The great Irish menu... Ireland's top chefs share their recipes
12 of Ireland's top chefs share their take on the nation's favourite recipes with us
"At Ballymaloe, our free-range pork and bacon comes from Woodside Farm, Mary O'Regan supplies the organic chickens and ducks and we use Macroom oatmeal.
Darina Allen's Roscommon rhubarb pie
"This dish is a perfect example of the way in which recipes originally cooked on an open fire can be adapted to produce the most delicious results today. Anna Dodd, who gave it to me, remembers how her grandmother would strew the bastible with chopped rhubarb, sweeten it with a sprinkling of sugar and cover it with an enriched bread dough. When the cake was baked, it was turned out so that it landed upside down, with the sweet juice soaking into the soft, golden crust. It was served warm, with soft brown sugar and lots of softly whipped cream."
900g (2lbs) red rhubarb
255-285g (9-10oz) granulated sugar
310g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
20g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
175ml whole milk
Soft brown sugar
Softly whipped cream
23 x 5cm (9 x 2in) round tin - we use a heavy stainless-steel sauté pan which works very well
Preheat the oven to 230ºC/450º/gas mark 8.
Trim the rhubarb, wipe with a damp cloth and cut into pieces about 2.5cm (1in) in length. Put into the base of your tin or sauté pan and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Sift all the dry ingredients for the scone dough into a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Whisk the egg with the milk.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid all at once and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a floured board and roll into a 23cm round, about 2.5cm thick. Place this round on top of the rhubarb and tuck in the edges neatly. Bake in the fully preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 for about a further 30 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden and the rhubarb soft and juicy.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Put a warm plate over the top of the sauté pan and turn it upside down so that the pie comes out onto the plate. Be careful of the hot juices, they will be absorbed by the pie.
Serve warm with soft brown sugar and cream.
Oliver Dunne's roast fillet of Clare Island salmon with colcannon gnocchi
"This dish is very much seasonal and was a top seller at Bon Appetit when it featured on the menu. It's the type of food I enjoy eating and we have always had great feedback from our customers. I think it's important to buy local produce as it helps the economy and my local suppliers include: Kerrigans butchers in Malahide, Wrights of Marino and Keelings."
½ tsp salt
700g dry mashed potatoes
1 small beaten egg
2 spring onions
100g shredded cooked cabbage
4 x 150g fillets of Clare Island salmon
400ml fish stock
Juice of half a lemon
300g fresh peas - cooked
2 sliced spring onions
150g finely diced cured salmon
50g chopped dill and chives
4 x poached eggs
Method for gnocchi
To make the gnocchi, mix the flour, salt and potatoes together until incorporated. Add the egg, mix through, adding the spring onions and cabbage.
On a lightly floured bench, roll out the gnocchi into a long sausage-shaped cylinder approximately 1in (2.5cm) in diameter.
Allow to rest and cut into 1in-pieces. Blanch in boiling salted water until the gnocchi rises to the surface.
With a slotted spoon, remove from the water and add to a pot of cool water to stop it from cooking. Remove from the water and put on an oiled tray until ready to use.
Method for fish
Cook the fillets of salmon skin side down in a heat-proof frying pan on a medium heat until the skin becomes crispy. Place in a preheated oven at 190°C for 4 minutes until cooked to pink.
For the sauce, reduce 400ml of fish stock to 200ml. Add the cream and simmer for 3 minutes.
Using a stick blender, blend in the butter and lemon juice.
Add the gnocchi, peas, spring onions, cured salmon and finally herbs to the sauce and heat through. Check seasoning and spoon mixture into bowls.
Reheat the poached eggs and place in the centre of each bowl. Remove the salmon from the oven and place on top of the poached egg and serve.
Catherine Fulvio's walnut bread
"We have walnut trees here at Ballyknocken - planted by my grandmother - so, I am always on the lookout for interesting ways to use the nuts which are so delicious. This bread tastes amazing with Wicklow Gold nettle and chive cheddar and the 'Spice of Life' apple chutney from The Birds and the Teas - both Co Wicklow products.
"But don't worry if you haven't access to walnuts, people can forage the wild for hazelnuts or shop-bought is perfectly fine too. This bread is borderline sweet/savoury, so it works as well with cheese as it does with a strong coffee. You could prepare the praline the day before and leave it in a dry place if you wish."
