Celebrity chef and traveller Bobby Chinn begins his Celtic voyage of discovery on the South Coast, in Ireland’s second city, Cork. Here he is educated in the stories and subtleties of the amazing produce available in the local market by food Historian Regina Sexton. Bobby delves deeper into one of the stories, the Irish Potato Famine, and is moved by a tale of almost unimaginable suffering.
From Cork our protagonist travels north to County Galway, stopping in to sample arguably the best oysters in the world with the help of the ‘World Champion Oyster Opener’ before arriving in Galway city.
Heavily influenced by its historical trade links with Spain, this “Artsy” and bohemian city boast a heady mix of bars and restaurants and it is one of these, indeed the only one on Ireland’s west coast with a Michelin star that Bobby meets owner JP McMahon and is shown how to prepare a dish full of Spanish heritage.
To conclude the Galway leg of his gastronomic odyssey Bobby goes to the Galway Races to indulge in the infamous Irish passion for horses.
Heading further west into the hauntingly beautiful Connemara Peninsula Bobby’s next stop is the Marquis of Sligo’s old sporting lodge, now used as an extremely up market guest house. Here he learns how to fly fish for salmon, with some success, before cooking his quarry for some of the guests.
Continuing further across Connemara, Bobby arrives at the trendy coastal town of Westport where, in the local pub, he meets and plays some traditional Irish music with a member of the folk band, The Chieftains.
Turning South East the journey continues into Ireland’s rural heart to visit County Tipperary the Nenagh Agricultural show. With over a hundred competitions including everything from show jumping to best breeding bulls these are the annual get-togethers for the agricultural community.
Bobby helps to judge the baking competition before joining food entrepreneur Peter Ward who cooks him a dish which could not be more local.
For the final leg of the journey Bobby heads to the East Coast and Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Here he investigates the legacy of the city’s biggest manufacturer of Ireland’s most iconic export, Guinness!
- Rib Eye Steak with Caramelized Onions by Peter Ward
- ROULADE OF SALMON WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, WILTED GREENS WITH MUSSEL NAGE
- Hay smoked chicken
- Baked Plaice with Herb Butter
With thanks to
Farmgate Café, Cork
Cork Famine Group
Health Service Executive South
Moran’s Oyster Cottage, Gallway
The Friendly Farmer
Matt Molloy’s Pub, Westport
Nenagh Agricultural show
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral
ANDREW JAMES UK LTD
Rib Eye Steak with Caramelized Onions by Peter Ward
Flash fried Tipperary grass fed rib-eye of prime Hereford beef with a seasoning of foraged west coast seaweed and Atlantic sea salt, sweet caramelized onion with mature Cashel Blue cheese, a local leaf salad with honey mustard salsa and Irish griddle bread. Delicious!
- One 8oz Irish Hereford ribeye.
- A fist full of wild Irish Dillisc or any other seaweed
- Sea salt
- Cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Place an ounce or two of the seaweed in a pestle with the sea salt and grind.
Just before cooking season the steak with this.
- Take one cup chopped raw onion and fry gently with 2 tablespoons Irish cider vinegar and one teaspoon pure unrefined brown sugar.
Fry gently until golden brown and reserve .
- Place the seasoned steak on a hot pan with a little rape seed oil and fry for 5 mins on both side. When cooked remove from heat. Place cooked onion onto the same pan and simmer gently with one tablespoon Cashel blue cheese.
- Take 6 fluid ounces of rapeseed or olive oil and 2 fl ounces of cider vinegar plus one teaspoon Dijon mustard and one teaspoon Irish honey.
- Season with some salt and pepper .
- Place all ingredients in a jam jar with a lid and shake well.
- Place the steak on the plate and serve the Cashel blue onion beside it.
Serve with some griddle bread.
Irish griddle bread:
- 11 oz plain white flour.
- 7.5 fluid oz ounces buttermilk.teaspoon of butter.
- Half a teaspoon salt and half teaspoon soda.
- Place plain flour in a bowl mix in salt and soda
- When well mixed add in butter and blend evenly.
- Make a well in the middle and add in buttermilk.
- Stir gently with your hand and form into a ball.
- Gently flatten and place on a hot griddle for about 8 minutes .
