Showing posts with label Truly Irish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truly Irish. Show all posts

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vote for Award Winning Truly Irish

Vote for Award-Winning Truly Irish
The Twomeys from Mallow, one of the farming
families that make up Truly Irish

A couple of months back, I was seeking your vote for my dish, which included Truly Irish rashers, on the Cono Sur Bloggers Competition and we made it to the grand final in Paris. Now Truly Irish themselves are looking for your vote to get their name on the Munster Rugby jersey! And hoping, of course, that Munster make it to the grand final of the Champions Cup. Truly Irish are one of five businesses listed for the award.

Truly Irish Country Foods, based in Newcastle West,  are a cooperative of pork producers from all over Ireland. They produce award winning, natural, premium quality, breakfast products including pork and bacon which are DNA traceable back to local high welfare pig farms.

And they are giving you an incentive or two to vote. “The three Truly Irish pigs (Peppa, Porky and Percy) are delighted to announce that Truly Irish are giving away a free brand new iPad Mini to celebrate being shortlisted for the #sponsorforaday awards. If you'd like to win this amazing prize all you need to do is vote for Truly Irish Country Foods here: don't forget to tag all your friends and remember to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!!!! Best of luck everyone, sharing is caring!!!” You could also win a Truly Irish Christmas Horseshoe Gammon Ham.
I used their Beechwood smoked rashers in the recipe and they were brilliant, their aromas drawing a bunch of other contestants and judges as they were fried in the final cook-off in Paris. Even top Chilean chef Christopher Carpentier borrowed a few for the lunch dish he served the contestants and afterwards praised "that wonderful Irish bacon". Now I'm looking forward to tasting the Truly Irish Gammon Ham at Christmas.
As you are well aware, the countdown has begun! Today is the 4th of December which means there are only 6 days left to order your Truly Irish Christmas Gammon Ham online at “Our delicious, mouth-watering 5.5kg ham is 100% Irish, fully traceable back to local Truly Irish farms, and includes free delivery to your door in time for Christmas!!! So if you want to support local this Christmas while enjoying the premium quality and superb taste of Truly Irish then log onto our website or call us now on 069 78334 to order over the phone!!!!!”
And don’t forget to vote here; closing date is December 15th.
Percy, one the three Truly Irish pigs, sings the Truly Irish song here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fish & Wine on the Double. Recipes from the Lettercollum Cookbook

Fish & Wine on the Double

Recipes from the Lettercollum Cookbook
Grilled Cod

Dipped into the fish section of the newly published Lettercollum Cookbook  twice over the weekend and came up with two beauties! And matched them with two lovely white wines from Supervalu.

Enjoyed the Moncrieff Show from the Midleton Distillery on Friday afternoon; no shortage of whiskey and tasty canapes, even wine. Still, ever mindful of the next meal, our first call on the way out was to the Ballycotton Seafood shop on main street and here we bought some scallops and cod.

The scallops, an impulse purchase,  were done this time, not with bacon, but with black pudding. The black pudding was really good but a bit on the strong side for the shell fish and I think the Truly Irish bacon is a better match! 

The cod was deliberately bought for the Lettercollum Recipe: Grilled Cod with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. It is the kind of dish we've made lots of times on holidays (easy to get the basic ingredients). Indeed, Karen Austin’s book says “this recipe is great in summer and very quick to make”. But the result, with the super fresh cod, was also excellent on the last Friday of November.

The wine:
Portico da Ria Albarino 2013, Rias Baixas (Spain), 12.5%, €10.00 SuperValu.
With its light gold colour and fresh aromas, you get to like this one immediately. Fresh and fruity, it is quite intense on the palate, lively and lovely, and with an ample finish. It is the perfect match for simple fish dishes, including this one and the one below. Very Highly Recommended. Lovely label too! Rias Baixas is an area in North West Spain, around the Atlantic city of Vigo. Albarino is its dominant grape, also the easiest to pronounce!
Suquet de Peix. Tasty in any language!
Fish Two
We were soon back in Midleton, this time for the Saturday Farmers Market and joined the queue at O’Driscoll’s Fish stall, again shopping for a Lettercollum recipe, this time the Suquet de Peix, better known around here as Catalan Fish Stew!