To activate the yeast
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
300ml warm water
For the dough
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp walnut oil
300g '00' flour, sifted
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
100g plain flour, sifted
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp water)
For the walnut praline
100g caster sugar
Place the honey, yeast and warm water in the warmed bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook and let it stand for 10 minutes. When the yeast is frothy, it's ready to use.
Stir in the olive and walnut oils. Add the '00' flour, walnuts and salt, followed by enough of the plain flour to form a soft, moist dough, adding a little more flour or warm water if necessary. Knead for 4-5 minutes.
Brush a large bowl with olive oil to prove the dough in.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This will take about 2 hours, but it may take a little longer. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
To shape the loaf, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface but do not knead. Gently flatten it with your hand, roll the ends in and loosely roll up the side.
Place the dough into the lined loaf tin and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
Leave to rise again in a warm place for another hour, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, to make the praline, line a small baking tray with baking parchment.
Lightly toast the walnuts at 180°C for 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them though, as they burn quickly.
To make the caramel, melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until it's amber in colour - then tip the walnuts into the saucepan and then pour everything out on to the lined tray.
Leave to cool and break the praline into shards when required.
Raise the oven temperature to 200°C. Brush a little egg wash over the loaf before baking. Bake for 12 minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°C for a further 35 minutes.
Check that the loaf is cooked by slipping it out of the tin and tapping the base - if it sounds hollow, it's done.
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When ready to serve, place shards of praline over the top of the loaf.
Kevin Dundon's lollipop pork with honey, apple and cider reduction
We often reminisce about the wonderful cuisine we enjoyed while on holiday abroad, but how many of us stop to think about the incredible ingredients we have on our doorstep and the fabulous recipes which have been part of our heritage for centuries?
We asked 12 of Ireland's top chefs to share their favourite traditional recipes (some hark back to their grandmothers' day, whilst others come with a modern twist), and also to tell us which local ingredients they are never without.
"Something I strongly believe in is eating seasonal, locally-sourced produce as much as possible. This ethos not only reflects in what we serve in our restaurant but also what we cook at home.
"I use Caherbeg free-range pork in my recipe as it's produced to the highest standards, it's 100pc Irish produce and it's a sure recipe for success every time. Pork is an incredibly versatile meat, providing great flavour and texture. The meat is so tender that any fresh cut is suitable for roasting, grilling or pan frying."
Ingredients: Lollipop Pork
4 rib pork rack - top bone left in with skin attached
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp rock salt
3 shallots, halved
1 carrot, halved
600ml cider (300ml + 300ml)
2 apples, peeled and diced
100ml chicken stock, warmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas mark 9.
Score the fat on the pork in a criss-cross pattern with a very sharp knife. Drizzle with a little sunflower oil and rub with the rock salt. Place the shallots and carrots into a roasting tray and place the pork joint, then pour half of the cider around. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 180°C. Roast the pork for a further 1 hour or so, allowing 60 to 70 minutes per kilo.
Meanwhile, over a medium heat, sauté the apple in a pan with butter for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly caramelised. Add in the honey, 300ml of cider, chicken stock, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon.
Carve the roast and serve with colcannon mash and a drizzle of the cider reduction.
Ingredients: WEXFORD COLCANNON
6-8 large potatoes, peeled
1 parsnip, chopped into uniform pieces
2 carrots, chopped
½ head cabbage
Salt and pepper to season
4-6 spring onions, sliced
Place the potatoes and vegetables into a colander over hot water, or into a steamer and steam until the vegetables have all softened, this will take approximately 45 minutes.
Place the vegetables into a bowl and mash them all together adding the buttermilk and butter.
Season with some salt and pepper.
Serve with a knob of butter on top and sprinkle with some sliced spring onions.
Neven Maguire Irish stew
"I never tire of a bowl of steaming hot stew and it's the little attention to detail that makes this dish one of the world's great classics. This is my version that I have developed over the years. Of course it's a meal in itself, but for a special celebration, try serving it buffet style with steaming hot bowls of turnip mash, colcannon, and glazed parsnips and carrots, and watch your guests' faces light up.
"We grow our own vegetables in the garden behind the restaurant and some of the local suppliers I like to use are Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Country Crest and Thornhill Duck Farm."
