(BPT) – Over the years, Ireland has become one of Europe’s top food destinations, and Irish cuisine is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
With the upcoming celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to take a new look at Ireland’s 10,000-year culinary heritage and modern-day food culture.
JP McMahon, a Michelin-starred chef in Ireland and author of the new “The Irish Cookbook,” is on a mission to help Ireland get the culinary credit it deserves.
“Ireland’s cuisine is often overlooked. I hope to bring attention to our style of cooking and the unique terroir of our ancient island that produces some of the highest quality ingredients in the world,” he said.
McMahon is working with Kerrygold, the brand behind the premium Irish grass-fed butter and cheese, to create a modern-day St. Patrick’s Day menu that more accurately reflects the best of Irish cuisine. The menu showcases the quality, sustainably grown fresh produce, abundant seafood and grass-fed dairy that has become a worldwide flagship of Ireland.
“Ireland dedicates more than half of the country’s land to growing green grass, which is one of the largest areas in the world for dairy cows to freely graze,” said McMahon, who is the chef/owner of Aniar, one of Ireland’s 21 Michelin-starred restaurants. The mild temperate climate and abundant rainfall provide natural irrigation for the land and an ideal environment for grass-fed herds.
Across Ireland, 14,000 small family-run farms supply the highest quality grass-fed milk for Kerrygold products. It is this all-natural milk that the cows produce that gives Kerrygold butters and cheeses their creamy flavor, richness, and iconic golden color, which is loved by many around the world.
With its expansive rugged coastline, Ireland is also home to some of the world’s best seafood, including crab, oysters, mussels, and salmon. Additionally, the country is known for its foraged wild ingredients, including seaweed and other sea vegetables, mushrooms, wild herbs, and flowers, all of which are featured in McMahon’s contemporary St. Patrick’s Day menu.
- Crab and Aged Cheddar Custard
- Celeriac and Oyster Mushrooms in Brown Butter
- Mussels in a Smoked Butter Sauce
- Heather and Lavender Shortbread
Mussels in a Smoked Butter Sauce
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
9 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) Kerrygold Pure Irish Salted Butter, cubed and smoked
2 cups apple cider
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
A few sprigs of thyme
1 lb. 2 oz mussels, scrubbed clean
A few sprigs of chervil, to serve
Extra virgin canola oil, to serve
To smoke the butter, prepare a small home smoker or a wok with a wire rack. Ignite oak chips, a small piece of peat/turf may also be added if you have available. Once smoking, place butter in a dish on the rack of the smoker/wok. Cover with the lid or foil and set aside for approximately 25 minutes. Alternatively, if you do not have access to equipment to smoke, 1 teaspoon of powdered smoked seasoning or smoked salt may be added to the butter.
Put the cider, onion, garlic and thyme into a pan over a medium heat and bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, cover and cook for 1–2 minutes.
Strain the sauce, transfer to another pan over a medium heat and cook for 10–15 minutes until reduced by half.
Meanwhile, check the mussels and discard any that are unopened.
When the sauce is reduced, blend the butter into the sauce and season to taste.
Divide the mussels among four bowls and pour over the sauce.
Garnish with a little chervil and add a drizzle of extra virgin canola oil.
To find the rest of JP McMahon’s modern St. Patrick’s Day recipes and more information about Kerrygold, visit kerrygoldusa.com.