We got a bag of fish bones from O’Driscoll’s to make the fish stock and also Monkfish (you may also use Hake) and mussels, the other main ingredients. Onions, red peppers, garlic, waxy potatoes and tomatoes, even a drop of brandy, also feature in this very tasty dish.

Karen says they first came across it in Cadaques on the Costa Brava, the town where Salvador Dali lived for most of his adult life. “Essentially, it’s a one pot dinner but a great dish for entertaining as the basic stew can be made and then left aside until the guests arrive when you can reheat the stew and pop the fish in. It is served with a parsley and almond picada - a sauce similar to a pesto”.

It turned out very well, thanks to the chef de cuisine here.

The wine
Macon Lugny Les Coteaux des Anges 2013 (Burgundy), 13.0%, €10.00 Supervalu.

This is an excellent Chardonnay from the home of the variety. There is even a village called Chardonnay, not too far from Lugny. Like Rias Baixas, most production here, in the Mâconnais part of Burgundy, is on a small scale. Again, the match was a good one and the wine is highly recommended, especially at the discounted Christmas price.

Colour is a light honey, really bright, and the white fruit aromas hint at peaches, nectarines, apples, a little citrus too. No shortage of inviting flavour on the palate, concentrated fruit, crisp but with a good weight and a long finish.

The Book
The Lettercollum Cookbook, by Karen Austin, is widely available in bookshops nationwide (including Waterstones and Bradley's) and in the UK . Great too that it is printed in Ireland by KPS Colour Print. It is published by Onstream in Cork and available online here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seine-sational Night on the River. Cono Sur Blogger Competition Finalé

Seine-sational Night on the River

Cono Sur Blogger Competition Finalé

It is midnight in Paris. We are moored on the left bank and the boat is rocking. No! The boat is moored on the left bank and we are rocking.

Finland’s Johanna Koskiranta has just been announced as the winner of the Cono Sur 2014 Blogger Recipe Competition but the celebrations, led by team Cono Sur, are for everyone, the Chileans, the Finns, the Swedish, the Irish, the English, the French, and more, including at least at least one American.

The private boat trip on the Seine was a surprise. We started more or less at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, cruised under the bridges of Paris, the illuminated buildings adding to the magic. A lovely meal and Cono Sur wines enhanced the pleasure. The focus was very much on three reds this evening: the 20 Barrels Syrah and the 20 Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon and, perhaps my favourite, the Ocio Pinot Noir.

The day had started with a cook-off in L’Atelier Beaubourg (close to the Pompidou) with Clare and myself representing Ireland, Anna for Sweden and Johanna for Finland. Some gentle bubbles to ease us into it - loved that Cono Sur rosé - and, with lots of friendly chats going on, there was no pressure.

Our Irish dish, being plated up.
Includes Truly Irish Rashers and
the magical Irish Shellfish Butter by IASC 

Well, maybe a little when the dishes were presented to the judges: Adolfo Hurtado (MD and winemaker at Cono Sur), Jo Mansell (UK) and Christopher Carpentier, the top Chilean Chef (he is the main man on their Masterchef). Christopher too was enjoying the day, helping the various contestants (he helped us get the scallops out of their shells), and then he laid on a lovely lunch dish (duck, pasta and some of that “lovely Irish bacon”, Truly Irish rashers from our supply!).

You may see details of the three dishes here.

Our first international cap!
We left the cookery school about three o’clock and headed back to the hotel. Quite often in France, we end up at a Brocante event. And there was one on close to the hotel, a huge one, stretching all the way up to the Bastille and back down at the other side of the water (Pt. de Plaisance de Paris Arsenal). But we didn't have the car this time so didn't go browsing for bargains.

Instead we strolled up to the nearby Bastille, now a huge roundabout. And then took a walk in the beautiful Place des Vosges. There are some fascinating art galleries in the covered archway around the old square, amazing work inside. Then onto the Marais before coming back to Bastille via Rue St Antoine, a street full of food: restaurants, takeaways, fruit shops, cheese shops, wine shops, full of people, colours and aromas, a lively place as dusk and drizzle descended together.

Chef Chris concentrates as a contestant gives a summary of the dish.
We also had some free time after arriving on Thursday and used that to take a walk along the left bank, stopping at the riverside book stalls, before ending up at magnificent Notre Dame.

