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

Thursday, December 16, 2021

On The Pig's Back. 'Cork Fayre with French Flair'

On The Pig's Back.'Cork Fayre with French Flair' 

Founded in 1992 by Isabelle Sheridan, On The Pig’s Back has a major presence in the Cork and indeed wider food scene, coupling the best of local produce with an undoubted French Flair - Isabelle is French - as is their motto.

No better way to put it to the test than visit the restaurant in Douglas for brunch or lunch. The menu illustrates the motto very well indeed with local produce from Ardsallagh Goats and Jack McCarthy Butchers often highlighted. It is an expansive menu and I for one could happily eat there everyday for a few weeks without repeating a dish.

When I sat down the other day, having had my covid certificate scanned and telephone number recorded, I had quite a bit of reading to do on the long menu. Found it hard enough to make up my mind but, in the end, went for the Croque Madam (no “e” in the Madam, must be a Cork spelling!). You’ll know there is also a Croque Monsieur but without the egg.

So I had Croque Madam on Arbutus Toasted Brioche, with On The Pigs Back Free-Range Glazed Ham, Emmental Cheese and Mornay topped with a Fried Free-Range Egg. Cost, including a small bowl of a superbly-dressed salad, was €12.90, Monsieur (less well endowed) comes in at a euro less. Money well spent I thought; there are pubs in the area who charge much the same for a lack-lustre roast of the day.

It was l’amour at first bite, the delicious ham, the yielding brioche, that super velvety mornay plus the crowning egg and then that mixed salad on the side adding its own texture and the occasional tarty bite of a thin slice of olive. Mornay is an offshoot of the well known Béchamel (widely regarded as one of the five major French sauces, a mother sauce from which others spring) and is distinguished by its cheese element. You get a lot in this dish for your €12.90!

Madame CL also had a choice to make and her pick is a variation on what has become a local classic over the years, beetroot and goats cheese. Full menu title: Oven Roasted Beetroot Salad with Candied Walnuts, Rocket leaves and Crumbled Ardsallagh Goats Cheese.

The description is a bit understated as this was another well executed and lovely dish, again for €12.90. Two different coloured beetroots featured, there was also a beetroot purée an a few beetroot crisps (probably from Joe’s Farm). Never a problem with that excellent Ardsallagh and those walnuts provided the sweetest bite.

The café and deli in Douglas produces a range of delicious food, supporting local food producers, and is also a busy spot for Artisan food shopping, lunch, food tastings and special events, as diverse as art exhibitions, concerts, plays, food festivals & much, much more. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

They are of course still going strong in the English Market, Isabelle’s original venture. There is no cafe here but you will find Farmhouse Cheeses, Charcuterie, Fresh Breads, Irish Artisan Food, and French Gourmet Food Specialities and more, including some of their own produce such as award-winning Pâté and Terrines.

Add in wines and their very large cheese business and you’ll see that this operation (retail and wholesale) has hugely expanded from that single stall back in the 90s. Check it out here at the website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Taste of the Week. Mini Quiche from On The Pigs Back

Taste of the Week
Mini Quiche from On The Pigs Back

Must say, our current Taste of the Week is a beauty: Chorizo, Sweet Potato, Tomato & Emmental Mini Quiche. Made by the folks at On the Pigs Back and delivered via the marvellous NeighbourFood system.The quiches, you get two for six euro, are absolutely exquisite. Make sure you get some. Use for lunch or as the base for dinner. Either way you're on a winner. Just because there's a crisis doesn't mean you miss out on the good things, not with the likes of On the Pigs Back and NeighbourFood on your team.

On the Pigs Back Mini Quiche

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Cork Cheese Fair. Amazing New Cheeses.


Cork Cheese Fair
Old Favourites; Superb New Cheeses
Part One: Italy’s Oldest Cheese, from Mid Cork

Many of you will know of Vincenzo, the Italian shepherd best known for his Pecorino which is on sale at the Toons Bridge Market stalls.That was his first cheese here in Ireland but he has quite a variety now including a stunning new one called Conciato Romano. 

While there were quite a few old favourites, such as the classic Coolea and the outstanding St Tola, showing at the weekend’s Cork Cheese Fair in Cork Airport, there were quite a few new or at least relatively new ones, including Vincenzo’s, Cashel Blue’s Organic version, the aromatic Italian Truffle Cheese from Carrigaline Farmhouse, Rockfield (a hard sheeps cheese from Velvet Cloud of Claremorris) and Hegarty’s Templegall. 

The Little Milk Company also had a beautiful Mild Organic Irish Cheddar. Jessica told me it is flying in Germany and Denmark and should be on the home market soon - so watch out for that!

The Conciato Romano is an ancient Italian cheese, indeed many believe it is the country’s oldest, and its production is being encouraged by the Italian Slow Food Foundation. 

