Click here to visit our Irish Food Tours website - Arranging Food Tourism Visits to Artisan Food Producers all over Ireland for Tour Operators

Kelly's Butchers launch a New Vegetarian White Pudding

Kelly’s Butchers, in Newport, County Mayo, are well known for their award winning black and white puddings and for their sausages.

They’ve just officially launched two new products - Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding and Kelly’s Hazlett. Both products were prize winners at the recent Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.

Why would a butcher make a vegetarian breakfast pudding? "It’s simple really," says Sean Kelly, "Our customers kept asking for it!"

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding

A cooked breakfast is a tasty treat and a great start to the day. However the vegetarian breakfast plate has looked a little empty in the pudding department, but now Kelly’s Butchers have the answer – the delicious Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding.

Kelly’s have used their years of practice to create a clever combination of spices with a soya base which gives a great texture and an exceptional flavour experience. No wonder it was a Silver Award Winner at the 2016 Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards!

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding is available in 280g pack (known as chubbs in the trade) which is exactly the same size as Kelly’s traditional Black and White Puddings.

Kelly’s Hazlett 

It’s been quite a while since I tasted "Hazlett", an old-fashioned traditional pork meatloaf. Kelly’s Butchers are always on the lookout for something different and have decided to reintroduce this family recipe. Fresh leeks, fresh carrots and a secret blend of spices have put a modern extra bite into this old favourite.

Hazlett was traditionally used as a sandwich filling, or cut into chunks and served in a salad or with pickles and cheese or you can cut it thick and grill or fry it like a pudding. It's also packaged in 280g chubbs.

Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding and Kelly’s Hazlett are available in Kelly’s Butchers Shop, Newport, Co. Mayo and via the website along with many other products that can be purchased online at

10 Things to Know About... Beef and Beer, on Rte1 this Monday 5th December

This Monday, 5th December, RTE presenters Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Kathriona Devereux and Jonathan McCrea are back with another program in the series: ‘10 Things to Know About’ which showcases the weird and wonderful Irish science behind aspects of modern life; from beef and beer to botox and bats!

Each week the presenters investigate a different topic of the research being done in Irish society.
In episode four of 10 Things to Know About... Beef and Beer, the presenters look at what makes Irish beef so popular, the factors in creating the perfect steak and also the rise of the Irish Craft Beer industry.

Ireland is famous for it’s food and drink; from dairy produce to beef and of course a good ole pint of the black stuff- but how much do we really know about what makes Irish food so special?

What’s the Beef:
Irish beef is renowned throughout the world for it’s quality and taste- so what makes it so special? Kathriona travels to Amsterdam to meet Alain Alders, Michelin starred chef to discuss why he values Irish beef so highly.

As a member of Bord Bia’s Chefs Irish Beef Club Alder’s gives us insight into just how popular Irish beef is the finest-dining  establishments throughout Europe.

One of the biggest factors in maintaining a high level of quality beef is how the animals are handled after death. Teagasc's Paul Allen shows Kathriona how they go about post-mortem handling of beef and the factors which impact on the final taste on our plates.

Try a Little Tenderness:
Post mortem handling is huge factor in high quality beef, but the program asks "Could the future of the perfect steak lie in genetics?" Jonathan meets Teagasc’s Dr. Donagh Berry who is looking to develop a ground-breaking first genetics test which could predict the tenderness of an animal’s offspring.

Also in the show they ask the question "What if you could create the perfect steak?"
There’s a whole weird science around it- Fergus reveals that scientists are working on it, but have racked up a whopper bill in the process…

Getting Crafty:
What goes hand in hand with a great burger? A cold beer! Ireland may be famous for Guinness, but the last decade has witnessed the emergence of the new kid on the block - the craft beer.
It's a booming industry with a projected €59m turnover for 2016 and  Aoibhinn looks at the explosion of the craft beer industry in Ireland and why this is so.

Aoibhinn visits Seamus O'Hara at O’Hara’s Brewery, where they see the key ingredients and processes that go into making a perfect pint.