Later, we went out to dinner but the restaurant we had picked wasn't opening until 8.00pm. We were hungry, so settled on the nearby all day Tarmac. We had a very enjoyable meal here. I tucked into the Escargots from Burgundy and a Lamb Tagine, lots of fruit with the lamb, while CL had goats cheese with sun-dried tomato and then Cod with a gorgeous piperade sauce.

Back then to the hotel and a glass of St Emilion, relaxing ahead of the busy Friday. It was a busy enough time on the Friday but very enjoyable, all relaxed and informal throughout. If you want to party, get the Chileans to organise it! And do enter the Cono Sur Bloggers Competition next year!

More Paris pics below.

The birdmen of Notre Dame
L'Escargot at Tarmac
Notre Dame detail

Notre Dame under grey clouds

A wee bit of friendly pressure in the kitchen
Dinner at Tarmac, superb Tagine on right.
Evening in Place des Vosges
rue St Antoine. A cheese shop.
Fun and food on board. Chef Chris with winner Johanna
More frolics.

Arriving in Cork, Sat afternoon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Paris Preview

Paris Preview

Bags are packed. Truly Irish Rashers and Irish Atlantic Seafood Butter are coming with us and so too are a bundle of nerves! Paris is the destination and the event is the final of the Cono Sur Bloggers and Foodies Recipe Competition that started back on the summer.

I was among the hopefuls that sent in recipes to the Irish leg; the recipes were intended to match with Cono Sur’s Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir. A shortlist was drawn up and then the public voting started on the internet. Our Scallops and Bacon ended up in the top three. These dishes were vetted by top Chilean chef, Christopher Carpentier,  and the Scallops and Bacon was declared the Irish winner.

Meanwhile, the competition was also going on in Finland and in Sweden and the winners from each of these Nordic countries will also be in Paris for the Friday cook-off. You may see the recipes here.

Each finalist will prepare their dish for a panel of judges, including Cono Sur´s General Manager and Chief Winemaker, Adolfo Hurtado, as well as Chef Carpentier Jo Mansell (UK). After what will surely be three savoury dishes, the panel will then choose the blogger with the best pairing, the winner of a trip for two to Chile.

Not too sure how much time we’ll have for tweeting. But Ross Golden-Bannon will be in Paris to document the proceedings, so it may be worth following him on Twitter at @goldenshots.   Win, lose or draw, I’m sure we’ll enjoy the prize-giving dinner on Friday evening.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Do you like black on your plate?

Colour barrier on a plate
A wee jar of Squid Ink.
Getaria. The shop is on the right!
Black is not a colour I'd normally see on my plate unless of course it is black pudding! Indeed, it can be hard to get over the colour barrier that a dominant black presents in a dish. And so it was with some trepidation that I screwed the cap off a small jar I bought the summer before last in a small town, Getaria, on the beautiful coast of North West Spain.

The label said, Salsa de Chipiron, and the gooey contents were pure black. Translated the ingredients and it read: Onion, Olive Oil, Water, Tomato, Squid Ink, salt and spices. But what to do with it? Squid ink is widely used (though not in Ireland) with pasta, noodles, rice and also with the squid itself, with cuttlefish and scallops.
But this was late on a Saturday afternoon and a bit late to be wandering down town. So, we had to make do with what was in the cupboard. No fish but we did have fresh chorizo from Gubbeen and some pasta, enough to make a starter. Enough to be going on with. Soon the pasta was cooking and then came the transformation when the contents of the jar were added.

Some cut tomatoes were thrown in and the moment of truth soon followed and it was fine, really fine. The chorizo soaked up the ink and were hardly visible among the general blackness but you knew for sure when you bit into one. Overall, the flavour was very pleasant indeed, not at all fishy, and the spicy explosions of the chorizo rings enhanced the whole thing.

So, if you ever find yourself on the Basque coast, in either Getaria or Hondarribia, be sure and call into the shop of the family owned cannery Salanort. They also sell anchovies, bobito, tuna, octopus, sardines, and indeed some very good examples of the local wine, the very dry Txakoli.