900g boneless lamb neck, trimmed and cut into cubes
225g potatoes, cut into chunks
225g carrots, thickly sliced
225g leeks, well trimmed and thickly sliced
225g baby pearl onions, peeled
100g rindless piece smoked bacon, diced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
For the lamb stock
450g lamb bones
1 carrot, cut into cubes
1 onion, sliced
2 whole peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (bundle of herbs tied together with string)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
To make the stock, place the lamb bones in a large pan with the carrot, onion, peppercorns and bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours until you have achieved a good flavour.
Leave to cool, then skim off any scum and/or fat and strain into a large jug.
Cover with cling film and chill until needed.
Place the boneless lamb pieces in a clean, large heavy-based pan and pour over the reserved stock.
Bring to the boil, and then skim off any scum from the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes until slightly reduced and the lamb is almost tender.
Add the potatoes to the lamb with the carrots, leeks, baby pearl onions, smoked bacon and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lamb and vegetables are completely tender but still holding their shape.
Season to taste.
Transfer the stew into a warmed casserole dish and scatter over the parsley.
Serve with dishes of vegetables on the side, for example, turnip mash, glazed parsnips and carrots and colcannon and allow everyone to help themselves.
Kevin Thornton's bacon and cabbage terrine
"I chose this recipe because one of my earliest memories from childhood is eating boiled bacon, savoy cabbage and floury potatoes at my grandmother's house. She would use the collar of the bacon, which she would have bought from the local butcher and soaked overnight in cold water to remove the excess salt.
"Despite what people may think, it can be difficult to get really good quality bacon in Ireland. The bacon we use for this terrine comes from Gubbeen Farmhouse near Schull in West Cork. Best known for their cheese and smokehouse products, the Ferguson family prides themselves on creating a pleasant environment for their livestock and, as a result, producing top quality produce."
1 collar of bacon about 2kg
2 onions, peeled and left whole
1 whole carrot, peeled
1 small head of celery
1 clove of peeled garlic
1 small bunch of thyme
1 bay leaf
Steep the bacon overnight in cold water.
Rinse under the cold tap, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil in a covered pot.
Strain the water off and refresh the bacon by running again under cold water. Cover with fresh water, then add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and bring to the boil again.
Reduce heat and simmer for two hours, making sure to top up the water every 15 minutes.
You can tell when the bacon is cooked for terrine use when it pierces easily with a fork so that the meat just about holds together.
Remove the contents, place them in a stainless steel bowl and allow them to rest in the fridge overnight.
The carrot is for flavour only; the onion and celery will be puréed and used later for plate garnish.
2 heads Savoy cabbage
30g unsalted butter
Freshly milled white pepper
Fine sea salt (to taste)
Small bunch of chives (finely chopped)
Cooking oil (for lining the mould)
Method Remove eight to 10 good quality outer leaves from the cabbages. Wash, then blanch these leaves for two to three minutes, then refresh by running under cold water. Set aside for lining the terrine mould in a clean kitchen linen cloth.
Cut the remaining cabbage head in half, remove the stalk and shred the cabbage finely. Wash the shredded cabbage under cold running tap.
Dice the shallots. Add butter to a heated pot and cook the shallots for about one minute without colouring.
Add the cabbage, season with pepper and reduce the heat. Cook for a further two to three minutes.
Add enough bacon stock to just barely cover the cabbage and cook under a medium heat for a further 10 minutes. (The bacon stock is the liquid the bacon was cooked in and refrigerated overnight.) When the liquid has evaporated, the cabbage should be cooked.
Taste the cabbage and correct the seasoning.
Allow to cool then add the chives and mix. Taste again.
Assembling the Terrine
Ideally use a terrine mould or, alternatively, a bread tin. Brush the mould with oil then line tightly with cling film, ensuring the cling film overhangs the mould.
Season the cabbage leaves.
Line the moulds with the leaves, making sure the leaves overhang the mould. Layer the shredded cabbage - about 2cm - and use the back of a spoon to press it down.
Cut the bacon into slices of about 2cm thick then layer it over the cabbage.
Repeat the layering of cabbage and bacon to the top of the mould. The shredded cabbage should be the last layer and should reach just over the top of the mould.
Fold over the cabbage leaves and add the remainder if necessary to completely cover the top of the mould. Fold over the cling film tightly.
The terrine mould needs to be weighted on top to press the terrine into shape. Use a piece of cardboard cut to the shape of the mould top and covered with tin foil - this will act as a cover for the mould. Then put a plate on top of the stencil and place a heavy pot on top. A few kilos of sugar can be used as weights. Rest in the fridge overnight.