Watch the program on RTE 1 Television at 8.30pm this Monday 5th December 2016.

There are Turkeys Roaming Free (range) in the Boyne Valley

If you know Olivia Duff, you'll know that she really is a very busy woman! She is a dynamic character who passionately promotes Irish and in particular county Meath produce at every opportunity. When managing the award winning family run hotel, The Headfort Arms, in Kells, she strives to serve the best of Irish food in all food service areas of the business. An example of this being their unique menu, served in the Vanilla Pod restaurant, in which all the ingredients are sourced within a 30-mile radius of the hotel.

Olivia Duff is passionate about telling the story of great Irish food
Olivia is one of the driving forces behind the Meath Food Showcase and the Meath Food Trail Package. This trail offers visitors an opportunity to visit local producers and on returning to the hotel, an opportunity to enjoy the 'Meath Menu' featuring food from the rich sources of the Boyne Valley. She is also one of the Failte Ireland Food Champions and is dedicated to helping others tell their own 'food story'.

Her passion for food has led her family to breeding turkeys, rare breed pigs and sheep, supplying their artisan produce directly from their farm to the consumer. Maperath Farm is a small mixed farm, just outside Kells, which is committed to involving the customer in the full story of food production and they take great pride in this story. With her husband, Eoin Sharkey, a former builder and keen horseman, they have created an atmosphere of honest farming, one that invites the customer to discover where their food comes from. Whether that is a newly born lamb or a day old chick, visitors can follow the process of the meat from the farm directly to the table.

All the animals on Maperath Farm are traditionally reared and enjoy fodder crop (the first poultry farm in Ireland to do so) alongside natural feeds and acres of free range lifestyle. New for 2015 will see Maperath Farm's ‘Lamb in a Box’ which will offer the customer a chance to order a full lamb direct from the farm. This will be then custom-butchered to the customer wishes and presented in a box, ready to eat or for the freezer. This year also sees expansion of their brand to include Maperath Farm Christmas Relish & Chutneys.

Maperath Farm ‘Lamb in a Box’ will be available in 2015

The farm produces rare breed pigs, grass fed lamb and poultry, but it is the Free Range Turkeys & Geese which are the main event at this time of year. With huge demand for their birds, it proves that consumers in Ireland really do care about the welfare, rearing and production of their food.

Olivia's husband, Eoin, believes in honest food direct from the farm
Maperath Farm is unique because it represents a true model of Sustainable Farming, incorporating models of high animal welfare, natural feed products and low levels of intensity. It also represents a real concept of ‘honest food direct from the farm’. Customers can order their own lamb, turkey or goose knowing that it is traditionally reared, then processed and butchered locally.

Olivia and Eoin's farm offers premium product which involves the customer throughout the full story of farm to the table. The long-term vision for Maperath Farm is to expand into a unique Free Range mixed farm which will involve its customers from day one in the production of food. Customers will be invited to visit their food as it grows and for the farm to become a Food Tourism Destination as part of the Boyne Valley.

The free range lifestyle of any bird is reflected in the quality and flavour of the meat

Maperath Farm has a limited number of their free range Turkeys and Geese available over the next few months, but they're going fast! Contact the Farm today on 087 902 7070 or see


See my 10 Tips on How to Cook a Turkey & my Favourite Stuffing Recipe

An Irish Whiskey Pumpkin Pie for Halloween

The original Jack O'Lanterns were carved from turnips, potatoes or beets and has been a popular tradition here for centuries! Immigrants from Ireland brought the Jack O'Lantern tradition with them when they went to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America,  were easier to carve into the perfect Jack O'Lanterns and they made great pies too!

In recent years, Pumpkin Pie is becoming a very popular Halloween dish here in Ireland, as coffee shops and restaurants have been adding this sweet, mousse-like dessert dish to their seasonal menu. I'm adding another little piece of Ireland to the Halloween story, by flavouring my Pumpkin Pie with a little Irish Whiskey. You can use whichever brand is your own favourite!

