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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Corned beef: Food of the gods?

We attended a great Doggy Fun Day organised by Beechgrove Stables near Banbridge on Saturday. Unfortunately we couldn't bring wee Sheba as she's just come into season and that's not the kind of Doggy Fun we had in mind.

Instead hooked up with the wonderful Jackie Redmond and her agility squad - we had a good chat about training sighthounds and we got to meet Lady, the elderly greyhound Jackie is fostering. Also caught up with the magnificent Mr. Jack Quaile who was letting his wee alsatian Diamond have a rake around the agility course (more of a demolition derby to be fair, but she had fun!).

On the way home we diverted to McCartney's butchers in Moira. I bought my usual 10lb of assorted sausages (I particularly recommend the Italian, Pork & Apple and Oak Smoked but to be fair it's impossible to go wrong here - everything is the best of the best). Having heard great reports about their famous corned beef I was keen to give it a go - corned beef is one of my very few "bleugh" foods so I was intrigued that McCartney's were making it. I've been going to McCartney's for 20 years and they are really creative, high quality butchers.

Got talking to the owner and he told me they are in the finals for the Great Taste Awards "the food Oscars" on Monday night for their corned beef! Getting it home I can see why. It's the most utterly moreish beef product I've eaten in a long time.

Where your usual experience of corned beef is that gruesome mush bound together by dripping (our school canteen used to add insult to injury by dipping it in batter and deep frying it!) this is luscious shreds of lightly seasoned, braised, pressed beef bound in the lightest imaginable jelly and thinly sliced. It is about as different from canned corned beef as a Porsche from a Lada. Buy it by the kilo (it's about £2 per 100g and worth every penny).
Production | McCartneys of Moira:

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