Georgina Campbell's Cookery Feature - A Taste of Mayo

Mayo ‘Scotch’ Egg with De Burca’s Cumberland sausages, Kelly’s Black pudding and Claremorris free range eggsCounty Mayo has become a favourite destination for food lovers from all over the country thanks to people like the McMahon family of the hugely popular Café Rua on New Antrim Street in Castlebar (established in1995 by Ann McMahon) and its younger sister Rua café, deli and bakery on Spencer Street, which opened in 2007 and is now run by Ann’s children, Aran and Colleen.

Along with deliciously simple, wholesome cooking, shouting about their great local produce is what they do best so it should come as no surprise to their many fans that they were recently selected as the Bord Bia ‘Just Ask’ Restaurant of the Year 2016, given in recognition of their support of Mayo food and drink suppliers.

In celebration, here are just a few of their favourite recipes to cook at home - or try at Rua, next time you’re in Castlebar.

Mayo ‘Scotch’ Egg with De Burca’s Cumberland sausages, Kelly’s Black pudding and Claremorris free range eggs

Made with renowned De Burca’s sausage meat and deliciously seasoned with spices and herbs, this is a perfect hot dish for chilly days, or to use cold for picnics. Makes 4

6 free range eggs
400g sausage meat – (De Burca’s Cumberland sausages are suggested)
130g black pudding, crumbled/broken into small pieces (Rua use Kelly’s puddings)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Splash of milk
100g flour
100g breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, to cook

Put four of the eggs into a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then put straight into a large bowl of iced water for at least 10 minutes.

Put the meat, black pudding and mustard into a bowl - you’ll need to add very little seasoning as the sausage meat will already contain salt. Mix well with your hands. Divide into four.

Beat the remaining two raw eggs together in a bowl with a splash of milk. Put the flour in a second bowl and season, then tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Arrange in an assembly line (flour, egg-wash, breadcrumbs).

Carefully peel the four boiled eggs. Lightly flour an egg, pat out a quarter of the meat mixture on a lightly floured board and carefully encase the egg. Repeat the process for each egg. Finally, dip each meat-covered egg in flour, then eggwash, then breadcrumbs.

Fill a deep saucepan pan one third full of vegetable oil, and heat to 170ºC (or when a crumb of bread sizzles and turns golden, but does not burn, when dropped in it). Keep the heat under the oil moderate throughout cooking, so crumbs achieve nice dark golden colour, yet meat is cooked thoroughly. Cook the eggs two at a time, for eight minutes, until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper before serving.

Serve with some well-dressed leaves and pickles. In the Rua café it is served with their own house beetroot relish, but it would also work well with a good apple or tomato chutney.


Castlemine Farm Lamb and Potato curryCastlemine Farm Lamb and Potato curry

Keen promoters of local suppliers, make this fragrant and wholesome curry using renowned Castlemine Farm lamb from Co Roscommon; Bord Bia recommend sourcing lamb with the Quality Assurance mark.

Serves 4-6

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
A thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of oil
½ tablespoon turmeric
½ tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon garam masala
½ tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon curry powder (Hot)
1 kg diced lamb shoulder
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
300 ml chicken stock
3 medium potatoes, quartered
½ bunch fresh coriander chopped

Make a paste by blitzing the onion, garlic, chillies, ginger and spices with a tablespoon of the oil.

Heat the remaining oil and butter in a large heavy based pan and fry the paste on a low heat for about 8 minutes.

Add the lamb, then fry for a couple of minutes until the meat has changed colour - it doesn’t have to be browned.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and 300ml of chicken stock to cover most of the lamb. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook gently for 1-1½ hours (adding potatoes after about 30-40 minutes). When finished the lamb should be very tender and the sauce should be rich and thick.

Finish by stirring in some yoghurt or coconut milk, and the fresh coriander.

At Rua they serve this curry with some ‘Velvet Cloud’ sheep’s milk yoghurt from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, their own warm flatbreads and chilli and coriander relish.


Seville Orange TartSeville Orange Tart

An attractive seasonal alternative to the classic lemon tart made with the leftover marmalade oranges, which have only a short season in January-February.

Serves 6-8

For the pastry:

250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
125g cold butter (cubed)
1 large free range egg
1 tbsp cold milk

Tart Filling:

5 large eggs
200g caster sugar
Zest of 1 Seville orange
Juice of 2 Seville orange
150ml cream

1 loose-bottomed fluted tart tin, 21cm diameter x 2.5cm deep.

Rub the flour, sugar and salt together with the cold butter by hand, until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Add the beaten egg and milk and bring the mixture together with a wooden spoon. Do not over mix. ?Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling (Step 3) and preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6.

When the pastry has rested, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry to 2-3mm thick, to fit the 21cm tart tin.

Line the pastry case with baking paper, then the pastry and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the beans and paper, return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes until the pastry is golden. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove and leave to cool a little.

To make the filling, hand whisk the eggs and sugar together until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Add juice and zest and mix again.

Finally add the cream and fold gently into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the case. Try not to over whisk.

Reduce heat to 150ºC/130ºC fan/gas 2, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set with a slight wobble in the centre. This will set further as the tart cools.

Allow the tart to cool for 1 hour before serving. Dust with icing sugar to serve or alternatively sprinkle with granulated sugar and bruleé with a blow torch, taking care not to burn the pastry.


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