We’re going to keep this intro short because I’m drooling so much that I may damage the keyboard.
Traditional Irish Recipes are the kind of munchables that send our tummies into grumble overdrive. The following recipes for success; Potato Bread, Roast Beef and White Wine Steamed Mussels have the whole office crowded around my desk. All of the recipes here come from the wonderful historical abodes that make up Hidden Ireland and we couldn’t think of nicer places to eat nicer food. Of course when I say eat I mean scoff and munch like some sort of feral animal.
Right, where’s that napkin…
Potato Bread from Hilton Park in County Monaghan
Ever heard of a multi-tasking house? Well, meet Hilton Park in County Monaghan. As well as making all the other houses jealous, this pile of perfection hosts literary weekends (an event last March welcomed the literary genius of Pat McCabe) as well as cookery courses.
This piece of their culinary legacy from owner Fred Madden is his mother’s wondrous Potato Bread Recipe.
Lucy Madden’s Potato Bread Recipe
700g potatoes, peeled
700g plain flour
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 sachets (approx 50g) active dry yeast
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of water
Boil the potatoes and then put them through a sieve and allow to cool. Sift the flour with the ginger and then mix with the potato. Sprinkle in the yeast and then rub in the butter. Add the sugar, the eggs, the salt and the water and knead until a silky elasticity is achieved. Put in a clean bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave until the mixture has doubled in size.
Punch down the mixture and then knead again briefly. Place the dough in a greased round cake tin and leave to prove again until the dough reaches the top of the tin. Cook at gas mark 7 /425F/220ºC for about 40 minutes watching that the top doesn’t burn – you may need to turn down the heat after twenty minutes or so. Turn out and while still warm, sprinkle with icing sugar and eat.
Roast Rib of McGrath’s Beef With Roast Potatoes and Buttered Leeks
Ballyvolane House rather stole my heart the first time I set eyes on it and the same must be said for the recipe we’ve wrangled from their foodie-loving owners, Justin and Jenny Green. This Roast Beef dish is, we imagine, best munched after an early morning spent fishing on the six miles of the Blackwater River, privately-owned by the house.
Roast Rib of Beef Recipe
8lb rib of well-hung Hereford beef on the bone. (Ask your butcher to saw through the chine bone for easier carving)
12 Irish rooster potatoes
2 large garden leeks
For the beef, pre-heat oven to 220ºC/gas 6.
Rub olive oil lightly into beef and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 160ºC/gas 3 for 1 hour. Allow beef to rest for 20 minutes before serving. Wrap in foil to keep hot.
For the roast potatoes, wash, peel, chop potatoes into evenly sized pieces. Place in roasting tray and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and bake for 1 hour.
Wash and chop leeks at an angle and place in saucepan. Put 4oz butter and 4 tbsp water with the leeks. Cover with a lid, cook for 5 minutes. Strain, then season with salt and pepper.
Serve with Bernaise Sauce.
Steamed North Sea Mussels from Tyrella House in County Down
Inside this house of outstanding beauty, located in an area of outstanding beauty by the Mountains of Mourne, lives a man who is capable of creating food of outstanding beauty. Oh, and it’s tasty, too. The food that is, we haven’t tasted the mountains. Lord of this particular manor and his kitchen is David Corbett and we have him to thank for our final recipe. This one’ll give you hair on your chest and ‘mussels’ on your arms! I’ll get my coat…
Steamed North Sea Mussels
20cl white wine
pepper, thyme, parsley and bay leaf for seasoning
Clean mussels (removing the ‘beard’).
Chop the onion and let it melt slowly in hot butter in a large heavy pan.
Add mussels, the white wine, pepper and herbs.
Stir well and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring the pan from time to time so the mussels reach the bottom of the pan and open.
Once all the mussels are open, remove from the pan and keep in a warming oven.
Let the juices rest for 5 minutes and then pour slowly (through a strainer) over the mussels.
My final word? Nomnomnnomnomnomnomnomnomnomnom…