Thursday, 28 March 2013

Beef Pickle its so corny......

A few years ago I decided to try and come up with a good corned beef recipe, it took  quite a few times to get it right but boy was it worth it. Historically it is a very old way to preserve beef and was a favourite at the dinner table in Ireland for years. It fell out of favour for a number of years but like all good things, they make their way back even stronger. Try this out, the secret I find was to keep the beef in the brine for at least eight days and if you can't get your hand on saltpeter don't worry just add an extra 100g of salt instead. 

2kg of Beef, (top side or eye of the round) 
5 liters of cold water
375g of salt
50g saltpeter
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bulb of garlic cut in half
10 juniper berries
50g brown sugar
200g Black Treacle

Dissolve the salt, sugar and saltpeter in the cold water, add the thyme, juniper berries and garlic. Add the beef and leave it in the solution for at least eight days. 
Slowly boil the beef in clean water for 2 hours or until it is nice and tender, serve with creamy mash potatoes, cabbage and a large bottle of Stout

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Wild Garlic Pesto

You smell it before you see it, the strong sent of garlic hangs in the air as you walk along the road side or in a wooded area and then you see it, bright green wide leaves with a sprinkling of white flowers. My advice to you is get down on your knee and pick a big bag of this free fantastic food. Bring it home and make pesto, which will keep in a fridge for weeks. Use it in pasta or a good spoonful on fish or grilled meat, all i can say it is delicious, so get out in the Spring air and follow your nose.....

100g of wild garlic leaves
45g of pine nuts
400ml of good quality olive oil
70g of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
salt, white pepper and a little sugar

In a food processor, blitz the garlic leaves, pine nuts, olive oil. Fold in the Parmesan cheese and season. Keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Chef and the Cheese maker

Gerry Galvin and David Tiernan were men that I respected, looked up to and was always excited to meet. They both had a burning passion for food and had a fabulous knack of encouraging young raw talent.
As a young chef I heard of Jerry through Myrtle Allen and when I finally met him he was warm and extremely generous with his knowledge. Euro Toque events took on a new meaning for me where I would seek Gerry out and we would talk simply about what was good about Irish food. His presence in a room was felt by many, he was a true gentleman and I am glad we crossed paths.
David you could say was cut from the same cloth as Gerry, he too had this addictive charm that I and anyone else that met him would warm to straight away.
I met David at a Euro Toque event ten years ago, we sat at the same table over dinner and talked about life, food, wine and of course cheese. I remember thinking afterwards it was one of the first open conversations I had with a complete stranger. He brought the best out of people and was generous to a fault.
I will miss the chats, laughter and honesty both of these men brought to my world.