Lakeland Dairies, dairy farming, soft climate, lush green grass.
Killeshandra Dairy Co-Op Co. Cavan, founded in 1897
- 100g (3½ oz) Flahavan’s Organic Porridge Oats,
- 100g (3½ oz) plain flour
- 50g (2oz) lard or butter, diced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3-4 tbsp. cold water
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 220g (8oz) Camembert in a wooden box, at room temperature
- 1 small garlic clove, cut into wafer-thin slices
- 1/2 tsp. thyme sprigs
- crab apple jelly
- freshly ground black pepper
- Mix the oats and flour in a bowl. Rub in the lard or butter, then add the salt and enough cold water to form a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough thinly on a flour dusted work surface.
- Cut out circles with a 6cm (2½ in) straight-sided cutter. This should make about 20 in total.
- Beat together the egg and milk to form a glaze.
- Place a batch of the oatcakes in a large frying pan at a medium heat.
- Immediately brush the tops of the oatcakes in the pan with glaze – it will turn to a shiny coating as they cook. Cook for about 20 minutes turning after about 15min.
- They can also be baked with the tops glazed in the oven for 12-14 minutes at 180˚C (350°F/Gas mark 4).
- Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F/Gas mark 6).
- Remove all the plastic wrapping from the cheese and replace it in the bottom of its wooden box after lining it with parchment paper.
- Using a small sharp knife make small slashes all over the top of the cheese.
- Push one of garlic slices into each cut, followed by a thyme sprig and then add a small teaspoon of the crab apple jelly and grind over with black pepper.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has slightly melted.
- Serve with the oatcakes and crab apple jelly.
This is a very filling soup that is actually a recipe of my mum’s that we have been making on and off in the restaurant for years. Use the very best quality fish and shellfish for the best flavour
- 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tblsp butter, softened
- 2 large potatoes, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 small onion, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 carrot, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1/2 small leek, cut into 1cm (1/2in) dice
- 1 tblsp plain flour
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
- 300 ml (1/2 pint) fish stock (page 254)
- 100 g (4oz) skinless salmon fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) smoked coley fillet, cut into cubes
- 100 g (4oz) cooked mussel meat
- 100 g (4oz) cooked peeled prawns
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) cream
- 1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tblsp parsley oil (page 250), to garnish
- fresh micro salad, to garnish
- makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
- 250 g (9oz) white fish trimmings and/or bones (such as lemon sole, brill or plaice bones)
- 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 175 ml (6fl oz) dry white wine
- 100 g (4oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) rapeseed oil
- sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, tip in the potatoes, onion, carrot and leek and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the flour and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
- Gradually pour the wine into the pan and allow it to bubble down, stirring continuously. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon and coley and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mussel meat, prawns and cream and simmer for another 2–3 minutes, until warmed through. Stir in the herbs and season to taste.
- To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish each one with the parsley oil and micro salad.
- Rinse the fish bones and trimmings of any blood, which would make the stock look cloudy and taste bitter. Place into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot with the leeks, carrots, fennel and parsley.
- Pour in the white wine, then add 2.4 litres (4 pints) cold water to cover the fish and vegetables. Place on a high heat and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, skimming as necessary.
- At the end of the cooking time, remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the fish trimmings and the vegetables. Cool and store in a plastic covered jug in the fridge and use as required.
- Pick the leaves from the parsley and place in a mini blender, discarding the stalks. Add the rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and blend for 5 minutes, until completely smooth.
- Pass the parsley mixture through a fine sieve into a jug and then transfer to a squeezy bottle. Use as required.
Neven’s tips: This soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Just be careful when reheating not to allow it to come to the boil or the fish will lose its texture. Splash out on a rosé Champagne, rosé Cava or a ripe Chardonnay from Macon in Burgundy.
This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire’s The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.
I love this time of year. Conor and Lucia have made their pumpkin lanterns and I never let anything go to waste. I make soup with the flesh that they have scraped out – which is also good with pasta. Sage is a herb that tastes particularly well with pumpkin.
This is a recipe that you could use any time of the year with butternut squash or with sweet potatoes instead of the pumpkin.
I mentioned recently how many butchers are making their own sausages and here is another chance to try some out. With colcannon, this makes a very tasty meal.
Colcannon is also delicious with any grilled meat or with Sunday lunch. I often use this onion gravy with roast meats or pork chops. Allowing it to carmelise adds great depth of flavour.
Penne with pumpkin, crispy bacon, sage and Parmesan
Serves four to six
4 tbsp olive oil
175g (175g) smoked streaky bacon lardons
500g (1¼lb) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and finely diced
15g (½oz) packet fresh sage, finely shredded
500g (1¼lb) penne pasta
50g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to garnish
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Heat the oil a large frying pan and fry the bacon for two to three minutes until crisp. Add the pumpkin with the sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is cooked through.
- 2 Cook the penne according to the packet instructions, then drain and add to the pumpkin with the crispy bacon. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste, then divide among bowls.
- 3 Garnish with extra Parmesan and black pepper.
Sausages with colcannon
Serves eight to 10
1.5kg (3lb) floury potatoes (such as Rooster), peeled and cut into chunks
8 traditional jumbo Irish pork sausages
225g (8oz) kale, finely shredded
2 scallions, very finely chopped
120ml (4fl oz) milk
75g (3oz) butter
Salt and pepper
Stout onion gravy, to serve (optional, see point 3)
- 1 Steam the potatoes until tender. Cook the sausages in a frying pan in a little oil or under the grill. Place a knob of the butter and a tablespoon of water in a pan over a high heat. Add the kale and scallions with a pinch of salt. Cover, shake vigorously and cook for 1½ minutes. Shake again and cook for another 1½ minutes, until the cabbage or kale is tender but still crisp.
- 2 Heat the milk in a small pan or in the microwave. Mash the potatoes and then beat in the butter with enough of the milk to make a smooth, creamy mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the sausages and some gravy, if liked.
- 3 Stout onion gravy: sauté thinly sliced onions in butter and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with a little sugar to caramelise. Stir in a spoonful of flour and then pour in enough Guinness or beef stock from a cube to make a thick smooth gravy.