Vincenzo’s is made from sheeps milk but goats or cows may also be used. After being pressed by hand the forms are cured and dressed with olive oil and vinegar and herbs before being packed in a sealed jar (or amphora) and matured. “It sells well in the markets,” he told me and, for the moment, you’ll probably have to travel to Skibbereen where he has a stall every Saturday to get it (and his other very interesting variations).

Always a fair bit of variety in the Carrigaline Cheese portfolio and now there’s a new one, an Italian Summer Truffle. “A small piece goes a long way,” says producer Padraig O’Farrell who is delighted with the way it has turned out. For the moment, you cannot buy it in the shops but watch out for it in restaurants (it is available to chefs via Pallas Foods). Reckon there will be some beautifully aromatic dishes created using this one! 

Aisling and Michael (above), the duo behind Mayo’s Velvet Cloud, have become well-known because of their yogurts but now their Rockfield cheese is getting very popular as we found out during the Cheese Dinner that preceded the fair. 

It is creamy and buttery in the mouth with slightly sweet and nutty undertones. The cream coloured interior of this cheese becomes firmer and darker as the maturing period is extended and the flavour becomes nuttier. Supply of this lovely new product is fairly limited this year and Cork buyers can find it in On the Pigs Back. Should be more of it available next year and probably more stockists as well.

Hegarty’s Templegall comes in a big wheel and is a gorgeous delicious Comté style cheese. Dan Hegarty and Jean-Baptise Enjelvin (from Bordeaux but very much enjoying the “craic” in Cork) are rightly proud of this magnificent effort from the Hegarty’s Whitechurch farm. 
Hegarty's cheddar (top) and
new Comté style cheese

It has been earning plaudits for the past few months. It is available in cheese shops such as On the Pigs Back and you’ll also come across it in restaurants. And don’t forget that Hegarty's are famous for their cheddars.

Cashel Blue is also very famous and their newish Cashel Blue organic is a another gem. “More mature than the original,” PJ Ryan told me on Saturday. “More of a hit to it but the same creaminess.” You can get this in cheese shops, including Iago. 

Also tasted their lesser known Shepherd’s Store, a traditional, European style semi-hard cheese. As a seasonal product, it is made only between the months of February and September, and is aged for a minimum of six months. Try it out at On the Pigs Back.

See Also: The Cork Cheese Dinner
Cork Cheese Week Part 2

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Taste of the Week. Wicklow Bán Brie

Taste of the Week
Wicklow Bán Brie

Encouraged by the immediate success of their multi-award winning Wicklow Blue, the Hempenstalls soon followed up with this equally delightful creamy brie cheese.

The family have been making cheese since 2005 and they credit the farm’s proximity to the Irish Sea with adding a distinctive flavour all of its own to these seductively addictive Wicklow Farmhouse cheeses. And this is distinctive. It is mild, creamy and buttery and our Taste of the Week.

Apples, berries, pears and many other juicy fruits are known to pair well with Brie. We came across another variation. We just happened to have some dried baby figs (from the Olive Stall in the English Market) in the house and they, along with a few grapes, made for a delicious plateful. If you want to make it even better, add a glass of that gorgeous Pom ‘O from Killahora Orchards.

Wicklow Farmhouse cheese is widely available. I got this piece at On the Pig’s Back in Cork’s English Market.

Curranstown House, 
Co. Wicklow
Phone: +353 (0) 402 91713 
Mobile: +353 (0) 872515980 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Market Morning.

The Olive Stall at English Market

Markets galore this morning. Where to go? Midleton, Douglas, the Food Fair in Castlemartyr? In the end, settled for the return of the market to the Coal Quay and then a trip to the English Market.
The Coal Quay, which should have been back in action last November, finally had reason to celebrate today. Quite a few stalls back in the renovated street, many selling clothes, plants, and so on and a decent section of food stalls (including Tom’s Bakery – love their country baguette) at the river end.
No meat or fish there so that meant a visit to the English Market. So, following a Charlie Chaplin figure who was getting lots of looks, we made our way to the Grand Parade entrance and made calls to stalls such as Tom Durcan, Bubble Brothers, On the Pig’s Back and Iago as the bag filled up with lamb’s liver, Rosscarbery Recipe Cured Rashers, Manchego cheese and more.
Enjoyed a fine meal in the Cornstore last night but today it was their neighbours The Bodega who were open and ready to serve teas and coffees and more to the customers and stall holders of the newly returned market.
I made my way to their vacated temporary base at Emmett Place, a base they seemed quite at home in for the best part of two years. Called into the Crawford Cafe for a cup of coffee and scone, both top class. Price though was €5.15 while it was just €3.90 across the road at Luigi Malone’s. Make you wonder.
Coal Quay Market - back to base (Click to enlarge)