Two Major Awards at the 2017 Butcher’s Awards

We are delighted to announce that we have won two major awards at the 2017 Butchers Awards.

We have won shop of the year for our newly refurbished shop and Jack won lifetime achievement for contribution to the Irish meat industry.

These awards are the only awards taking in butchers from all over the Island of Ireland and we are delighted to be lucky enough to be nominated never mind win 2 major awards.

Thanks to all our customers for their continued support allowing us to continue doing what we love.

Watch this video where Tim talks about this great achievement!

Posted by Mc Carthy's of Kanturk on Monday, November 27, 2017

Butchers Excellence International Awards

McCarthy’s Award Winning Products

With Jack and Tim’s innovative and creative ideas (as displayed on facebook live…) come prestigious awards.

Butchers Excellence International is the only all Ireland butchery body.

We were delighted to win awards at the 2017 ALL IRELAND SAUSAGE, BURGER AND PUDDING COMPETITION 2017 for

  • our Bramley Apple Sausages,
  • Country style Beef Burgers,
  • Prime Steak Burger,
  • Gluten Free Smoked Bacon Chicken Burger
  • Traditional Pork Sausages.

We won the prestigious Diamond award for our Black Pudding, and White Pudding

We are looking forward to Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards on 30th September where we have a couple of finalists.

award winners

Our New Look Kanturk Store

We are delighted with our newly refurbished store in Kanturk. It looks amazing, call in for a look if you are in town.

We have changed the orientation of the shop and added lots of new refrigerated space in a bright new interior.

We’ve managed to keep some traditional features and add some lovely new ones like the storyboard on the back wall showing the history of McCarthys since we first opened five generations ago in 1892.

tim in the newly refurbished shop in kanturk


Local customers can save with BLocal

McCarthys have teamed up with BLocal so local customers can avail of the loyalty scheme in the Kanturk Shop.

Every time you shop at McCarthy’s you collect points on your card and for every euro spent you get a point.

When you have 300 points you get a €10 euro voucher that you can redeem with us.


Sizzling start

the award winning black puddingDelighted that Roz Crowley listed our black pudding top of her pudds again.

Try it and see why it is consistently top of the ratings. Click here to go to the online shop.

These are Roz’s comments on our pudding.

“Bacon trim, spices, seasoning, rusk, blood, oatmeal, water, onion and pearl barley are used well here to make a creamy, smooth style of pudding which I liked more than some tasters who found it a bit too dense.

The understated spices and subtle flavour were enjoyed by all tasters. Delicious spread on buttered toast like a paté. SuperValu and independents.”

Roz Crowley


Brewing Business Success

A few weeks ago Kevin Dundon visited town and I sat down for a cup of coffee with him in the daily grind to record an interview for episode 2 of “Brewing Business Success”.

Tim explains some of the intricacies of being part of a fifth generation family business.
Watch the video here it’s subtitled in case you can’t understand Kevin!!

Join the Platinum Club

Join the Platinum Club now!

Redeem coupons to get even more savings in the months to come.

Until the end of October you can save €10 on orders of €120 or more and still avail of complimentary delivery by using the coupon code PLAT2017

We have introduced a new regular customer discount.

All customers who use the PLAT2017 discount before 31st October will receive a voucher that they can redeem in November.
Customers who redeem the November voucher will receive one in December and so on.

We will only reopen membership subscriptions periodically, according to availability, so don’t miss out – join before 31st October 2017.

Join the Platinum Club today!

Regular savings for regular customers from McCarthys of Kanturk

*Orders over €100 have no delivery charges – we can only deliver to addresses on the island of Ireland.

Black Pudding – The New Superfood!

blackpudding super foodAt McCarthy’s we take huge pride in our black pudding so we were delighted to see it being celebrated as a new “Super Food” in the media this week.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, black pudding has joined seaweed, black beans, avocado oil, teff grains and birch water as key superfoods for 2016.

Black pudding contains protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium, plus it is practically carb free and rich in iron and zinc – two minerals frequently missing from modern diets.

Two slices of black pudding provides the recommended daily amount of iron for an adult man.

Another reason that black pudding is such a good thing is because it contains offal. Offal is used a lot by celebrity chefs but not so much in modern homes. By eating offal we ensure that all the animal is consumed and we reduce waste. This is a very good thing for the planet.

You don’t need to serve your black pudding in a greasy fry up – if you really want to reap the benefits of Black Pudding you should grill it and serve it with a salad or accompany it with a risotto of grains such as pearl barley or brown rice.


Blas na hEireann Awards

dingle food awardsThe awards keep on coming. Our traditional black pudding and our famous Bramley sausages won gold for being the best in the land at the national food awards in Dingle at the weekend.

Now in its 8th year, Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. Over 2500 products were entered into this year’s competition.

The Blas na hEireann awards are the most prestigious food awards in Ireland and to win double gold for two of our products is a massive honour. Thanks to all our customers who continue to champion our product and support us.


Filming with Ear to the Ground

ear to the groundWatch Ear to the Ground on 24th November.

We were delighted to be involved in the filming of Ear to the Ground both at the shop and at one of our prime beef suppliers farms – Glensouth Farm, the farm of Frank Murphy.

At Glensouth Farm the welfare of the cattle takes an absolute priority and the use of innovative new technology has given them the edge. You can find out more about Glensouth farm when the show is broadcast on 24th November.


Bringing home the Treble

awardsMcCarthy’s were proud to win three awards at the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland competition this year.

Cork may not have brought home Sam or the Liam McCarthy cup this year but all has not been lost as Jack & Tim McCarthy, McCarthy’s of Kanturk ran away with cups at this year’s Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) National Sausage and Pudding Competition and Speciality Foods Competition, winning Best Black and White Pudding and the Supreme Speciality Food Champion title for their Smoked Air Dried Beef at this year’s awards held at retail and hospitality expo, Food and Hospitality Ireland in Citywest . Cork did the double in 1990 and the McCarthy’s did the treble this year.

John Hickey CEO, ACBI presented Jack McCarthy owner and of McCarthy’s Butchers in Kanturk with the prestigious accolades.

The competition has been running for over 11 years now says ACBI, who were delighted to say that this year was an extremely successful year for entries, with over 40 finalists in the National Sausage and Pudding Final and over 100 entries flooding in for the Speciality Foods Competition. The competition was judged by the highly knowledgeable Leslie Williams, food writer for the Evening Herald and Irish Examiner and member of the Irish Guild of Food Writers and the very experienced Marilyn Bright also a member of the Irish Guild of Food Writers.

Overall the judges were impressed with the quality and innovation of the products, Leslie Williams Food Writer for the Evening Herald and Irish Examiner was very impressed by the quality of the products saying, “Craft Butchers know about Irish food and using the very best of Irish ingredients. Getting the balance of flavours right while still tasting the quality of the meat is key to cooking with Craft Butchers meat. Craft Butchers are expert craftsmen and are central to our Irish food heritage. You cannot go wrong if you start off with good quality meat from your local Craft Butcher.”