- Turn over and cook the other side for 8mins..
- The bread should sound hollow when tapped .
ROULADE OF SALMON WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, WILTED GREENS WITH MUSSEL NAGE
- Salt & pepper
- Chanterelle mushrooms
- White wine
- Skin the salmon, cut it lengthwise and then butterfly it.
- Fry the shallots.
- Season the salmon and spread the shallot mixture and marmalade, and roll it in cling film and tie it up with a rubber band or a piece of string. Put it in the sous-vide machine till cooked.
- Steam mussels in white wine and garlic. Take them out and strain the liquid. Put it back into the pot to reduce the amount of liquid. Then, blanche the cabbage and sear the mushrooms.
- Take the reduced mussels juice and put it in a blender. Throw really cold pieces of butter into the blender with the mussel juice, blend until you get a creamy sauce.
- To serve, put the cabbage in the middle of the plate, pour the mussel sauce, then cut the salmon and place it on top of the cabbage and place the mushrooms on the side.
Hay smoked chicken
Hay smoked chicken, with cauliflower, black pudding, chicken hearts, wood sorrel, dandelion
Jp McMahon cooks chicken smoked with spruce needles accompanied with black pudding and foraged sorrel and dandelions.
- 2 chicken breasts
- Handful of hay (available in pet shops)
- Handful of pine needles (you can use rosemary instead)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 log good quality black pudding, diced
- 6 chicken hearts, cleaned
- 30ml apple syrup
- Wild herbs (wood sorrel, dandelion)
- Rapeseed oil
- Sea salt
- To make the pine salt: place some sea salt and pine needles in a food processor and blend. Pass through a sieve to remove any large debris.
- Season the chicken breast with pine salt and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 mins. Place the hay in a smoking box and smoke the chicken for 15 minutes or until the core temperature is 65°C.
- For the cauliflower: remove 6-8 nice florets from the cauliflower. Braise (head down) in some warm butter on a low-medium heat. Cover with some greaseproof paper so as the steam will help cook the cauliflower.
- For the hearts and black pudding: season the hearts and fry in a little oil for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest. Fry the diced pudding in the same pan until it achieve a nice colour. Slice the hearts and place back in pan. Toss together and add a little butter and the apple syrup.
- To serve: place the hearts and pudding in the centre of the plate. Arrange the cauliflower around this and place the sliced breast on top. Decorate with the wild herbs. Spoon some of the sauce from the hearts and pudding around the dish.
Baked Plaice with Herb Butter
Darina Allen cooks a traditional Irish fare – baked plaice served with salad and soda bread.The importance of good ingredients cooked simply to preserve their true flavours is paramount in Irish cuisine.Traditionally, fish and meat were mainly cooked by the gentry. They were nowhere to be seen at a peasant’s table.This is a very simple ‘master recipe’ which can be used not only for plaice and sole but for all very fresh flat fish, e.g. brill, turbot, dabs, flounder and lemon sole.Depending on the size of the fish, it can a starter or a main course.It’s also delicious Hollandaise Sauce, Mousseline or Beurre Blanc.
- 4 very fresh plaice or sole on the bone
- Herb Butter:
50-110g (50-110g/1/2 – 1 stick) butter
4 teaspoons mixed finely-chopped fresh parsley, chives, fennel and thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
- Turn the fish on its side and remove the head.
- Wash the fish and clean the slit very thoroughly. With a sharp knife, cut through the skin right round the fish, just where the ‘fringe’ meets the flesh. Be careful to cut neatly and to cross the side cuts at the tail or it will be difficult to remove the skin later on.
- Sprinkle the fish with salt and freshly-ground pepper and lay them in 1cm (1/2 inch) of water in a shallow baking tin.
- Bake in a moderately hot oven for 20-30 minutes according to the size of the fish. The water should have just evaporated as the fish is cooked. Check to see whether the fish is cooked by lifting the flesh from the bone at the head; it should lift off the bone easily and be quite white with no trace of pink.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the freshly-chopped herbs. Just before serving catch the skin down near the tail and pull it off gently (the skin will tear badly if not properly cut).
- Lift the fish onto hot plates and spoon the herb butter over them.
- Serve immediately.
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