Plating the Terrine
Purée the celery and onion by removing them from the stock, roughly chopping them and cooking them over a low heat to dry them out slightly.
Purée in a blender, remove and pass through a fine sieve. Correct the seasoning. Remove the terrine from the mould, leaving the cling film on. Slice thinly with a carving knife and remove the cling film from the individual slices.
Lilly Higgins' rustic apple and chia tarts
"Everyone loves a nice apple tart and these little individual rustic tarts are easy to make and delicious. It's up to us to choose and support local producers. Here in Cork I'm spoilt for choice with so many fantastic farmers' markets on my doorstep.
"Midleton market has The Little Irish Apple Company with huge bags of Irish-grown apples, juices and honey. I get the chia seeds from Waterford-based Chia Bia. Ann Aherne in Midleton Market sells gorgeous brown-speckled organic eggs with ochre yolks. There are so many gorgeous butters available now but I really like Glenilen Farm's butter logs and get them at Mahon Point market in Cork on a Thursday."
125g plain flour
125g wholemeal spelt flour
30g icing sugar
150g cold butter, diced
1 egg, gently beaten
800g or 3 large cooking apples
2 tbsp whole chia seeds
100g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Egg wash for inside and out
Extra caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment, and place the flours and icing sugar into a large bowl, stir to combine. Add the finely cubed cold butter and, using your fingers blend the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine sand. Create a hollow in the centre and pour in the egg.
Mix with a round bladed knife until it just comes together. Tip on to a flour surface and gently pat into a flat disc. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest.
Alternatively, the pastry can be made in a food processor.
To prepare the filling, peel the apples and remove the core. Slice as thinly as possible, preferably using a mandolin.
Place the apple slices in a large bowl and scatter over the chia seeds, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
Mix well so each apple slice is coated in the sweet-spiced juices and set aside.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide evenly into six.
Roll each piece into a circle the size of a side plate. It's fine if the circle isn't perfect.
Brush the pastry disc with egg wash to seal the inside and prevent too much of the juice leaking out.
Place two heaped tablespoons of the apple mixture into the centre of the disc.
Gather up the pastry edges and pinch closed.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar. Repeat with the remaining pastry.
Place the tarts on the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden and the apple mixture bubbling.
Leave to cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes to prevent the pastry from crumbling.
Serve with freshly-whipped cream.
Mark Moriarty's roast pheasant with Brussels sprouts, bacon cream and game crisps
"This dish is a modern take on the classic garnish for a roasted game bird - the sprouts and bacon are designed to play on the flavours of bacon and cabbage. I chose this recipe because, to me, it is uniquely Irish and presents classic flavours in an innovative way.
"This dish relies on the focused sourcing of local high quality produce, as the flavours are simple and need to have an impact. I source pheasant, when in season, from a specialist butcher such as Buckley's of Moore Street."
1 whole bird weighing around 850g
Roast the bird skin-side down in a heavy pan until golden.
Turn over and add a knob of butter and some garlic. Place back in the oven at 140°C and cook for 20 minutes, remove and rest before carving.
Ingredients: SPROUT PUREE
3 chopped shallots
200ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
500ml apple juice
500g chopped sprouts
Sweat the shallots until soft. Add white wine, reduce. Add stock, reduce. Add apple juice, reduce.
Blanch the sprouts in water for two minutes until soft, refresh in ice.
Add the cold sprouts to the reduction and heat gently. Place in a mixer and blend, season, then serve.
Ingredients: BACON CREAM
3 shallots, chopped
200g smoked pork belly
200ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
Sweat the shallots in a saucepan. Add the bacon and allow to sweat without colouring.
Add white wine, reduce. Add chicken stock, reduce.
Add the cream, reduce slightly and allow to infuse.
2 large rooster potatoes
Slice the potato thinly on a mandolin, cut out perfect circles using a 1in-cutter. Line the circles up on a non-stick pan, evenly spaced and graded. Put the oil in the pan and cook gently over a medium heat until golden brown, remove, season and dry.
Flash in a hot oven before serving.
Paul Flynn's warm salad of Cashel blue, almonds and apple
"This is a salad you would be happy to eat on a cold winter's day, with big hearty flavours. I chose the recipe simply because of the time of year and the miserable weather, that's how I cook - it's pure comfort food that resonates of Ireland. The suppliers I use regularly are: Burren smoked salmon, Little Milk Company, Ummera smoked chicken, Dungarvan Brewing Company, Caherbeg free-range pork, Comeragh Mountain Lamb and Ardsallagh goats' cheese."