Leslie Williams described McCarthy’s Black Pudding as being “full of flavour and well-seasoned” and their White Pudding as “nicely balanced with good texture and perfectly seasoned.“ Their Supreme Champion title winning Smoked Air Dried Beef was described as being “expertly crafted slices of beautiful beef, bursting with flavour.”

Julie Cahill Marketing Manager ACBI said “McCarthy’s Butchers produce so many innovative products using traditional techniques; from Black Pudding fit for a queen to Beer Cured Black Bacon to Smoked Air Dried Beef, they continue to keep meat interesting. McCarthy’s have the perfect balance; they practice traditional butchering techniques but yet are contemporary in their product offering which is key to meeting consumer demand and changing lifestyle trends, they are at the top of their game when it comes to quality Irish meat.”

The McCarthy’s were delighted with the win on the day, thanking all their staff and loyal customers, “I am delighted with the win, we take quality meat and turn it into creative award winning products, we put a lot of time, energy and passion into what we do, it is a marvelous achievement, it’s good for business and it’s good for Kanturk.”
Jack and his son, Tim McCarthy, are fifth generation butchers in the family run shop in Kanturk. McCarthy’s are well known for their value-added beef and pork products. McCarthy’s bacon and rashers have won international awards and the Blackpudding has received acclaim from the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Blackpudding and was even served to the queen at the banquet on her visit to Ireland in 2011.

With quality at the foremost of their minds, and the clean air and lush pastureland providing healthy livestock, you can rest assured that Jack and Tim will source the finest meat for your plate.

McCarthy’s Bramley Apple Bangers with Parsnip and Leek Mash, Sage and Cider Gravy with Black Pudding Crumble: Kitchen Hero – Donal Skehan

It has been a pleasure to work with Donal Skehan this year. In July our wonderful award winning Apple Sausages played a big part in Kitchen Hero:Donal’s Irish Feast on RTE. Donal made McCarthy’s Bramley Apple Bangers with Parsnip and Leek Mash, Sage and Cider Gravy with Black Pudding Crumble. If you want to cook the recipe

Donal also published the recipe in his column in the Independent newspaper. We thank Donal for his support of McCarthys and all the other Irish Food producers that he has featured in the series.

McCarthy’s Bramley Apple Bangers with Parsnip and Leek Mash, Sage and Cider Gravy with Black Pudding Crumble

Jack McCarthy’s black pudding is championed by some of the best Irish chefs – it was served to the Queen on her state visit in 2011 and his Bramley apple sausages are made from free­ range pork. Fortunately they are now becoming more widely available in specialist stores and online.
2 tblsp Rapeseed oil
1 Large onion, very finely sliced
2 tsp Plain flour
1 tblsp Chopped fresh sage
330 ml Bottle artisan dry cider
1­2 teaspoons crab apple jelly
8 Bramley apple pork sausages (preferably jack mccarthy’s) 1 Slice black pudding (preferably jack mccarthy’s)
For the parsnip mash:
675 g Small parsnips, peeled and cut into 2.5cm pieces 25 g Butter
2 Small leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Splash of cream
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. For the parsnip mash, steam the parsnip for 15­20 minutes until tender.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the leeks in the butter in a frying pan until softened but not coloured.
3. Mash the parsnips and season with salt and pepper, then beat in the sautéed leeks with the mustard and cream.
4. For the sage & cider gravy, heat half the rapeseed oil in a large pan and sauté the onion for 10­15 minutes until lightly golden.
5. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute, then gradually add the cider and allow to reduce down by half.
6. Add the sage and then whisk in enough of the apple jelly to taste. 7. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Important information regarding cookies and RTÉ.ie (
8. Heat the remaining rapeseed oil in a large non­stick frying pan and sauté the sausages until lightly golden all over, turning regularly with a tongs.
9. Transfer to a baking tin and place in the oven for another 10 minutes or until cooked through and tender.
10.Break up the black pudding into small pieces.
11. Return the frying pan to the heat and quickly sauté the black pudding for a couple of minutes until sizzling.
12. Arrange the parsnip and leek mash on warmed serving plates with the Bramley apple bangers and spoon over the sage & cider gravy. Scatter over the black pudding crumble to serve.

Blas na hEireann food awards 2014

blas na heireannJack and Tim were pleased to see their new speciality product Guanciale do well and secure a silver medal in the Blas na hEireann food awards. Guanciale is tasty cured and spiced pig’s jowl – a very flavoursome ingredient, used like you might use a pancetta. They also received a silver for their special black pudding, using the recipe that was used to serve the Queen at the state banquet.

Summer News from McCarthys

Best Butchers in Ireland

Georgina Campbells

We were very pleased to be listed as one of the ten best butchers in Ireland by Georgina Campbell on her website. She wrote, “The small shop is beginning to enjoy a comeback and it all started a few years ago with shoppers giving a renewed vote of confidence to the local butcher. Here are just ten iconic businesses that are at the forefront of the shop local revolution.”


See the list by clicking here

Jack McCarthy was also featured in May’s Hotpress “Best of Ireland” Magazine, which was also a great honour.

Visited by leading German food journalist, Michael Vetter

McCarthys were delighted to be amongst a handful of Irish food producers to be featured on a forthcoming German TV programme. We were delighted to welcome Michael and his team to Duhallow and show him local grass fed Hereford cattle and how we produce our wonderful Sliabh Luachra air-dried beef.

Michael Vetter

Practical Home Butchery Courses

We are planning to run courses in Dublin and Kanturk in the coming months, watch this space.

Extended Barbeque Product Range

We have new barbeque products in the online shop – including gourmet sausage grillsticks and beef kebabs with fine sirloin steak.

Click here to buy online

Order by 9am on a Thursday and get delivery on Friday!


Best in Ireland – Georgina Campbell

We were very pleased to be listed as one of the ten best butchers in Ireland by Georgina Campbell on her website. She wrote, “The small shop is beginning to enjoy a comeback and it all started a few years ago with shoppers giving a renewed vote of confidence to the local butcher. Here are just ten iconic businesses that are at the forefront of the shop local revolution.”

See the list by clicking here

The butchers blog

Welcome to the butchers blog where I will endeavor to enlighten you in the dark arts of butchery from entrails to appendix to oxtails, fillets, trotters, grass or grain, fat or finishing, fries and frankfurters I will try to explain our methods and show you a bit of our madness.

Some refer to butchering as a trade for some it is a job, I have even head it being referred to as a vocation by one rather colourful butcher. For others we are simply shopkeepers or traders, but for us we like to refer to our trade as a craft. Bringing livestock to the table requires many varied and different techniques and skills which all rolled into one can be classed as a craft. The family butcher once a dying vision around the country is thriving by cornering a market for customers who want to know the field, breed, age, origin and husbandry of their meat.

