|Three Star Bacon and Cabbage|
(with orange, mustard and redcurrant sauce)
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Monday, November 12, 2018
Taste of the Week
James Whelan Rack of Roasting Bacon
With the now well-established move to a more modern Irish cuisine, a few people were led to forget the past or at least to look down on it, and that meant putting the traditional bacon and cabbage well down the ranking as if it were something to boot out of the Irish kitchen.
Thankfully many, including a few leading chefs, knew that the past had many lessons for the future. Bacon and cabbage devotees meanwhile stuck with their favourite and are now reaping the rewards. Take the James Whelan Rack of Roasting Bacon for example.
Here's what the Great Taste judges had to say as they gave it a coveted 3 Star Award: "An impressive looking piece of bacon, with a good layer of fat, well caramelised. There is a good amount of juice when cut into, and it cut quite easily. The meat was succulent and soft, and there was a great piggy flavour and subtle smokiness. The flavours of the meat were superb and very well balanced through the curing. Clearly a quality piece of pork, and well looked after”
This Taste of the Week is all that and more. We tried it out recently. I’m a long time bacon and cabbage devotee and I have to say that this is the best bacon dish ever. Big thanks to three: James Whelan of course, Bord Bia for the fantastic recipe (including that amazing orange, mustard and redcurrant sauce) and finally to the official Blog Chef herself.
A superb treat that could well make the turkey redundant this Christmas!
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Taste of the Week
Joy on a Plate.
James Whelan Butchers
Enjoying some delicious breakfasts these days, the best of rashers, black and white puddings and sausages, all by James Whelan Butchers.
I visited owner Pat Whelan in his original Clonmel shop seven years ago (thought it was much more recent!); then, that was his only store. It’s been onwards and upwards for Pat and his team since and just last week they opened outlet number eight, in Dunnes Stores in Bishopscourt.
Whelan’s are renowned for the quality of their lamb and beef but, this week, I’ve had tasty proof that their offering from the pig is also of a high standard. The Heritage Cure rasher is, as they say themselves, simply delicious, “joy on a plate”. The pudding too is top notch and my personal favourite is the sausage, full of hearty flavour.
Many of the Whelan products, including his famous beef dripping, have won awards both here and in the UK, and now I’m looking forward to trying his Heritage Cure rack of bacon. Both the dripping and the bacon were part of a gift from the butcher to mark the opening of his newest store.
Oakville Shopping Centre
Upper Gladstone Street
Co. Tipperary E91 FX58
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Enjoyed Cork City Marathon 2018
Better Late Then Never. Much Better!
Better Late Then Never. Much Better!
|One for all and all for one|
For quite a few years now, I’ve been photographing the runners in the Cork City Marathon, usually down by Silversprings as the going gets that bit tougher. This time though, I went to the finish, long after the winners had been and gone, and enjoyed every minute of it.
|Peri Peri with a spicy mango sauce at The Rocketman|
Runners of all shapes and sizes, not to mention colours, doing it for a variety of good causes, and having a lot of fun and gaining friends all over the place as they came in hours behind the elite runners.
Great too to see the kids jumping over the barriers and proudly helping (maybe sometimes hindering) Mammy or Daddy, over the last 100 metres or so.
|James Whelan Heritage Ham features here|
at The Rocketman
I had a interest in the Sanctuary Runners. They were drawing attention to the plight of those refugees stuck in our Direct Provision System. And the refugees, with Ballymaloe trained chef Ellie Kisyombe at the forefront, had an international day-long feast at The Rocketman in Princes Street. We enjoyed our lunch there before heading the few yards up to see the fun runners finish.
|Wow - I can see the finish!|
Well done to Ellie and her helpers, to Jack Crotty for opening up his premises for the day and to Our Table for organising and also to those teams of Sanctuary Runners. Beir bua!
|Something sweet at the end of Our Table meal|
|Helping Daddy over the closing metres|
Thursday, December 1, 2011
CURVES AND COLOURS IN A BUTCHER’S SHOP
Never knew that meat had so many variations in colour until I saw the counter in James Whelan’s shop yesterday. What a superb display for the customer. And so much information. All well laid out and superbly lit. The soft overhead lights do their job well; there is virtually no glare and the customer sees the meat as it is.
Must say I had a terrific guide in Pat Whelan himself, taking time out from his busy day which also included a trip to the Avoca Food Market in Monkstown (Dublin) to oversee preparations for the opening of his new butcher shop there. Would love to live near a Whelan shop but at least we can always buy online .
Pat explained that the lighting was an integral part of the design and then pointed to the floor (an earthy colour) and to the ceiling (sky colours) and said the meat was the bounty of nature in between.
Curves abound too in the shop, virtually no hard angles. Fung Shui principles were employed. Pat admitted to being gob smacked when the German designer first explained the plan to him but had a good feeling about it and signed the cheque. It has worked out very well indeed.
All the major meats are well laid out here and some minor ones, everything from rabbit to beef and poultry of course and no shortage of info as to where it was raised and bred, much of it on the nearby Whlena farms.
Opposite the counter, there is a long row of shelves, generally with packs, including a whole range of puddings, from as near as Inch House and from as far as Newport (Kelly’s).
Whelan’s own pre-packed products are also displayed here, vacuum packed bacon and ham, sausages, rashers and so on. The packaging is transparent. You can visually examine the contents. Another example of the Whelan integrity! What you see is what you get.
Towards the back of the shop, there is semi-circle (curves again) that contains the “deli”, another inviting counter where you can buy prepared or semi-prepared meals, everything from Boeuf Bourguignon to a mini quiche. It very much resembles the “traiteur” counter in a French butcher shop.
An Irish Butcher Shop. It is full of recipes and because it is written by an Irishman for an Irish audience, you won’t have any problem finding the ingredients.
The recipes are, I can say, brilliant and if you need any further help, there is a treasure trove of help, videos even, on the Whelan site which is well worth a visit. But, I have to encourage you to make a visit to the real shop and see one of the gems of the Irish food scene.
Just hope that these few words and pictures do it justice.