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Wicklow butcher wins National award for spiced beef

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Gerry Mitchell (centre), with son Cormac and colleague John Synnott at the shop in Kilcoole.

Gerry Mitchell (centre), with son Cormac and colleague John Synnott at the shop in Kilcoole.

Gerry Mitchell Butcher Kilcoole. Gerry with some of his award winning spiced beef.

Gerry Mitchell Butcher Kilcoole. Gerry with some of his award winning spiced beef.

Gerry Mitchell Butcher Kilcoole. Gerry with a bath of secret recipe brine in which he soaks the beef

Gerry Mitchell Butcher Kilcoole. Gerry with a bath of secret recipe brine in which he soaks the beef

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Gerry Mitchell (centre), with son Cormac and colleague John Synnott at the shop in Kilcoole.

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A Kilcoole butchers has scooped top prize at the National Spiced Beef Competition 2023.

Gerry Mitchell of Gerry Mitchell Butchers said he is thrilled with the win especially as it was the first time they had entered the competition.

Spiced beef is traditionally a Christmas dish which originated in Cork and can be found in Dublin too.

Gerry said: “We’re over the moon. I couldn’t believe it.

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“My sales are growing every year. We go through an awful lot, but this year I think we will break all records. Price-wise it’s about €16.50 a kilo."

The meat, which can be eaten hot or cold is coated in a unique blend of spice mixes.

Gerry said: I’ve been using that same recipe for 19 years, I haven’t changed it. I like it cold, and in sandwiches, it’s really nice like that. There are people who will sit down and have it as a dinner, but I don’t like it hot.”

He said the secret to cooking spiced beef to perfection is letting the meat cool once boiled.

“The whole secret is, you boil it, when it is cooked you leave it in the pot and let the water go tepid. Let it cool right down. If you take it out straight away, it goes hard as all the juice just flows out of it so leave it in until it cools right down, then take it out and wrap it in tin foil, it will be lovely and succulent.”

As part of the competition Gerry and his follow contestants presented two examples of their spice beef, one cooked and the other raw to food writer Leslie Williams and chef Frances Walsh who were judging the competition.

The competition which is organised by the Association of Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI) attracted 30 entrants this year.


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