After. Chorizo (centre left) well coated

Had to have a bit of colour after that and it is provided by the classic bacon and cabbage. The loin of bacon came from the local Dunne’s Stores, a fine piece by Truly Irish. The cabbage and potato cakes (a mix of normal and sweet) added to the colour and the enjoyment.

Colours of Ireland

Monday, October 14, 2013

Market Meal #6. Scallops and Rashers, John Dory and Puy Lentils, Bromleys and Dates

Market Meal #6
Buy local, fresh and fair!
Scallops and Rashers, John Dory and Puy Lentils, Bromleys and Dates
A three course meal, sourced mainly in Cork’s English Market on Saturday morning.
Chateau Soucherie
Anjou Blanc 2009.

Bought the scallops and the John Dory from the cheery crew at Ballycotton Seafood. I was on the lookout for the Ummera Smoked Rashers but the Market’s Good Food Shop was out of stock and they didn’t have them in Brown Thomas Food Emporium either but there was a super sub available in the nearby Supervalu where I got a pack of Truly Irish Beechwood Smoked.

You’ll find lots of Scallops plus Rashers recipes on the internet and most follow the same pattern. Fry the rashers first but take them up before they start to get hard; wrap them around the scallops, securing each "parcel" with a cocktail stick.
From the local market!
Heat some butter and crushed garlic in a pot and brush the exposed parts of the scallops with this. And you’re on your way to a terrific starter. The bacon is a very compatible wrap for the sweet scallop in terms of structure, colour, texture and flavour and certainly a change from the black (sometimes white) pudding option.

The John Dory was fresh as could be and, pan-fried with a knob of butter and olive oil, went very well with the Puy Lentils (from Lenny in Mahon Point Farmers Market) and some sun-dried tomatoes from the Olive Stall in the English Market.
A healthy dessert might seem like a contradiction in terms but there are quite a few of them in Healthy Ways, the new cookbook by Croí, including Winter Spiced Baked Apples by Gregan’s Castle Hotel. They use eating apples (Granny Smiths) but we had some Bromleys from Cahir’s Apple Farm to use up and they worked well (with an extra bit of brown sugar!).

The spice is provided by a combination of dried dates (€1.99 for a packet from Dunne’s Stores), raisins, light muscovado sugar, mixed spice and orange zest and juice. 
You may order the recipe packed Healthy Ways online at . Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Toys for Pigs!

Toys for pigs? And music.. Whatever next?

Truly Irish have a new and "a very exciting project which might just change the future of how/why we eat meat and the Irish pig industry.

Please take a look. We are involved with groups from the EU as well as BioAtlantis, UCD, UFBI in Ireland and the project has received funding of 1.68 million.

Our head office is located in Charleville with our 85 pig farmers located all over the country. Our goal has always been to safeguard 8,000 Irish jobs and to save the Irish pig industry."

Click here to read all about it

Friday, May 25, 2012

Top Prize for Truly Irish

Jim McGrath, Chairman, is pictured here with John Concannon, MD of JFC Manufacturing Co Ltd and Patrick McDonnell, on his Farm in New Inn Co Galway.

press release:

Truly Irish wins top prize at JFC Awards

Truly Irish are very excited to have won the overall prize worth €15,000 in the 2012 JFC Innovation Awards this month. The competition was sponsored by JFC and supported by Teagasc, DARD NI and the Irish Farmers Journal who all saw the potential in what Truly Irish have been trying to achieve since they began trading in 2009. It is a fantastic win for the farmers brand who are doing it all themselves and raising awareness of the importance of buying Irish.

“This is an award for all Irish pig producers, especially Truly Irish producers” said Jim McGrath, Chairman. Minister of State, Shane McEntee, had also said there were difficulties for many businesses but it is a time for pooling resources and Truly Irish have done just that. Other countries have already shown interest in what Truly Irish have done for the Irish pig farmer/pig industry and hope to save their own.

Truly Irish was set up by 85 pig farmers who came together to form their own brand in a bid to save the Irish pig industry and give the consumer 100% Irish premium products. Developing a quality brand, they now have listings in all the major retailers in Ireland and are now setting their sights on the UK. Pork Goujons and 82% pork Gluten Free Sausages are the latest products to be added to the ever growing product range. Truly Irish Pork Goujons are brand new to the market and are a delicious alternative to chicken goujons. Both products are now available in Dunnes Stores.