Tag Archives: Lamb and mutton

Thinking about Meat

It’s a really strange thing I’ve noticed but most meat eaters don’t really think about the meat they eat terribly much, in fact from talking to vegetarians I know and have known over the years it is clear to me that they actually think more about the meat us meat eaters eat than most of us do.

For a lot of us the most we think about meat is will I have beef, lamb, chicken or pork for my lunch/dinner? Most of us make our way around the supermarket and pick up our nice pre-packaged cuts without ever wondering how long it is since this mooed/clucked/snorted etc. Really how many of us actually look closely at the cut before we put it in our trolley and take it home? How many of us even look at the label to see where it came from?

It’s a bit crazy especially when you come to realise that one of the key differences in the meals you eat at home and the meals you eat in a restaurant is the quality of the ingredients. Not all meat is created equal, just like some cuts taste better than others some animals just taste better. This is usually in my experience to do with the way they are reared and the way that they are butchered.

A well butchered cut of meat can make an impact as dramatic to a meal as the addition of seasoning and sometimes even more so. That’s why I’m constantly on the search for a better butcher. Every so often I try a new butcher and for a while I find good value or better cuts but then almost as soon as I get comfortable with a butcher, the quality or value or both just start to drop off, so I end up varying which butcher I use just to keep them on their toes.

The Market Butcher
The Market Butcher

When we visited Taste of Dublin, one of the many brochures that I picked up at the event was one for The Market Butcher it was only later I realised that their shop is just up the road from me, so I popped in one day and picked up some steaks for dinner, let’s just say that they were among the finest I have ever tasted.

Since then, I’ve been a regular customer and I’ve seen no difference in quality, every cut I’ve tried has been superb. It’s great for me because we are local but they do accept orders on-line and even offer free delivery for larger orders.

The range on offer is huge and the pricing is competitive with the supermarkets while giving much better quality and to top off, all their beef, chicken, lamb and pork is Irish. I haven’t tried the other more exotic options yet, so I haven’t asked about the origins but the staff have never been anything other than exceptionally helpful so I have no doubt they will be happy to answer any questions from customers.

Give them a try – I cannot recommend the fillet steak highly enough – I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Stew

It’s National Gut week in the UK this week (23rd – 29th August). It’s an annual campaign that aims to help people understand the importance of good digestive health by providing free information and advice on how to achieve a healthy gut. Which seems like a good idea that we don’t have an equivalent to here in Ireland :(

Still at least we can read the UK website and documentation to get ourselves up to speed :)

Antony Worrall Thompson is one of the Ambassadors for the Campaign and has devised a number of recipes for those suffering from IBS, looking to watch their weight or who simply want to look after their inner health. The recipe that follows is one that he has kindly provided to help promote the cause. You can find out more about Gut Week here and I recommend having a read over this document for some quick tips to a healthier gut.


Moroccan Lamb Stew
Moroccan Lamb Stew

Ingredients;

450g lean leg of lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
11/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, roughly diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 tablespoon harissa or hot pepper paste
400g tin of chickpeas in water, drained and rinsed
350g trimmed and peeled pumpkin, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 pickled lemon, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped coriander

Serves 4


Coat the lamb in the black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the lamb and cook until it has browned all over. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and is slightly brown, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add the tomatoes, harissa and 425ml water. Bring to a simmer,cover and cook over a medium heat for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours, topping up with water as necessary, until the lamb is almost tender.

Add the chickpeas and pumpkin and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Add the lemon, mint and coriander. Serve immediately.