On Sunday 25th June, the street that runs through our neighbourhood of Stoneybatter will be closed to traffic between 12-6pm for the Stoneybatter festival family fun day. We are hosting a long table Sunday roast running up Manor Street. There are seats for about 40 and booking is essential via this link. We will start with some tasty sharing platters & punch, before moving on to the main course. While Stoneybatter is frequently referred to as Cowtown, for us a Sunday Roast is all about pork. The roast will be rare-breed pork belly with crispy cracking, served with shared platters of Irish baby carrots roasted in local honey, mash made with the last of our Phoenix Park foraged wild garlic and beetroot from our allotment as well as lashings of lovely gravy. Our pals at Slice have come up with a brilliant dessert option to finish off the meal and sustain you through the rest of the festival.
"As long as we can get a dog sitter," Grainne said, "we'll both be there." Long gone are the Thursday evenings of nosing and swishing beers, casting a squinted eye towards a backlit glass to check for legs, sediment and hue. In the late years of the last decade (circa 2007 onward, though as my memory is a little hazy I am sure I will be corrected by nuts wiser than mine about the specifics) we would meet monthly in the darkened upstairs hall of the Bull and Castle. We were there to share not only genius works of home brewing skill but opinions, beers, stories, plans and most importantly our passion for great beer. This is where I first met Grainne and Tim and where I first talked to them about the brewery that had no name at the time, and would eventually become Metalman. There was no talk of a dog then.
There was however an unerring vision for how the brewery would hold itself in the market. In 2011 they took the plunge, with head brewer Grainne leaving her I.T. job to embark upon her great brewing journey, while Tim held down his day job for a couple more years, before joining the brewery full-time. They stand as proudly for quality and ingenuity now as they did the day the first barrel was cracked in L Mulligan Grocer all those years ago, surrounded by former Amazon colleagues and future devotees. We are proud to have them come back to us this Sunday, bringing with them their good friends from Left Hand Brewery, Colorado.
For those that aren’t familiar with Left Hand Brewery, they too are a remarkable brewery. Their record for charitable donations stretches into the millions, awards in the hundreds and they list their employees as co-owners. All of this is secondary to their beer, most notably in Ireland the Milk Stout Nitro.
We will be pairing Left Hand and Metalman beers with dishes designed around some limited edition brews this Sunday. You will hear Grainne and Tim from Metalman and Chris and Sharona from Left Hand talk dogs, cans and beers joined by myself and Seáneen chatting through the food pairings.
Sunday 26th February, 3pm
18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
4 courses, with beer matches 35 euro
A recent poll found that 35% of tourists visiting Scotland believed that Haggis was a beastie to be captured, and indeed, 25% expected to catch one themselves. Save yourself the trouble and buy one ready caught! Jack McCarthy in Kanturk makes them but trusty McSweens haggis is also available in Marks and Spencer. We will be serving the timorous beastie at our annual Burns Supper on 25th January. Further details are available here.
This makes quite a lot of bonbons, suitable for a Burns supper gathering. Serve with a good chutney or relish to cut the richness of the haggis and a dram of whisky. We serve these with Black Bull 40.
Makes 16 bon bons
1 lb haggis
1 free range egg white
200g Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Heavy bottomed pot or a deep fat fryer
1. Mash the haggis and the egg white thoroughly. Roll the haggis mix into 16 ping pong size balls.
2. Prepare three plates, one with the flour and a little salt and pepper, one with the eggs whisked for twenty seconds with the milk, and the other with the panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with a little salt and pepper (you could add orange zest, or almonds also).
3. Roll each ball in the flour, then into the egg wash, being careful to use alternating hands and then into the breadcrumbs, taking care not to get your wet and dry hands mixed up.
4. Leave aside in the fridge for half an hour or so, and then deep fry at 190C in batches of four until golden, and finish in a 180C degree oven until cooked through, about ten minutes.
Happy New Year from all at L. Mulligan. Grocer. Now that the Christmas tree is down and the fairy lights are packed away for another year, thoughts turn to the celebration of Scotland's national poet Rabbie Burns. Our resident Scot Michael is preparing for his annual haggis hunt in advance of our Burns supper on the 25th January. There will be mismatched tartan a plenty, a be-sporraned piper and lashings of Irn Bru.
