When I saw the topic on the Irish Foodie Cookalongs facebook page I immediately thought it a great way to write about my local butcher.
I drove along through the villages of Stillorgan, Blackrock, Monkstown and passed Dun Laoghaire harbour to end up in the bustling, yet relaxed village of Glasthule, where Tom has his, therefore, Irish owned, butcher’s shop to get my meat.
Passing by Monkstown Dart Station, with the sun beaming, I was tempted to stop and enjoy the beautiful sight of blue sea and skies, but I was on a mission. My Irish beef burgers had to be made and photos taken.
By the way all that area is great for walks and one of the best places to park is in the DART station car park.
Getting the ingredients:
Tom and myself love chatting about food, he’s an expert on meat, plus lots more, helping me out many a time with different cuts of meat to impress my friends. Up to now they think it’s all down to me so about time he got some credit. When I run through the ingredients for a dish he will give suggestions and cut up the meat suggested to the required size, little bite sized pieces whatever. If he thinks another cut of meat would work better I’ll run with that. Over the years we’ve built up a trust and I know that my get togethers will be enjoyed.
Also if you’re lucky enough to be there when there are four or more of us with Tom the discussion gets really intense. You’ll walk out with a list of exceptional Irish restuarants, cafes, farm shops, accommodation etc around the country that are a must try. It’s not just Tom’s word but the customers have been everywhere so you are getting the inside story on the best of places to go.
To cut a long story short the beef burgers didn’t make the cut. We started talking about food and once we got through the ingredients in his shop I had the Awesome Beef Stew Herb Mix, cubed beef and pork. The herb mix decided my dish really and I worked around that. I had the remaining ingredients at home so hurried back to get started.
Prepping and Changing the Ingredients:
Most of the hard chopping work has been taken care of with the herb mix and Tom cubing my meat. All I had to do was chop up a few vegetables, onion and just get cooking.
Also instead of using flour I used Chia Seeds pre-soaked in 225ml of water. It’s a tip Georgina from my local health shop in Blackrock gave me. Chia Seeds are packed with fibre, protein, omega 3 and lots more good stuff . Georgina suggested soaking the seeds in 225ml of water overnight and next morning you wil have a jelly-like mixture. Add to your stock or water to be added to stews, casseroles and the like. However as I was in a rush instead of soaking overnight I used just 225ml of boiled water and let them soak for 2 hours. They did turn into jelly-like mixture and did give a thickness to the stew.
The herb mix has a recipe suggestion on the back of the pack but I changed it around. The ingredient list included beef, oil, salt, pepper, water, treacle, red wine, flour, onion, potatoes, carrots and parsnips. As you can see below I changed a few of the ingredients. The exclusion of the flour opens the recipe up to people who don’t, for whatever reason, use flour. After my changes were made I then just followed the instructions on the pack.
300g Wexford rump of beef, cubed
300g Carlow pork, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
500g potato, cut into chunks
200g carrots, cut into chunks
200g turnip, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds, soaked as outlined above
125 ml red wine
1 packet Kylemore Acres Ltd awesome beef stew mix
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Salt and pepper
The Work Part!
Two hours before you start soak 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds in 225ml of hot water for 2 hours. Before using give them a quick stir. You will be placing them into the water later to make up one litre of liquid.
Fry the meat with the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the vegetables and onion and fry for another 5 minutes.
Keep stirring regularly when frying all the above to ensure they do not stick to the base of the pan.
Mix the chia seeds with the water or stock and wine and add to the saucepan.
Add in the herb mix and agave syrup.
Give a quick stir to mix around the ingredients.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes with, as suggested on the herb mix, the lid on but slightly ajar.
Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Leave to rest for a few minutes and then serve.
I used it as is with no additional sides.
It’s a fairly filling meal and had a fantastic flavour.
This is about as local and Irish as I can get without travelling all around the country to get great quality meats etc. Tom my local butcher’s meat is from farmers based in Carlow (pork), Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Carlow, (beef and lamb) and his chickens come from Wexford, Cavan and Monaghan. He sources may other products including a slimmer’s choice of meat and chicken and turkey which is extra lean. He has herbal teas, gluten-free ranges, dairy-free ice creams, free-from pastas and of course a range of herb mixes. He will also source anything you are looking for if it can be found, at a reasonable price of course.
His shop also has a range of healthy free-from meals. One great asset with this shop is Tom himself and the knowledge and friendliness he exudes. Well worth a visit and if you’re in the mood for a chat you may just be lucky to catch a group of us foodies sharing recipes and more.
All in all I may be stuck in a big city but with the likes of bustling sleepy villages around allow me to have the very best of Irish produce at my door. The humble butcher no longer just does meat.
Tom details are as follows:
O’Connor Master Butchers
1B Glasthule Road
Tom’s Facebook page