A few months ago we were asked by Dermot Gannon of The Old Convent Country House, which is nestled at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains in beautiful County Tipperary to smoke some organic angus rump caps for his enterprise, The Confit Company. The beef is grown on the farm of John Purcell of The Good Herdsmen at Boherlann near Cashel.
And so we did. We tried cold smoking first but felt it wasn’t really what we were looking for (judging by the reaction at home!!). We then hot smoked a batch and took a sample with us to the Ballymaloe Lit Fest in May. As luck would have it the first two people to taste it were people whose judgment I have great respect for, and they oooohed and aaaaahhed about it so much that I had to try it myself! Quite superb – and it helped that the kids definitely approved of this batch!
The Rump Cap is a highly regarded cut of beef in Brazil where it is called Picanha and we have adopted the name, despite people saying it should be Irish, to which we reply “and what about Entrecote Steak?” It also adds uniqueness; I mean have you ever heard of Irish Picanha? Probably not!
Over the past couple months two local restaurants have used it with great success, Monks Lane in Timoleague and Scannels Bar in Clonakilty.
It is available in whole pieces with weights varying from 1 kg to 1.5kgs and should be sliced thinly and served with a fresh salad and a light dressing or subtle horseradish sauce. Because they vary in weight, it is not a product that we will be selling off our website, but if you are tempted, please email us.
This Saturday, September 19th., we are taking part in celebrating the Artisan Harvest at two of the renowned Butler’s Pantry shops in Dublin.
I will be at their Monkstown shop at 1a Montpellier Place, Temple Hill, Blackrock from 11.30 to 2.00pm and then at the Sandycove shop (19 Sandycove Road, Sandycove) from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. There will also be tastings of our Award winning Smoked Salmon and our Smoked Chicken, not just at these two shops, but at all the Butler’s Pantry shops all day on Saturday.
Do call by and say hello!
If you can’t make it, Butler’s Pantry have a lovely recipe for Ummera Organic Smoked Salmon with Orange Dressing and Avocado Pate . Try it!
Last week we were invited to Dublin for lunch yesterday by Bord Bia to celebrate the National Organic Awards 2009. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it so imagine our surprise (and delight) when we received a phone call from the Sunday Tribune congratulating us on our award!
Ummera’s Smoked Organic Salmon had received a Highly Commended in the Best Organic Retail Product, coming second to Glenisk’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yoghurt.
The independent judging panel chaired by Hugo Arnold, journalist and Food Consultant included Cian Doorley, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland; Evan Doyle, Proprietor Brooklodge Wells and Spa; Darren Grant, Proprietor, The Organic Supermarket Blackrock, Co Dublin and Oliver Moore, journalist, researcher and organic blogger.
Today’s Awards took place on the first day of National Organic Week, which runs from the 14th – 20th September. “To celebrate organic producers, retailers and farmers markets nationwide will host over 50 events including cookery demonstrations; workshops; BBQs; farm walks and in store tastings” commented Teresa Brophy, Ireland Market Manager, Bord Bia. “It is an ideal opportunity for organic producers and processors to organise events at a national and local level to increase consumer awareness of locally produced organic food.”
Event highlights include Clodagh McKenna’s cookery demonstration at the Nano Nagle Centre, Co, Cork on Wednesday 16th; Women in Organic Horticultural Training (WOHT) training courses and seminars at the Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim on the 16th and the Organic Centre’s Annual Harvest Celebration on Thursday 17th. Jenny and Peter Young, Castlefarm Shop, Athy, Co. Kildare, will host an organic farm walk on Saturday 19th including vegetable harvesting and cookery demonstrations, whilst Peter Ward from Country Choice, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary is organising the annual Blas an Fhomhair organic lunch, also on the 19th. (Full list of events on the Bord Bia website)
At the National Organic Conference in Waterford last month it was suggested that we should change Bord Bia’s slogan from “Ireland, The Food Island” to “Ireland, The Organic Isalnd“.
Perhaps slowly slowy might be the way and I see that the Drôme Valley in France is setting out to be an Organic Valley:
In a recently published interview in the Localtis magazine, Didier Jouve, Vice President of the Rhône-Alpes Côtes d’Azur region, reported on plans to set up a large-scale project for a “Drôme Organic Valley”. Jouve, who is responsible for regional planning and long-term development, emphasized the importance of organic agriculture, which already accounts for 25 % of the land in some areas.
Since the beginning of October, a French news information service has been on the Internet to supplement the services of the online magazines Bio-Markt.Info (German) and Organic-Market.Info (English). Bio-Marche.Info offers daily news information on organic agriculture and organic marketing in France.