The first recorded recipe for pumpkin pie was published as a 'Pompkin Pudding' in 1796, in a book called American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. This cookbook is considered to be the first Cookery Book to be published by an American, in America. Only four copies of the first edition are known to exist!

The first American Cookbook: American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons, 
published by Hudson & Goodwin of Hartford, Connecticut, USA, in 1796

Pumpkin Pie is made in the same way as a Baked Cheesecake or a Custard Tart and is flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and ginger. If you've never eaten some, you could be excused for thinking that it might taste like a savoury vegetable quiche - but it's really more like a sweet cheesecake in a pastry crust! The Gingernut biscuits add flavour and also help to make the base crunchier. The evaporated milk gives a richness to the pie and the Irish whiskey works just perfectly with the spices to give it a yummy taste sensation!

You can make this recipe at any other time of year by substituting Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato instead of pumpkin. Their texture and taste are almost the same when flavoured and cooked. In the US, you can buy canned puréed pumpkin for use in cooking.

Becky Pumpkin - Butternut Squash - Sweet Potato

This recipe makes one 10" x 1.5" Pumpkin Pie

To Make the Pumpkin Puree:
Cut a medium-sized pumpkin into wedges and discard all the seeds. Cook the pumpkin in the microwave on high power for 12 minutes. Scrape off all the cooked flesh and purée it quickly in a blender until smooth. (If you are using canned pumpkin purée you'll need to spoon it onto a clean tea-towel and squeeze away as much liquid as possible.) You'll need 400g/14oz prepared Pumpkin Purée for the pie.  

The Puréed Pumpkin, a Splash of Irish Whiskey & Crushing the Gingernut Biscuits

Sweet Pastry and Base
(8.5oz) 250g Plain Flour
(3.5oz) 100g Butter
(2.5oz) 75g Light Brown Sugar
1 medium egg
a little Cold Water
(3.5oz) 100g crushed Gingernut Biscuits

1. Rub the butter into the flour until it's like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in. Break in the egg and quickly pull the pastry together adding a little cold water if needed. Roll it out and line a floured  10" Pie Dish (about 1.5 " deep). Trim off any extra pastry.

2. Crumb the Gingernut biscuits in a blender or by placing them in a sandwich bag and rolling them with a rolling pin until fine. Sprinkle the biscuit-crumb over the pastry base, pat it down and refrigerate until needed. Crush the Gingernut Biscuits and gently press them onto the Sweet Pastry.

Crush the Gingernut Biscuits and gently press them onto the Sweet Pastry

The Filling
3 Medium Eggs
(5.5oz) 160g Light Brown Sugar
(15 fl.oz) 1x 410g can Evaporated Milk
1 tspn ground Cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground Ginger
A pinch of ground Cloves
1/2 tspn Salt
(14oz) 400g Your Pumpkin Purée
(1 fl.oz) 35ml Irish Whiskey

1. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them well. Add the brown sugar and mix in for 30 seconds until they're thick and creamy. Add the can of Evaporated Milk and mix well for about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin purée along with the flavourings and mix everything together until smooth. Lastly add the whiskey and stir it into the filling.

2. Carefully pour the mix into your Pie Dish and tap the side of the dish a few times to help raise the air bubbles to the top. Bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 160°C / 320°F for 40 minutes.

3. Check the pie as you would when testing a sponge cake. It should be soft, but responsive to the touch when it's cooked - giving you a little spring in the centre when gently pushed down.  Leave the pie aside, in the dish to set, until cold.

Zack's Irish Whiskey Pumpkin Pie
To turn it out, put a flat plate on top of the pie, turn it over tap the bottom of the baking tin. Lift off the tin gently. Now put your serving plate on the base of the pie and turn it back over! It's now ready to serve with a little fresh cream to which another little drop of Irish Whiskey has been added.



More Irish Food Guide News...

The Irish Food Guide is...

My photo

The Irish Food Guide Blog includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 27 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building an all-Ireland Food Tourism network to assist Tour Operators bringing guests into Ireland to connect easily with artisan Irish food producers, so as they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route