The menu will include Cullen Skink, the fore-mentioned haggis (with a vegetarian option available for the squeamish) complete with neeps & tatties finishing off with seasonal cranachan and a parting dram paired with edible peat. The ticket price includes whisky pairings for each course with a Scottish wee heavy beer thrown in for good measure. Traditional dress is optional, though strongly encouraged. Fair fa' ye sonsie faces!
Burns Supper 7pm Wednesday 25th January €45 Book
The following week, we will be hosting Bruichladdich and their Ileach brand ambassador for an evening of stories and tastings. The tasting is the first for the brand in Ireland, and we can expect some cracking whiskeys.
Bruichladdich Tasting 8pm 7th February 2017 €25 Book
To book both events together, use this link and save €10, offering maximum whisky and haggis bang for your January buck.
Howth isn't known for its mouth puckering, eye watering beers, Wexford for its blood peaches or blueberries nor IT consultants for progressing the cause of Irish sour beer. Not to be dissuaded, Mark Nixon of Hope Brewery in Howth, Declan Nixon (no relation) from Yellowbelly in Wexford Town and IT consultant and 'Sourfest' organiser Shane Smith are clever lads and have combined their respective skills to birth a beautiful beer, a Peach and Blueberry Sour.
At L Mulligan Grocer, we are delighted to pour this beer this week at the pub. Not being content with having this magnificent sour on draft we coerced the chaps to also supply a cask for comparative purposes. The old pump handles that pop up through our city used to dispense a different type of beer, a hand pulled, room temperature, non-forced carbonated beer that allows the consumer to taste more of the beer's flavours. Same beer but different flavours? Yep!
Also pouring on the night will be:
Hope Brewery Grunt 4.7% Saison
Hope Brewery Session Ale
YellowBelly Brewing Queen Lizzie 8.3% Single Hopped English Ale (Citra Hopped) 8.5% Cask
YellowBelly Pale Ale 4.5%
From 8pm on on Wednesday the 26th of October at L Mulligan Grocer, 18 Stoneybatter Dublin 7.
For the next four weeks our resident whiskey pirate Gerald Jago will be tasting the experimental ‘Reference Series’ range and guest blogging about his findings. You can catch up with Part One and Two here.
My favourite of the four whiskies. This week its I.2, the peated variation. I learned a lot from this one. An unexpected delight.
I.2 Peat Variation number two bring us to the peat bogs of Islay. The phenols of peat are working their way into our perked nostrils. All the flavours of the distillate present in the base come to life in this one. The addition of the 10% strongly-peated whisky brings sweet iodine to the nose. The palate gives you a beautiful grain-versus-peat battle that settles together and brings a new medicinal profile to the whisky. Light salt air brings you from the palate to the finish, leaving the peat to hang around. This works extremely well. Having the original reference whisky to compare to perfectly demonstrates that peat does much more for a whisky than just adding ‘smokiness’.
Again one may be surprised by the effect the addition of peated whisky has on the base. The way the peat allows the base to stay very present in this ‘new’ whisky is its greatest trick. The peat holds strong in the push for flavour representation but doesn’t hurt the base in the way the sherry did. Initially I was going to order the the 30ml samples from Master of Malt. Having tasting the fantastic whisky I am delighted we went for the 500ml bottle. ‘Yes another whisky tasting is needed with the staff’.
For the next four weeks our resident whiskey pirate Gerald Jago will be tasting the experimental ‘Reference Series’ range and guest blogging about his findings. You can catch up with Part One here.
This week I am musing over I.1. For this variation one third of the base whisky has been taken and dumped in Oloroso sherry casks for one month. Here are the results:
I.1 Sherry The first variation on the base is a sweeter dram, as you may expect. The addition of sherry blends with the base to mask the strong grain nature of the whisky. The sherry combines with the apple sweetness of the base and gives an oily, boiled-sweet nose. The palate is more rounded with nuts and cake present; it really gives a lot to the whisky. The finish is where I notice the difference side by side with the original reference whisky! It lingers longer, with the cake turning fruity.
The sherry finish tempers the strong distillate flavour of the the base whisky. It introduces additional spice and fruit cake flavours. This isn’t exactly what you would expect one month in a sherry butt to do to a whisky. The lessons of this venture are showing already.
Next week I will be moving on to I.2, the peated edition.