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 apples, cored, each cut into 12
2 handfuls baby spinach or frisée lettuce, washed
250g Cashel blue, broken into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp whole blanched almonds - or nuts native to your locality such as hazelnuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil and butter in a good, heavy frying pan until foaming.
Add the onion and apples, turning them when they start to colour.
Meanwhile, arrange the spinach or lettuce on four plates, dotting the cheese around.
Add the nuts to the onion pan, sprinkle over the sugar and shake the pan to coat everything evenly.
Cook for a further two minutes, then pour in the vinegar and allow to bubble a little.
When the apple is soft and golden, season well, spoon the mixture on to the prepared plates, dressing with the juices from the pan, and serve immediately.
Derry Clarke's Irish bread and butter pudding
"The beauty about this recipe is that you may use fresh or almost fresh bread - so nothing goes to waste and it tastes delicious at the same time. Also, Irish bread and butter pudding is a very familiar dish which everyone can do successfully. I strongly feel that you must support locals and artisan producers, and the suppliers I use regularly are M&K Meats, Grazerfield, and Wild Irish Game."
8 slices white bread
50g butter (more if required)
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon
450ml of full-fat milk
50g granulated sugar
Remove the crusts from the bread. Butter each slice on one side only and cut into triangles. Use some of the butter to grease an oven-proof dish.
Cover the base of the dish with one layer of bread triangles keeping the buttered side down.
Sprinkle some of the sultanas on the bread with a little nutmeg or cinnamon.
Repeat with another layer of bread, sultanas and spice, finishing with a layer of bread with the buttered side up.
Beat the eggs with the milk and sugar and pour over the bread layers.
Let it sit for half an hour so that the bread soaks up the liquid.
Bake at 180°C/ 350°F/ gas 4 for about half an hour or until golden and puffy.
Eat on its own straight from the oven.
Richard Corrigan's nettle broth with horseradish and scallops
"This dish combines simple and plentiful ingredients which make for a nourishing and easy-to-cook meal - the perfect cure after a day of St Patrick's Day celebrations. Suppliers I recommend are Kelly's Oysters, Burren Salmon, and Sheridan's Cheese."
2 litres water
Salt and pepper
25g of butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
500g of nettles, young
100g of fresh horseradish, finely grated
250g of crème fraîche
Lemon juice to taste
8 scallops, corals removed
Add the water to a pan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a separate pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft
Add the nettles to the boiling water and blanch for approximately 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the water and add to the pan with the onions and garlic, then pour in 500ml of the nettle cooking water and remove from the heat. Pour into a blender and blitz until vivid green but still slightly lumpy, adding a splash more nettle cooking water if needed. Season to taste and set over a low heat to warm through.
In a bowl, stir together the horseradish and crème fraîche and add salt and lemon juice to taste. Set aside until needed.
Thinly slice the scallops using a very sharp knife.
Divide the soup between bowls and lay a ring of the raw scallops on the surface, sprinkling over salt and pepper.
Add a spoonful of the horseradish crème fraîche in the middle of the scallops and serve immediately.
Myrtle Allen's Carrageen Moss Pudding
"Many people have less than fond memories of carrageen moss, partly because so many recipes call for far too much of it. It is a very strong natural gelatine so the trick is to use little enough. Carrageen Moss is served at least once a week at Ballymaloe House."
8g cleaned, well-dried carrageen moss (1 semi-closed fistful)
900ml (1½ pints) milk
1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, preferably free-range
1 tbsp caster sugar
Soft brown sugar and cream, or poached rhubarb.
Soak the carrageen in tepid water for 10 minutes. Strain off the water and put the carrageen into a saucepan with the milk and vanilla pod, if using.
Bring to the boil and simmer very gently with the lid on for 20 minutes. At that point, and not before, separate the egg and put the yolk into a bowl.
Add the sugar and vanilla extract (if you are using it) and whisk together for a few seconds.
Pour the milk and carrageen through a strainer on to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time.
The carrageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly. Rub all this jelly through the strainer and beat it into the liquid.
Test for a set in a cold saucer: put it in the fridge and it should set in a couple of minutes.
Rub a little more through the strainer if necessary.
Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form and fold it in gently; it will rise to make a fluffy top. Leave to cool.
Serve chilled with soft brown sugar and cream, or with poached rhubarb or a poached fruit compote in season.