From dry curing to dry ageing to tunnel boning, slow roasting, seasonal cuts and pudding making we are always trying to improve our methods and techniques to give the customer a new variety, taste or sensation but also to further our craft. Techniques used generation ago while never forgotten or dispensed have to evolve to market demands but the basics stay the same. We still use the same base recipe for pudding, sausages and curing that have been handed down thru the family for generations while the slaughtering, ageing and primal preparation of carcasses have changed little in the last 100 years except to adapt the best technologies available. Staying true to those methods and techniques is crucial for us and the integrity of our product.

While supplying fodder for the queen may have seemed like treason to my forefathers selling on the Internet could not be fathomed to them. We’ve come a long a way and in the blog I hope to show you a little of how we do it and the ways we do.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy it and at times you may have to endure the odd rant or three.Feel free to interact or comment.

T (@MyButcherTim)

Gold Medal for International Creativity

BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme covered this years event and did a special feature about the McCarthys. Jack and Tim were delighted to receive the only Irish gold medal from La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin, or the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Blackpudding in 2013. Not only was it the only Irish medal it was an International victory as it was for “International Creativity”.

boars head puddingWhat did they do to earn this accolade you wonder?

Jack and Tim created a pudding inspired by the centre-piece of a medieval feast. Kanturk is derived from the Irish, “Ceann Tuirc”, which means “The Boar’s Head” so in honor of their home town they stuffed a locally sourced boar’s head with a special rum and raisin black pudding. The judges were wowed by their creative approach.

bbc radio 4Not only did they win the medal, BBC Radio 4 covered the event in The Food Programme and visited Kanturk to interview Jack and Tim.

Listen to the podcast by clicking here

Spring Courses Announced


Spring Courses Announced

Following the success of the courses that we presented in 2012 we have announced our spring programme. Book online now

  • 8th March
    Blood and Guts,
    butchersblockSausage and Pudding Masterclass
  • 13th March
    Practical Pig Butchery Course
  • Friday 12th April 5pm to 9pm
    Easter Spring Lamb Workshop
  • Wednesday 24th April 5pm to 9pm
    Knife skills and Beef Butchery

Click here to find out more!

Have a Spit Roast at your Party

For the months of January & February we have a red hot special on our spit roast pig service. Free range spit roast supplied, cooked, carved and served anywhere in Munster for a crowd of up to 150 people for 500euro. This is unbeatable value, so book soon.

An Off-shore Food Adventure in Inishbofin, Galway


We travelled to Inishbofin recently for a special “nose to tail” and Pork Products Workshop held by Adrian of the Beach Bar and Restaurant on the Island.

As it was our first offshore food venture, we were really excited and looking forward to it. The two day masterclass was a fantastic success due mainly to the interaction with the islanders. We learned as much, if not more, than the skills we imparted.


jack and tim

To Adrian, Mary Lavelle, all the fantastic Day girls + GENTS, the great Francie O Hallohran, the mighty John Burke, and all the great great Bofin people we met. I thank you for one of my greatest trips of my life and be assured I will be back for Inis bo finne in first week of October which will be the island’s first food festival. Be warned book early because I honestly think this is going to be a world class event.



Now Selling East Ferry Poultry Products Online

We are proud to announce that McCarthys are now the online supplier of East Ferry top quality poultry products.

The birds are reared on the family farm using traditional methods. All poultry produced by East Ferry Farm are housed in mobile houses allowing the poultry to move freely from field to house.

“There is a huge emphasis publicly to buy quality home grown produce. Here at East Ferry Free Range we felt that this was an opportunity to create a Free Range Poultry brand. We offer an outstanding service to our customers, providing a whole range of high quality free range products and satisfying the most demanding requirements with due regard to all EU legislation.”

Kenmare Food Carnival 13th – 15th July

We are delighted to be stall holders at the Kenmare Food Carnival from 13th – 15th July. We will be joining some of our good friends from the Irish food scene and the event promises to be fantastic.

Kenmare Food Carnival is a fun family food event showcasing the best of Kenmare’s eateries, local food producers and spectacular scenery. Nestled where the world famous Ring of Kerry meets the beautifully unspoilt Ring of Beara.

The event incorporates a carnival style atmosphere with street theatre, parades, music, food trails, jazz lunch, afternoon teas, demos, kiddies events and lots more!

Come and say hello if you are at the event.

Special Award for Exceptional Contribution to Irish Food

Award for butchers behind the queen’s black pudding
Irish Independent

THE artisan butchers who created the bespoke black pudding that was served to Queen Elizabeth during her state visit to last May were among the winners at yesterday’s Irish Food Writer’s Guild awards.

McCarthy’s of Kanturk, in Cork, were one of five food producers awarded for their exceptional contribution to Ireland’s reputation as a top food-producing country.

Jack McCarthy and his son Tim come from a long line of butchers who have been producing meat products for five generations.

Also among the winners were David Tiernan for Glebe Brethan Cheese, which is based in Co Louth.

Their product had its beginnings 20 years ago, when they imported two French Montbeliarde cows; now they have more than 70.

Other winners included Brendan and Derek Allen of Castlemine Farm for Castlemine Farm Free Range Pork in Co Roscommon; Patrick and Carol Rooney for Derrycamma Farm Rapeseed Oil in Co Louth; and chairman of the Irish Apple Growers Association, Con Traas of The Apple Farm in Tipperary, honoured with the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards took place at Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Ecrivain.

Irish Independent


McCarthy’s Online Butchers’ Shop

McCarthy’s Blackpudding is available in the online shop.
This pudding is the cream of the crop and has received acclaim at home and abroad. It was served to the Queen at the State Banquet on her visit to Ireland in 2011. In France it has received many awards from the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Blackpudding. The guild visited Kanturk in 2010 in celebration of the McCarthys’ achievements.

Jack is awarded the “Twitter Award”

Jack’s twittering reached a climax when he was awarded the “Twitter Award” by Lucinda O’Sullivan. If you want to follow Jack on Twitter and enjoy his insights into Irish food and rugby you will find him @mccarthykanturk or click here

Old faithfuls, and some newcomers
Sunday Independent January 1st 2012

Lucinda O’Sullivan serves up her choices for the best, and ‘could do betters’, of the nation’s dining experiences

IT’S been a year of value menus and early birds, pop ups and pop offs, bloggers and blaggers. My annual awards are a reflection of a colourful dining year for all of us. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Lucindas 2011!

Click here to see the original article

The Lofty Sardine Award
The Butcher’s Grill in Ranelagh, Dublin, where my feet didn’t touch the ground and my ass was
perched on a high stool, squashed in like a lofty sardine.

The Old Faithful Award
Tom O’Connell, who at a time of deep recession held his nerve and created the excellent
O’Connell’s of Donnybrook, Dublin, where his faithful followers flock.

