Comfort Cooking from Cork's English Market

William's Seafood ChowderJanuary is synonymous with comfort food - and where better to look for ideas when the weather turns chilly than Ireland’s great old traditional dishes? You’ll find these a-plenty in Michelle Horgan’s book ‘Recipes From The English Market’ (Atrium, €25).

William’s Seafood Chowder

There are several fish stalls at The English Market, this recipe comes from William Martin, of Stall 41.

“What could be more welcoming on a cold winter's day than a delicious bowl of freshly-made chowder? William recommends that you serve this unforgettable chowder with a large slice of brown bread.”

50g/2oz butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped up small
250ml/9fl oz whole milk
200ml/7fi oz single cream
300ml/ ½ pint fish stock
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
450g/llb Williams seafood mix
l00g/3-4 oz spinach, shredded
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish
crusty bread, to serve

Melt the butter in a trying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and fry for 8-10 minutes, until very soft but not coloured. Add the bacon and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the milk, cream, stock and potatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add William’s seafood mix and cover the pan. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the fish is completely cooked through.

Add the spinach and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour into bowls, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top and serve with crusty bread.


Tartlets of O'ReiIlys Tripe and Drisheen with Caramelised Red Onion Tartlets of O'ReiIlys Tripe and Drisheen with Caramelised Red Onion

A favourite of many Irish people, this is a traditional tripe and drisheen recipe with a modern twist. Great to serve as a 'nibble' with drinks, or as an innovative starter.

[Note: Drisheen is a Cork variation on traditional black (blood) pudding; it is produced by the O’Reilly family].

Makes 12 tartlets

For the tartlets
275g/10oz plain flour
150g/5oz margarine or butter
pinch of salt
cold water to bind the flour and butter mixture into a dough

Place the flour in a large bowl and add the margarine, cut into cubes. Rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Slowly add the cold water, a little at a time, stirring the mixture as you do so. When you have added enough water the flour mixture will form a ball of dough.

Knead the dough on a floured board or table and roll it out until it is thin enough to line the bottom of a queen cake tin or tartlet cases which have already been buttered.

Cut each tartlet out of the rolled-out pastry with a 5cm/2in in pastry cutter or a glass turned upside down and place each tartlet into the bun mould.

Cover each tartlet with a little greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or a little uncooked rice. This will ensure that the pastry is covered and weighed down so that it cannot brown or bubble up. This process is known as 'baking blind'.

Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes in the centre of the oven until just cooked. Take out and leave to cool.

For the tripe and sauce filling

300g/11 oz ox tripe, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and ground black pepper
200g/7oz creme fraiche
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp celery seed

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the tripe and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the water and then add the creme fraiche and half of the sliced onion. Fry the other sliced onion in a little oil until it is caramelised nd put it aside to use as a garnish. Allow the chopped onion and crème fraiche to simmer for a few minutes.

Add salt and ground black pepper and some celery seed if you wish for extra flavour. If you feel that the sauce is a little too thick, add a little milk to make it more liquid. Finally, add a little drisheen chopped into bitesized pieces to the sauce and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes until thoroughly heated.

To assemble the tartlet, put a spoonful of tripe and drisheen mixture into each pastry case. Top with caramelised red onion and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.


Pauline Noonan's Skirts and Kidney Pies Pauline Noonan's Skirts and Kidney Pies

“Very delicious pies - one is never enough. Ideally, start this recipe one day in advance.”

[Note: Skirt is a cut of beef from the lower belly, now rarely found outside the English Market.]

Makes approximately 10 pies

For the pastry

275g/10oz plain flour
150g/5oz margarine
1 egg, beaten
enough cold water to bind the dough
pinch of salt and pepper

Sieve the flour and salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Rub in the margarine with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the beaten egg with a knife, followed by the cold water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a dough.

Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until needed.

For the skirts and kidney

450g/l lb skirts
1 kidney (some people prefer to use only ½ a kidney)
a little oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp tomato puree
300ml / ½ pint chicken stock

Cut the skirts into bite-sized pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors (scissors seem to work better than a knife in this case). With a knife, chop the kidney into small pieces also.

In a little oil, fry the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, then add skirts and kidneys quickly followed by the cumin, coriander and tomato puree. Stir well and allow to cook until all the meat is sealed, then add the chicken stock.

Bring the pot to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and continue to cook for 2½ -3 hours.

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