Archives for March, 2014

Irish Food…it’s not all Bacon and Cabbage

It’s St. Patricks weekend, the temperature is 15 degrees centigrade in March, and Ireland have just won the Six Nations rugby championship.

What better way to celebrate in the sunshine than to make some pizza’s, Irish style, perfect after a skinful of Guinness, as we like to say! I’m using the best of Irish ingredients for toppings. Clonakilty Black Pudding (we live on the stuff down here!), Cashel Blue cheese, and some onions and rocket from the garden. I’ve relied on my buddy Jamie for the pizza base recipe.

You can find the recipe here

Happy St. Patricks Day.

Paddy’s Day Pizza (Black Pudding and Blue Cheese Pizza with Caramelised Onions)

Paddy’s Day Pizza (Black Pudding and Blue Cheese Pizza with Caramelised Onions)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

Makes 3 large pizzas
Pizza Dough
  • 400 g Italian ‘00’ flour (strong white bread flour)
  • 100 g fine ground semolina flour (or Italian ’00′ flour as above)
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
  • ½ tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 330 ml lukewarm water
Toppings (per pizza)
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce (4 large ripe tomatoes – skinned and chopped, olive oil, 1 clove garlic, basil leaves, butter)
  • 50g black pudding (if you can get Clonakilty, we live on the stuff down here)
  • 50g blue cheese (I used Cashel Blue)
  • 3 tbsp caramelized red onions (cook off 2 sliced red onions with 1 tbsp sugar and 1tbsp butter)
  • Handful Rocket

  1. Place the flour and salt in a pile and make a well in the centre. You could also use a mixer with a dough-hook which makes it even easier.
  2. Put the sugar and yeast into a jug with 330ml lukewarm water to activate the yeast. Mix, and after a few minutes, place it in the well in the centre of the flour and salt.
  3. Slowly knock the edges of the flour into the water mix with a fork and start mixing it together. You will eventually have to use your hands. Flour your hands first and then begin to roll the dough into a ball.
  4. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is soft and springy.
  5. Set aside in a lightly greased bowl covered with a kitchen towel for about 1 hour until it doubles in size. You can now split it into 3 balls and wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge until you need the dough later.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to the 250C. The oven needs to be very hot.
  7. Roll the pizza dough out as thin as possible and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  8. You can then put on your toppings. Crumble the black pudding and blue cheese, and add some caramelized onions.
  9. Place in the oven on a baking tray or a pizza stone if you have one for about 8-10 min until it is becoming crispy around the edges.


Not so hot on tongue, but I like a bit of cheek..

It’s great to see that people are looking at the cheaper cuts of meat again. This is definitely one that most people would avoid probably because of the part of the animal it comes from (for me its Ox Tongue, I know there are plenty of you out there that will disagree). Ox Cheeks are one of one of the easiest cuts to cook with, although you have to cook it for some time. Get your butcher to remove most of the fat and then it’s as simple as making a regular stew. Remember compromising on price does not always mean compromising on taste, if you are buying your meat from your local butcher.

I made this with polenta after seeing something similar on Sunday Brunch. I hadn’t cooked Polenta before; it’s something I had avoided given that some of the offerings I had tasted in the past were akin to wallpaper paste in texture and in taste. The addition of butter, parmesan and cream in this recipe marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me and the afore much maligned Polenta..

You can find the recipe here

Slow cooked Ox-Cheeks with creamy polenta

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