Small is Beautiful Award
Kosi Moodley’s Indian gem Bistro Spice right in the heart of Monkstown Village, Co Dublin, where
you can also bring your own wine.

The Disappointing Harvest Award
Matt the Thresher in Dublin’s Lower Pembroke Street. Crab claws were small and smaller, and
everything else lived down to the same mantra.

The Strictly Come Dancing Award
Tadgh Foley, who manages the Green Barn Cafe Bistro at Killeagh, Co Cork, will sweep you to your
table in a move that even SCD judges could not whinge about.

The Sour Note Award
Coda at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin, didn’t rock on any score. Ghastly food, and already setting up for
breakfast shortly after we sat down to an early dinner.

The Braveheart Award
Mel Gibson acted the part but John Healy, maitre d’ on TV show The Restaurant — whose grace and
charm astounds all as he awaits a heart transplant — lives it and life to the full.

The Western Stars
JP McManus & Drigin Gaffey, whose Cava and Aniar in Galway are two of the hottest restaurants
west of the Shannon.

Downton Abbey Award
Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare, rivals the TV show for grace and beauty.

The Top Roost Award
Joe Macken’s pop-ups Crackbird and Skinflint in Dublin are hitting the highest perches.

The Apprentice Award
Sandra Murphy is more master than apprentice when it comes to running Rising Tide in Cork.

Revolving Door Award
La Stampa, where Louis Murray is now tangoing with Ronan Ryan. Let’s hope they stay in step.

The ‘X Factor’ Award
Finin’s in Midleton, Cork, where Finin O’Sullivan’s vibrant personality is matched only by the quality of his gastropub grub.

The Odd Bird Award
Rachel Clancy’s Magpie Inn in Dalkey, Co Dublin, has been attracting the locals looking for all that glisters.

The Shining Light Award
Electric in Cork city, which turned a bank building into something useful!

The Brangelina Award
Paul Byrne and Fiona McHugh, whose Fallon & Byrne in the capital’s Exchequer Street spawned a whole new dining quarter.

The Top Cat Award
Garret Byrne of Campagne in Kilkenny, whose superb food must be another All Ireland contender.

The Twitter Award
To master butcher Jack McCarthy, who would make Kanturk the Irish capital.

And finally…
Every year I have the Rear of the Year Award — though this year it’s the Fairy Tail End of 2011 as
the beautiful Sally O’Brien of Farmgate in Midleton walked up the aisle yesterday.

There’s nun better

Irish Examiner
By Jack Power

THOUGH, obviously enough, The Old Convent was once a nunnery it is an alpha-male building radiating authority through its assertive, almost garrison-like lines and magnificent stone facade.


It was built when Catholicism was a certainty rather than a choice. The depth of the conviction behind the building shouts out still, long after the nuns have gone. It does not do doubt, it does not waver and there’s no room for even a shard of ambiguity.

And if you’re prepared to make an imaginative leap the same can be said of the wonderful, earthy-rich food presented by Dermot and Christine Gannon.

Like Catholicism of old, it is an absolute package, a take-it-or-leave deal because The Old Convent does not do choice — the house usually offers only a tasting menu. Just as the Catholic hierarchy of old-fought à la carte Catholicism, the Gannons are confident enough to offer a set menu, one not revealed until you arrive.

In our case — DW and I — we enjoyed it thoroughly, even if we did not realise we were to be so constrained as the house style was not explained when I made our booking. Neither did it seem to deter other guests — we had to book several weeks in advance to get a Saturday night table.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared to surrender the dubious pleasure of 10 minutes puzzling your way through a menu, the eight dainty courses were a real pleasure and two, if not three, were exceptional.

Engagements opened with a dessert spoon of duck liver and bantam egg mousse with smoked-duck lardons apple syrup all presented in a decapitated eggshell. It was a velvet-smooth, deeply-rich tasting morsel arranged with care and humour.

The next course, for me at least, screamed more, more and still more. It was in essence, a hint of what might be, as enjoyable a main course as it might have been my pleasure to discover.

It was, and the “it” was hardly a golf-ball-and-a-half in size, slow-cooked Ballinwillan rare breed pork with Cashel blue cheese, pears and candied almonds. It was as impressive a pork-and-fruit combination as I’ve come across and, like a glimpse of heaven, its fleeting pleasure was as frustrating as it was satisfying. Nevertheless it was a truly exceptional combination of textures and tastes.

The next dish — a coffee cup of cauliflower veloute — was dull and the least impressive of the evening.

It was followed by buttermilk poached organic salmon, baked crab, sushi rice, elderflower and pineapple salad. Though impressive enough it was the dish that tried too hard and probably best showed the difference between a tasting menu dish and a dish from an à la carte menu. The essences of the perfectly good ingredients were almost lost in the tasting menu imperative to push the boat out.

Next was a wonderful apple sorbet with raspberry jelly. This is a simple dish that can say more about a kitchen than many others. Here, in contrast to its predecessor, was a victory for the kind directness that underpins great cooking. It was truly exceptional.

So, too, was the next course. Heifer beef, truffled white cocoa beans, wild mushrooms, triple cooked potatoes and veal jus. The beef — flagged as Jack McCarthy’s dry aged — was pretty much as close to perfect as anyone could ask for. It had depth of taste, a tender texture and was cooked in a way that completely honoured the entire process. A third exceptional dish in one evening.

This was followed by two more courses — a lemon posset and a Valrhona dark chocolate pot — and both were really good. Our wine, Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2007 from Ribera del Duero was excellent.

The Old Convent does food-and-accommodation packages and seems to be an ideal place for one of those short, re-energising winter breaks, and even if the weather can’t be guaranteed, it seems the quality of the food can be. And you’ll experience the legacy of the nuns who seem to have left a very calm karma in the building that enhances the whole experience.

Altogether wonderful food, served with style, in a lovely place.

Project aims to save rural meat industry

The Corkman


At the launch of Meat Matters at IRD Duhallow headquarters, Newmarket were from left, Cathal Cronin, Cronins Butchers's, Kanturk; Minister Sean Sherlock who launched the programme; Isobel Fletcher, programme co- ordinator and Tim Mccarthy, Mccarthy's... Credit: Photo by Patrick Casey

A PROJECT to help the local meat supply chain to survive and thrive was launched in Newmarket recently.

The two year project which was launched at IRD Duhallow and its aims is to help small abattoirs, butchers and meat processors across the EU.

THE number of abattoirs across Ireland has fallen in the last two decades from 1,000 to just over 200, and this is a trend which is also repeated across Europe.

However, the ‘Local Meat Supply Chains (SLMSC) project, which is funded by the EU lifelong learning programme, now aims to stem the decline and, importantly, develop an e-learning training programme for small abattoirs, butchers and meat processors throughout Duhallow.

