. Well done Isabelle.

The awards are open to all retailers, food producers, wholesalers and food service operators “across Northern and Southern Ireland” (someone should tell the PR it is the Republic of Ireland!). Awards were presented in some fifty categories and the Overall Gold Q Award went to Simply Better French Trimmed Connemara Hill Rack of Lamb (Dunnes Stores/Tendermeats).
Yours truly with Isabelle Sheridan (On The Pig's Back)
See the full list of awards here.

Blas na hEireann update on Bee Sensations July 2015 here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Talk of the Tongue. International Wine and Food Society Event

Talk of the Tongue

International Wine and Food Society Event

The Tongue (left) and more from last Thursday's Celebrating Local Tastes.

“Celebrating Local Tastes” was the title of the first outing for 2014 of the Munster Branch of the International Wine and Food Society.  Held at L'Atitude 51 (1 Union Quay), it turned into an absorbing evening with suppliers Frank Hederman, Jack McCarthy, On the Pig’s Back and Eve’s Chocolates taking the opportunity to showcase their impressive wares while the whole event was enhanced by some well chosen words, not to mention well chosen wines*, by our hostess Beverly Mathews.

First up was smoker Frank Hederman: “Our smokehouse food is made very simply using salt and smoke as natural preservatives to enhance very beautiful Irish raw materials. We are in the condiment business, simply adding flavour, creating new taste experiences and memories using age-old, natural techniques.”

Most of us are familiar with his famous smoked salmon and mackerel, maybe even with the smoked mussels. Lately he has produced smoked butter and on Thursday last introduced us to the new smoked Creme Fraiche. If you see it, buy it!

Then it was the turn of On the Pig's Back and Maria Perez concentrated on their cheeses and demonstrated a terrific variety of flavours using Ardsallagh, Ardrahan and Crozier Blue, among others, to make the point that local cheeses are absolutely first class, capable of holding their own in any company.

One man who can certainly do that is Kanturk butcher Jack McCarthy. He came laden with generous plates of his fabulous charcuterie, Irish charcuterie he emphasized, maybe even Duhallow charcuterie!

On Thursday last, he had quite a selection, including his Italian style copa. Then he introduced his Sliabh Luachra, an air dried beef for which they have been named Nationality Speciality Champions. We thought that was good but what really set us talking was his Tongue. It brought memories back for many (of a certain age!) but everyone was talking about it in a most complimentary way!

Had to finish off this excellent evening with something sweet and that was supplied by Jill from Eve’s Chocolates. “Eve’s”, she said, “is one of Cork's best kept secrets”. But that is not how they want it. So do go and visit them at Eve's Chocolate Shop, 8 College Commercial Park, Magazine Road, Cork. If you go this week, watch out as you could be falling over eggs and bunnies or they may be falling over you. Death by chocolate!

The Wine and Food Society are planning their next outing and if you would like to become a member then contact Aoife (treasurer) Other officers are  Richie Scott (assistant treasurer), Beverley Matthews (secretary) and Greg Canty (chairman)

*The wines were:
Valdespino, Manzanilla Deliciosa  "En Rama" (unfiltered)
Pipoli Greco Fiano from Basilicata (Southern Italy) 2011
Chateau Ste. Eulalie "La Cantilene" from Minervois La Laviniere 2009  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy. On the Pig’s Back

On the Pig’s Back

Jack McCarthy, Arbutus Bread, Ardsallagh Goat Cheese, Ardrahan, Durrus, Milleens, Gubbeen, Lorge, O’Conaill, Caherbeg Pork, G’s Jams. Familiar food names, local producers. You’ll see lots of their excellent stuff, not forgetting Willie O’Callaghan’s organic vegetables, when you visit On the Pig’s Back in Douglas Woollen Mills.

Of course, you see most of them too in the On the Pig’s Back stall in the English Market, but there is more space here to show them and more space for the customer to browse. And a very pleasant place it is too as I found out the other day.

