Tom Durcan Meats was established in 1985, so this is far from being one of Ireland’s longest-established butchers - but it is one of the most highly-regarded and, being right next to the fountain at The English Market, very easy to find.
A member of the Craft Butchers Association of Ireland, Tom Durcan takes pride in sourcing meat locally and in the ‘farm to fork’ traceability all of his meats, which are sought after by many discerning restaurateurs. The dry-aged beef is especially popular - but the product he’s most famous for is a Christmas speciality, the Cork Traditional Spiced Beef which has won all kinds of competitions.
The ritual begins in October when he prepares the spice mix and starts to select the various joints - sometimes including lamb’s tongues as well a range of beef cuts - that will marinade for at least a month, maybe two.
They sell over a ton of spiced beef every Christmas and everyone has their own favourite way of cooking and serving it - but Tom likes his best served cold and sliced, “with caramelised Spanish onions, on crusty buttered white bread”.
The spiced beef is also available to buy pre-cooked and sliced from Centra and Super Valu supermarkets nationwide.