Minister for Research and Development Sean Sherlock officially launched the project and said that supporting the agri food sector is vitally important and will be a major contributor to helping Ireland recover economically.

“It is heartening to see a project addressing some of the challenges faced by the rural meat sector in maintaining profitability and competitiveness,” he said.

Project Co-ordinator at IRD Duhallow Isobel Fletcher said that abattoirs play a key role in the meat supply chain, but yet they have been closing down in the last number of years.

She said that given their rural location, small abattoirs are also faced with the difficulty of retraining and reintegrating staff into the labour market.

“The decline is partly due to external factors such as stringent international legislation, dominance of multinational retailer as well as rising consumer quality demands and scrutiny by environmental and nutritional groups,” said Ms Fletcher.

She told The Corkman that the project has been enthusiastically received by many working in the meat industry.

“They recognise that the future to long term survival depends on developing additional business skills and adding creativity to products and the way in which they do business. The project comes at a time when the industry itself is gearing up for change, she said.


Squab Pigeon on Masterchef Ireland

Mary Carney from Waterford won the title of MasterChef Ireland. McCarthys were delighted that to see their renowned black pudding included in her star dish. 28-year-old Carney from Waterford wowed McGrath and Munier with her final three-course meal serving a warm lobster salad, squab pigeon which seemed to particularly impress and a summer berry plate. Mary, who is a telecommunications policy and strategy advisor with a large telecommunications company, credits her mother with teaching her how to cook.
For the water bath squab:
Smoked bacon
Blend of coriander seeds and black pepper
4 squab
Dark Chicken Stock

For the pea puree:
2 packs of frozen petits pois
2 bags of fresh peas
4 Garlic cloves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Sherry Vinegar

For the crumb:
Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding
400g of Walnuts – shelled preferably

For the braised spring onions:
Water/butter for an emulsion
6 bunches of spring onions

For the crispy bacon:
20 slices of smoked bacon

For the pigeon glaze:
Truffle honey
Dijon mustard

For the pigeon jus
Dark Chicken stock
Sherry vinegar

For decoration:
Flowering pea shoots
Borage flowers

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.

For the spring onions: Prepare the spring onions, blanch and set in iced water. Closer to service, warm and cook through both spring onions and blanched peas in a water butter emulsion.

For the crumb: Cook the walnuts at 150 degrees for 15 minutes, remove and peel. Pan fry black pudding until crisp.

For the peas: Cook fresh peas in salted water, remove skins and set in ice cold water. Cook garlic in olive oil and allow to infuse. Cook frozen peas in water for 4 minutes. Blitz frozen peas for 5 minutes, with some light chicken stock, pass through a chinois and add garlic oil to taste, salt and sherry vinegar. Set peas on a bowl of ice to maintain colour.

For the glaze: Mix equal quantities of dijon mustard with truffle honey and set aside.

For the pigeon: Prepare the pigeon pieces and set in 2 vac pac bags with a few thyme sprigs, two slices of smoked bacon, a couple of tablespoons of port and a few knobs of butter. Place in a water bath at 61 degrees celsius for 2 hours. Remove from bag, reserving juices. Pass juices through muslin and reserve for sauce. Using a pastry brush generously paste glaze on to pigeon and place under the grill on high for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.

For the pigeon livers: Season livers just before cooking and pan fry in oil and butter for 2 minutes each side on a medium heat.

For the crisp bacon : Crisp bacon under the grill.

For the pigeon jus: Strain the reserved juice into a muslin cloth and allow to boil gently. Add chicken stock and sherry vinegar to taste. Serve alongside the pigeon in a jug.

Finish: Place crumbled pudding and walnuts on to pigeon. Set squab on top of pea puree, scatter with blanched peas and place the onions alongside. Place crisp bacon on the place. Decorate with borage flowers and pea shoots.

Equipment needed:
Two chopping boards
Plastic gloves
Five small metal trays which can be placed under the grill
4 saucepans
Water bath set to 61 degrees
Oven preheated to 150 degrees
Le Micro Blender
Non stick frying pan
Chinoise – or flat chinoise preferrrably
Hand blender
Bowl of ice in freezer

Roast Pork Belly Bavarian Style

This is a recipe which is translated courtesy of Hacker-Pschorr German Beer
500 g veal bones
1.5-2 kg of raw, boneless Belly Pork
2 tablespoons oil
700 ml chicken broth
1 kg small, waxy potatoes
300 g shallots
2 carrots
200 g celeriac
1 tsp powdered sugar
125 ml of malt
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 slices fresh ginger
2 bay leaves
1 / 2 tsp cumin, whole
1 / 2 teaspoon dried marjoram
black pepper
For more delicious recipes are available in Bavarian schools Alfons Beck’s new book:
“Bavarian enjoy”
Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Put the chopped veal bones on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven about 1 hour. Remove from oven and drain on absorbent paper. Turn the oven down to 150 ° C.

Rub the belly pork with salt. Heat the oil in a roasting pan and fry over medium heat on the flesh side. Then pour in the broth and put in the Belly Pork with the skin side down – the fat layer should be completely covered with the broth, otherwise add a little broth. Add the roasted bones and roast in oven for 1 hour.

Peel and chop the vegetables.

Remove the roast from the oven. Place the meat with the fat side up on a board and in the rind strips at a distance of about 1 to 1.5 cm cut.

Keep the broth from the roasting pan aside. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat, add a dusting of icing sugar and caramelise lightly. Deglaze with the root beer, add the tomato paste and simmer until creamy. Then stir in the vegetables and pour over the reserved stock.

Place the meat with the skin side up on top of the vegetables and cook for about 1 1 / 2 to 2 hours. About 20 minutes before end of cooking add garlic, ginger, bay leaf, cumin and oregano.

If the crust is not crisp enough, move to the top of the oven or the grill. Take the roast from the oven, remove the garlic, ginger and bay leaves and cut the finished roast into slices. Serve with the vegetables and the gravy with salt and pepper to the meat and serve.

Images and original text © Alfons Beck, enjoy Bavarian

Eammon’s Black Pudding

Eamonn Gleeson’s Kanturk “Boar’s Head Pudding”, Green Onion, Potato Cake, Soft Poached Eggs and Frizzy Onions.

gleesons  Many thanks to Gleeson’s Townhouse in Roscommon for featuring this recipe on their website and for the warm welcome they gave Jack recently. 

Set right in the heart of Roscommon town, overlooking the square, Mary and Eamonn Gleeson’s townhouse and restaurant provides just what every visitor requires: a warm welcome, comfortable rooms and first-class food. Pan Fry the boudin lightly in clarified butter until warm through Pan Fry the potato cake on low heat until the outside is crusty. Poach the eggs in boiling water with white vinegar. For the frizzy onion, slice the onion paper thin, toss in a little light batter and dust with seasoned flour. Deep fry until crunchy. For assembly place the boudin in the centre of the plate, put the potato cake on top, followed by the poached eggs and frizzy onion. Garnish with fresh seasonal herbs, oregano, basil, etc.