Did a bit of shopping and gathered up some Jack McCarthy’s pudding, sausage and rasher, among other things. Was on the lookout for his Pancetta. But they were out of it. They do import chosen top notch French produce, imported directly, and so I settled for some Pancetta from the Haute Savoie and was advised to try it in the frying pan with some eggs. Did that for breakfast this morning and very tasty was the verdict. You don’t get that kind of product or that kind of advise in a supermarket!

The main purpose of the visit was to have lunch in the cafe. The place was packed and no wonder as the food and service are excellent. Good choices too with the regular menu supplemented by a list of daily specials. You can have Soupe de Jour or their famous Chicken pate for a starter and then move on to salads, quiches, and various platters of meats and cheeses, before finishing with something sweet.

We settled for a big platter, their Speciality Platter of Cheese and Charcuterie that includes pate, relish, salamis, saucisson, Spanish, French or Italian cured ham, served with a selection of farmhouse cheeses, gherkins, breadsticks, relish, crackers and an assortment of Arbutus breads. Quite a feed and it cost €18.95 for two.

* The Cork French Food and Wine Festival will be held at On the Pig’s Back (Douglas) from the 9th to the 11th of May. They are looking for volunteers.

*       Le Cork French Food and Wine Festival organise par On The Pigs Back a Douglas du 9 au 11 Mai... recherche des volontaires!!! Banquet, Foire au vins et produits regionaux, Marche nocturnes, concert et bals, petanques, animations ... il va y avoir de quoi faire!!! Voir notre Facebook page Cork French Food and Wine Festival and like us et contactez nous du volontariat anime et gourmet!! A bientot!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bavette Steak and Graffiti Aubergines

Must say I enjoy my trips around the EnglishMarket . So much to see. Just a selection from a weekend visit in the collage above. Some strange ones, such as the Graffiti Aubergines (top left) and familiar ones such as the Swedes (bottom left).

And while it is fun to look, it is much more satisfying to bring your bags and buy. One man I called to was Eoin at O’MahonyButchers. Have taken a shine to his Italian sausages but also like his bavette steak, now “the most popular cut in the shop, though it was a hard sell at the start”. Tasty, and economical!

The Real Olive Company is a regular stop and there was no exception this time. A wee bag of olives was the number one call but also stocked up with semi-dried tomatoes, a couple of packs of Iberico ham (the pigs feed on acorns) and I also chanced a tin of Portuguese Sardines. Next time, I’ll be going for those Feta Stuffed Sweet Peppers (Bottom right). 

The ABC bread stall is a must visit and quite often, the pick is the Country Baguette by Tom’s Bakery in Kinsale. Quite a healthy choice as it is Sugar Free and Dairy Free. Obviously, I like the texture and taste of it; it keeps longer than most sourdoughs and like most sourdoughs, it toasts up very well (useful to know if it starts to stale!).

Speaking of sourdough, I think Arbutus make the very best around, though some come close, and that and so much more is available at On the Pig’s Back. 

Another foodie treasure trove is the nearby Good Food Shop. They stock the excellent Ummera smoked products and I treated myself to a pack of Smoked Back Rashers. Looking forward to working my way through those!

So, lots to see in the English Market. But don’t forget to bring a couple of sturdy bags! I never do.

Sunday, January 2, 2011



So many Irish cheeses around these days, you could buy a different one for each and every day of 2011.

Started on the local track, not that I ever strayed too far off it, at our New

Monday, February 15, 2010



Finished off the Good Food Week Cork with a DIY pack. It wasn't widely advertised but On the Pig’s Back in the English Market were joining in the food fun with a €15.00 package of goodies, a nicely presented wrapped basket that included cheeses, salami and organic seeded bread.

Picked one up on Friday and am working my way through it, especially the bread and Milleens. Contents: Gubbeen Smokehouse Salami, Ardrahan Farmhouse Cheese, a dote of Milleens Farmhouse Cheese, and, from Dunmanway, a pack of organic wholegrain Emmental Cheese and Pumpkin Seed bread.