Black Pudding that is fit for a Queen

It was with some excitment that Jack and Tim received the news that their pudding was to be served to Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Ireland.  The State Banquet took place at Dublin Castle on 18th May 2011 and was prepared by award winning Michelin star restaurant Chapter One in Dublin. The restaurant prides itself not only on its food but also the hospitality it offers.

Head chef Ross Lewis focuses on local & seasonal produce to create an array of modern dishes with a combination of robust flavours. For the Queen Chapter One were looking for the best product from some of the richest land in Ireland. Tim took on the challenge and created the pudding to end all puddings.  The recipe is a secret known only to Tim himself, but here are a few of the main ingredients.

Chapter one presented the dish to the Queen as a black pudding and veal sweetbread boudin with smoked bacon and organic quail’s egg poached in red wine, parsnip puree and horseradish glaze. Sound absolutely a dish fit for a Queen.

Unlike most butchers McCarthys do not used dried blood in their puddings, instead they use fresh blood from free range pigs.  Combining this base with top quality Cork products, oatmeal from Macroom, special reserve whiskey from Midleton Distillery and fresh Cream and Butter from the North Cork Dairy in Kanturk.

You can buy “Boars Head” Kanturk Black Pudding in the online shop.

Welcome to McCarthys of Kanturk, Online Artisan Butchers

Buying meat online is a new idea, but supplying quality meat is a tradition for McCarthys. McCarthy’s is one of the most celebrated and respected butchers in Ireland. The family butchers shop has been supplying Kanturk with top quality meat since 1892. Visit the Online Shop to browse our top quality meat, delivered anywhere in Ireland.

When you order from one of Ireland’s finest butchers you are not only assured a prime cut from the butcher’s fridge but you are guaranteed value, convenience and the assurance that your order will be delivered to your doorstep within 48 hours in prime condition. The choicest of cuts will be chosen for you after you select them, vacuum packed where possible, labelled and dispatched to your address within 48 hours in a temperature controlled insulated food box. All the butchering and preparation techniques have been developed by this exceptional family over three centuries and five generations.

Orders over €100 euro are delivered free anywhere in Ireland.

Not only will you find amazing quality cuts, recipes, hampers and charcuturie but amazing value on a range of locally sourced free range meats.

Nominated for the 2012 Realex Web Awards

Rozanne’s Corned Beef

rseanne stevens
image from
Corned Beef With a Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Many thanks to Rozanne Stevens for allowing us to use this recipe. As well as being a regular guest on the Pat Kenny show Rozanne Stevens writes a column in The Health and Living Supplement of the Irish independent and she has been Head Tutor in Cooks Academy in Dun Laoghaire over the last 4 years.

1.5kg piece of Corned Beef
Bay Leaf
Juniper Berries
Whole Cloves
Creamy Mustard Sauce:
600ml chicken stock
150ml cream
100ml milk
sp horseradish sauce

1. Simmer the beef in a large pot pf water with the spices for 30 minutes
per 500g. Remove from poaching water and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
2. The sauce: melt the butter in a pot, add the flour and stir for a minute. Gradually add the stock and stir to bash out any lumps. Stir in the milk, cream and horseradish sauce. Season and adjust the amount of horseradish, it should be subtle.
3. Serve hot with the sauce, or cold on sandwiches


Annette’s Spiced Beef Salad

spiced beefA wonderful unusual salad which includes spiced beef, pomegranate, and farmhouse cheddar cheese. Got to be tasted.

750g Guinness & Cider Spiced Beef
Crisp rocket leaves
Baby spinach
Flat leaf parsley
A celery stick
4 pears
Large shavings of Hegartys cheddar
Seeds from 1 Pomegranate
Icing Sugar
90 ml extra virgin Olive Oil
30 ml Sherry Vinegar
Salt and cracked Black Pepper

Annette Flanagan, Head Chef from Jacobs on the Mall
Annette Flanagan, Head Chef from Jacobs on the Mall

Spiced beef needs to be cooked long and slow. Put the beef in cold water with an onion, celery stick and carrot. Bring it to the boil slowly, turn down the temperature until the water is just trembling. It will take up to 3 hours to cook the beef. It will be done when a skewer can be pushed into the piece of meat with ease. Allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquor for best results.

The Hegartys cheddar has a sweet nutty flavour and contrasts very well with the spiced beef. The celery adds crunch to the salad and the pomegranate seeds add colour and extra flavour.

Roast Pears: Peel, quarter and core the pears. Heat a small roasting pan, add a little olive oil and then the pears. Colour them a little then sprinkle with a little icing sugar and then roast in a hot oven at 180C/356F for 10 minutes or until golden and tender. Ideally add to the salad whilst still warm.

Salad Dressing: Whisk oil into the vinegar and season with salt and cracked black pepper

To Serve: Put two slices of the cold spiced beef on a plate. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and dress with a little salad dressing and place on top of the beef. Serve with crusty white bread.

Hegarty Farmhouse Cheddar

An aged Cheddar made by Dan Hegarty.

White Church Foods
Church Road,
Co. Cork
021 4884238

Recipe courtesy of Annette Flanagan of Jacobs on the Mall, a 130 seat contemporary style Restaurant in the heart of Cork City’s financial district, with its own private dining room and piano bar, serving modern European food, with an emphasis on locally sourced free range and organic produce.;

Annette’s Crispy Bacon Salad

Annette Flanagan, Head Chef from Jacobs on the Mall

A delicious salad with a tasty dressing courtesy of Annette Flanagan of Jacobs on the Mall

16 slices of Dry Cured Spiced Streaky Rashers
2 bulbs of Fennel
1 small Red Onion
4 Scallions (spring onions)
250g salad leaves (including flat leaf parsley)

For the Dressing:

135 ml of sherry vinegar
1 Tsp whole grain mustard
1 Tsp maple syrup or honey

Salt and black pepper

Salad Dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together just before serving.

Put the bacon slices on a tray under the grill to cook.

Meanwhile thinly slice the red onion and spring onions. Trim the fennel and with a sharp knife cut into thin circles. Split the avocados in half lengthways, peel and remove the stone and cut into strips. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl.

When the bacon is crispy, drain on kitchen paper. Cut half of the slices into thin strips and mix with all the other ingredients in the bowl.

Finally add the salad leaves and parsley, dress with enough salad dressing to coat the leaves.

Serve immediately in large bowls and top with the remaining crispy bacon.

Jacobs on the Mall is a 130 seat contemporary style Restaurant in the heart of Cork City’s financial district, with its own private dining room and piano bar, serving modern European food, with an emphasis on locally sourced free range and organic produce.

Annette’s Roast Pork

Honey Cured Roast Pork with Roast Potatoes, Glazed Swede & Apple Puree

Recipe courtesy of Annette Flanagan, Head Chef from Jacobs on the Mall. Jacobs on the Mall is a 130 seat contemporary style Restaurant in the heart of Cork City’s financial district, with its own private dining room and piano bar, serving modern European food, with an emphasis on locally sourced free range and organic produce.


750g Joint of McCarthy’s Honey Cured Pork
1 Onion
4 Carrots
6 large Rooster Potatoes
1 bulb of Garlic
1 sprig of Rosemary
Olive Oil
Granny Smith Apple (s)
Sugar to Taste

Honey Glazed Roast Pork: Season the meat well and place on a roasting tray with some roughly chopped carrot and onion underneath the meat. Place in a hot oven at 220 C/428 F for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat gradually to 180 C/356 F to allow the meat to continue to roast without it becoming over coloured. Baste from time to time. Allow approximately 25 minutes per 500g plus an extra 25 minutes. Roast pork must be well done, to test if cooked, press the meat firmly to squeeze out some juices, they should be clear in colour. Allow the meat to rest for approximately 15 minutes before serving.

Roast potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into four, place on a roasting tray and drizzle with some olive oil, enough to coat the potatoes. Break up the bulb of garlic and mix in with the potatoes (skin still on the garlic). Roughly chop the rosemary and sprinkle over the potatoes and garlic. Season with some salt and black pepper. Cook in a hot oven at 180 C/356 F. Move the potatoes around every now and then with a spoon to ensure an even colour. Cooking time approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

Glazed Swede: Peel the swede and slice the swede into rough cubes. Place in a saucepan and add some cold water 1/3 the way up the swede, (you are steaming the swede , not boiling it) and a large knob of butter. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring every now and then, again until it is cooked. Remove from the heat and strain off excess water.

Apple puree: Peel, core and roughly chop the apples (granny smiths). Place in a saucepan with a small drop of water to prevent burning. Cook slowly on a medium heat until it is a puree. Add a little sugar to taste and pass through a fine sieve.

All right on the night

The Irish Examiner

By Pól Ó Conghaile

Behind the clockwork-efficiency of the state dinner for Queen Elizabeth lay tales of last-minute mercy flights to Dublin, six-hour dashes across the country with smoked salmon and ‘forever secret’’ ingredients. Pól Ó Conghaile gets the real story

AS DINNERS go, it will take some beating. On May 18, 172 guests — their names reading like a who’s-who of Irish society — filed into Dublin Castle for a black-tie banquet with Queen Elizabeth.

Liam O’Flynn played the pipes, the queen addressed “a Uachtaráin agus a chairde”, and the crowd was wowed by a sensitive speech and a dress embroidered with more than 2,000 hand-sewn shamrocks.

In the headiness of the moment, of course, it was easy to overlook the food on the plate. Organised by the Department of An Taoiseach, the state dinner menu was designed by Ross Lewis of Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One, and catered by corporate banqueting company, With Taste.

The menu showcased a stellar range of Irish food and producers, and it was only shortly before the event that many suppliers learned they had made the grade.


“What an opportunity,” was Birgitta Hedda-Curtain’s reaction when Lewis called her at the Burren Smokehouse, asking if she would smoke some salmon for the occasion. “I was excited but you have to keep yourself contained and get it right. It was a great adventure.”

Birgitta and her husband Peter set up their smokehouse in 1989, and have since watched the Lisdoonvarna-based business grow into one of the most successful smokeries in Ireland. Products are mailed all over the world and, as of this year, are stocked at Fortnum & Mason in London.

As fate would have it, the morning before Lewis phoned, Birgitta had been speaking with one of her salmon suppliers, Barbara Grubb of Dromana House in Cappoquin, about wild salmon.

The window for netting this year’s strictly-controlled quota on the River Blackwater had just opened.

“It was unbelievable,” Birgitta recalls. “I drove three hours down and three hours back to get it. The draft netting season started on May 12, and I brought it to Dublin four days later. It was gorgeous fish. Ross wanted wild salmon because, flavour-wise, it’s the best you can get hold of.”

In total, she smoked eight fish for the state dinner. “It was only the queen’s salmon in the oven. When it came out, I did nothing to it. No vacuum-packing, no pin-boning, nothing. It was virginal. I drove it straight up to Dublin and hand-delivered it to Ross in the catering kitchen.”

When her salmon arrived, Birgitta recalls, the chefs immediately went about trimming it, pin-boning it and taking off the smoked skin. At the state dinner, it was served as a cream in the starter course, along with cured Clare Island salmon, lemon balm jelly, horseradish and wild watercress.

“Ross and I both tasted it, and it was fabulous,” she says. There’s a mischievous reaction when I ask whether the queen enjoyed it. “Of course she did — there wasn’t a spot left on her plate!”


Meanwhile, in Drimoleague, Co Cork, an email pinged into the inbox of the Kingston family, requesting samples of unsalted butter, milk, cream and crème fraîche for a top secret event in Dublin.

“We were told what they were being used for but it was confidential,” recalls Valerie Kingston, who runs Glenilen Dairy Farm with her husband Alan. “We were told not to tell anyone because the suppliers wouldn’t be announced until the dinner was served. It all just added to the buzz.”

Shortly after receiving the samples, Ross Lewis confirmed that Glenilen had made the cut. For Valerie and Alan, it was a highpoint in generations of family farming. They went about assembling the order. Everything went to plan, until a crucial item was left behind.

“The products were to go up on the Friday before the dinner, and everything went up except the butter,” Valerie laughs. “Alan came into me on Saturday morning and said that the butter never went. He thought he was going to have to go all the way up to Dublin with it.

“Thankfully, my brother and sister-in-law had visitors down from Belfast, so we asked would they mind taking the samples up.

“Several phone calls and passwords had to be related, and I think the box even had to be opened to confirm the contents, but everything got delivered anyway.”

Glenilen Farm has come a long way since 1997, when Valerie began making cheesecakes for the local country market.

This year, the family won an annual contract worth €500,000 to supply Tesco UK with its homemade cheesecake, enabling them to hire more staff in the recession.

At the dinner in Dublin Castle, the Kingston’s milk and cream featured in a carageen set west Cork cream served with strawberries, fresh yoghurt mousse and soda bread sugar biscuits, and Irish apple balsamic vinegar meringue.

“I suppose it’s the honour of it,” Valerie reflects. “It puts our products and west Cork products on another plain. To be able to say they were fit for the queen … the menus are like gold dust but if we do manage to get a copy I’m going to frame it.”

Though the state dinner was assembled in a matter of weeks, and devoured in a matter of hours, the evening had been generations in the making for many of the producers.


Take McCarthy’s in Kanturk, the butchers that supplied the black pudding for the canapés.

Today, the business is run by Jack McCarthy and his son Tim, but their story goes back five generations to 1892, when a local baker swapped his dough hook for a meat cleaver.

As the story goes, the baker, Callahan McCarthy, was disappointed with the quality of meat available to him at the time, and vowed to do something about it. Almost 120 years later, McCarthy’s pudding had won a prestigious gold medal at La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin, and was served to Elizabeth II.

“Everything was hush-hush,” Jack McCarthy recalls.

“Tim made up a special batch of pudding the Saturday night before. I asked him what was in it, and he said it was the same base ingredients as always — local pork, dry-cure bacon, local onions and herbs, butter and cream from North Cork Co-op and Donal Creedon’s Macroom oatmeal.

“I asked him was there anything special added, and he said there was ‘a touch of Cork magic!’. I think he added a drop of Midleton whiskey! I can’t prove it though, because he won’t tell me.”

When he first heard the queen was coming to Ireland, McCarthy says, he was sceptical.

But the proof was in the pudding, and he sees the state dinner as a supreme vote of confidence in Irish produce and suppliers that are fast making a name for themselves on the international stage.

“We’ve got the water, the air, the grass and the environment,” McCarthy says. “It’s pristine. Why we’re being fed by foreigners I don’t know. We should be feeding the world.”

How Irish suppliers served up dishes deemed fit for a queen

The Menu

Cured salmon with Burren smoked salmon cream and lemon balm jelly, horseradish and wild watercress, Kilkenny organic cold pressed rapeseed oil

Rib of Slaney Valley Beef, ox cheek and tongue with smoked champ potato and fried spring cabbage, new season broad beans and carrots with pickled and wild garlic leaf

Carrageen set West Cork cream with Meath strawberries, fresh yoghurt mousse and soda bread sugar biscuits, Irish apple balsamic vinegar meringue

Irish Cheese Plate

Tea and Coffee

Château de Fieuzal, 2005, Graves Pessac-Léognan

Château Lynch-Bages, 1998, Pauillac

The suppliers

Smoked salmon — Birgitta Hedda-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare
Salmon — Clare Island organic salmon, Clare Island, Co Mayo
Lemon balm — Paul Flynn, The Tannery, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Organic cold-pressed rapeseed oil — Kitty Colchester, Drumeen Farms, Co Kilkenny
Wild watercress, cabbage, carrots, chive flower and garlic leaf — Denis Healy Farms, Co Wicklow.
Rib of beef — From a Co. Wexford farm, produced by Kettyle Irish Foods, Drumshaw, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh.
Ox cheek and tongue — M & K Butchers, Rathcoole, Co Dublin
Black pudding — McCarthy’s of Kanturk, Co Cork
Potatoes and spring onions — McNally family farm, Ring Common, Co Dublin
Butter, milk, cream and crème fraîche — Glenilen Farm, Drimoleague, Co Cork
Irish apple balsamic vinegar and apples — David Llewellyn, Llewellyn Orchard, Lusk, Co Dublin
Strawberries — Pat Clarke, Stamullen, Co Meath
Milk — Cleary family, Glenisk, Tullamore, Co Offaly
Dittys Irish oatmeal biscuits — Robert Ditty, Belfast
Stoneground wholemeal flour — Kells wholemeal, Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny
Buttermilk and butter — Cuinneog Ltd Balla, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Glebe Brethan cheese — produced by David Tiernan in Dunleer, Co Louth
Cashel Blue cheese — produced by the Grubb Family in Fethard, Co Tipperary
Milleens cheese — produced by the Steele Family in Milleens on the Beara Peninsula, Co Cork
Knockdrinna cheese — produced by Helen Finnegan in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny

Black Pudding with Pears Flambé and Rosemary Cinnamon Carrots


This recipe is from the blog of Chef Bryce Collins, born in Northern Ireland, and who lived in the United States most of his life, serving in the U.S. Navy for 7 years. He recently repatriated back to Ireland to produce a new Culinary Comedy Musical Series, – P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E.



Comice Pears, (One per dish), Not too ripe..
1 cup sugar
Star Anise
2 Lemons
Irish Butter
Baby Carrots (3 or 4 per dish)
Rosemary Chopped
Brown Sugar
Irish butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive oil
Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding {I used Kerry Style} – (If you’re close enough)
Parma Ham
Malt Vinegar
Garlic (Finely Chopped)
1. Core and peel pears, and let them dry out in Fridge uncovered for a day so that they will dry out a bit and not disintegrate in the pan
2. On a hot pan add the sugar and be sure to spread it out over the pan evenly so it won’t burn in the corners.
3. Add 3 dollops of Irish butter and mix so the sugar won’t separate.
4. Add pears, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Cardamon to the pan.
5. Coat pears with the mix and add rum to flambé. Then add 2/3 of the juice of the lemons to bring down the sweetness of the mixture.
6. Remove pears and strain, set aside, Reserve liquid in a separate bowl.
7. In a separate pan, blanch the carrots in water with rosemary and cinnamon until soft. This can be done up to one day before hand and stored covered in the fridge.
8. Let water reduce or (place a few splashes of water) in the hot pan.
9. Roll carrots around in the pan while sprinkling cinnamon, brown sugar, and a dollop of butter.
10. Continue searing carrots, occasionally adding the brown sugar and butter to taste…
11. Remove the carrots and set aside…
12. Dump the excess of the pan, but don’t clean pan.
13. Season pudding with Salt and pepper
14. Add Olive oil to the hot pan that had the carrots on it.
15. Sear Jack McCarthy’s Award winning Black Pudding, 45 seconds each side. Remove from pan and dab.
16. Wrap the pudding in parma ham and return to fire for an additional 45 second each side and remove and dab
17. Season the Roquette with Salt & Pepper to taste along with the rest of the lemon & a light sprinkle of malt vinegar, and minced garlic.
18. Place pears on the bottom of the plate, then Jack McCarthy’s Award winning Black Pudding, slice and dress the carrots around and the roquette on top.
19. With the remaining juice from the flambé lightly drizzle and serve!
Garnish with Star Anise if you wish…

Jack is named Local Food Hero by Irish Public

The Irish Restaurant Awards are an important event in the Irish food calendar. This year the Sunday Independent sponsored the award for the Local Food Hero. With tough competition in the category, Jack McCarthy was thrilled to be honoured with the award in recognition of his innovation and creativity, as well as his popularity with his customers.

Still reeling from being the creator of the Blackpudding served to Queen Elizabeth at the state banquet, Jack was blown away to receive another honor, this time voted by the Irish public.


FEATURE: Madeleine Keane on the Irish Restaurant Awards

Sunday Independent 29th May 2011
“The Local Food Hero for 2011, sponsored by Life Magazine and presented by Independent News and Media deputy MD Declan Carlyle, was Jack McCarthy, from McCarthy’s of Kanturk, who, judging by the rapturous reception, was an extremely popular winner.”
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