2008 Recipes

Recipes created for the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards 2008 by chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain Restaurant, Baggot Street, Dublin 2, showcasing the 2008 award winners.

Lavistown Cheese, Waldorf Salad, Baby Leaves, Apple & Port Jelly & Hazelnut Dressing

Serves 8

  • 1 large crisp eating apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 3 tbsp chopped roasted shelled walnuts
  • 1 celery stick, peeled and diced small handful baby spinach leaves
  • 75g/30z thinly sliced smoked duck breast
  • 250g/90z Lavistown cheese, cut into eight even sized slices
  • 16 cubes apple & port jelly (see separate recipe) about 4 tbsp hazelnut dressing (see separate recipe)
  • 3 tbsp apple purée (see separate recipe) rocket, micro cress and extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish

Peel the apple and cut into quarters, then remove the core. Finely dice half and place in a bowl, then cut the remainder into wafer-thin slices and set aside. Add the walnuts to the diced apple with the celery and mix to combine. Arrange overlapping slices of the apple on a piece of cling film set on a clean work surface and cover with a layer of baby spinach leaves and finish with slices of the smoked duck.

Heap a small pile of the Waldorf salad into the middle and roll up into a tight cylinder shape about 2.5cm/1 inch thick. Trim down the ends and then cut in half. Carefully remove the cling film each roll and repeat with the remaining ingredients – you’ll need eight rolls in total. Arrange each piece of Waldorf salad roll on a plate with two slices of the Lavistown cheese. Add a couple of cubes of the apple and port jelly to each one and then spoon around small dollops of the hazelnut dressing and apple purée.

Garnish the plates with rocket, micro cress and add a light drizzle of olive oil to finish before serving.

Hazelnut Dressing

Makes about 150ml/1/4 pint

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • a pinch of caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp chopped roasted and skinned hazelnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the vinegar in a screw-topped jar and add the sugar and a good pinch of salt then shake until the salt has dissolved.

Add the oil to the jar with the mustard and shake again until you have formed a thick emulsion. Season to taste and stir in the hazelnuts. Chill until needed and use as required.

Apple & Port Jelly

Makes about 500ml/18fl oz

  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 400ml/14fl oz apple juice (good quality)
  • 100ml/3 1/2fl oz ruby red port

Soak gelatine in a small bowl of cold water for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.

Warm a third of the apple juice in a small pan. When simmering, whisk in the gelatine and continue to heat gently until dissolved. Whisk back into the remaining apple juice with the port. Pour into a plastic mould or dish so that it is about 1 cm/1 /2 inch deep and leave to cool completely. Cover with a lid or cling film and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. When set, cut into small dice and use as required.

Apple Purée

Makes about 300ml/1/2 pint

  • 2 crisp eating apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 100ml/3 1/2fl oz apple juice (good quality)
  • knob of butter

To make the apple purée, peel, core and dice the apples. Place in a pan with the sugar, if using and apple juice, Bring to the boil and then simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter until you have achieved a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve if necessary. Leave to cool, then chill in a bowl covered with cling film and use as required.

Patrick Moran’s Roast Loin of Kerry Mountain Lamb with Polenta Sandwich of Slow Braised Shoulder, Aubergine Caviar, Tomato & Red Pepper Ketchup

Serves 8

  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 400g/14oz loin of lamb, well trimmed


  • 1 lamb shoulder, boned
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 litre/1 3/4 pints chicken stock
  • 500ml/18fl oz red wine


  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 red peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • 200g/7oz polenta 25g/1oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives


  • 1 aubergine
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, crushed squeeze of lemon juice
  • a little extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • basil aioli (see separate recipe) and fresh basil leaves, to garnish

To prepare the braised lamb shoulder, rub in one of the thyme sprigs with the rosemary and rock salt and place in a shallow non-metallic dish. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for 24 hours.

Rinse the lamb shoulder under cold running water and dry well, then roll up and tie tightly at intervals with butcher string.

Heat a large heavy-based pan. Add a tablespoon of the oil and then add the rolled lamb shoulder and quickly seal on all sides until lightly browned. Finely dice one of the carrots and add with the celery, leek, bay leaf, chicken stock and wine. Season to taste. Cover tightly and slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and braise very gently for 4-5 hours until meat is very soft, turning the joint occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Remove the lamb shoulder from the braising liquid and when cool enough to handle, cut away the string, then leave to cool before finely shredding. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve and reduce until slightly thickened. Leave to cool completely and then fold in the braised lamb, transfer to a non-metallic bowl, then cover with cling film and chill until needed.

To make the ketchup, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan and gently cook the garlic, onion, cumin, thyme and bay leaf for 3-4 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the roasted red pepper dice, tomatoes and caster sugar and cook for another 1-2 minutes until syrupy. Add the red wine and red wine vinegar and continue to reduce for about 5 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.

Remove the thyme and bay leaf and discard. Season to taste and using a hand blender blitz to a smooth puree. Leave to cool completely and transfer to a plastic squeezy bottle. This will keep happily for up to one month in the fridge stored in a sterilised container.

Pour 1.2 Iitres/2 pints of cold water into a large pan and bring to the boil. Add a teaspoon of salt, then pour in the polenta in a very fine stream, stirring vigorously all the time with a wooden spoon. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the polenta is very thick and no longer grainy, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking.

Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the butter and chives. Divide between two non-stick baking sheets and spread out to a thickness of about 1cm/1/2 inch. Cool, then cover with cling film and chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the aubergine caviar, pierce the aubergine near the stalk end with a form to prevent it from bursting during cooking. Grill the aubergine for about 40 minutes, depending on its size, turning regularly until the skin is black and the inside feels very soft and smells ‘smoky’. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways and scoop out the soft creamy flesh into a bowl. Work it to a paste with a potato masher, and then stir in the garlic with enough lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Season with salt and cover with cling film until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. To roast the loin of lamb, heat an ovenproof frying pan. Add a little olive oil and then quickly sear the lamb all over. Season to taste and then place in the oven for about 5 minutes until moist and tender but still nicely pink in the middle.

To finish the polenta sandwiches, spread a 1 cm/1 /4 inch layer of the shredded braised lamb on to one sheet of the polenta and carefully place the other sheet on top to form a sandwich. Cut into 7.5cm/3 inch lengths that are no more than 2.5cm/1 inch wide. When ready to serve, arrange the polenta sandwiches on a non- stick baking sheet quite close together and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until completely heated through.

To serve, carve the loin of lamb into wafer thin slices and arrange on plates, then place a polenta sandwich on top of each portion at an angle. Squeeze a line of the ketchup underneath and add a quenelle of the aubergine caviar. Garnish with small blobs of basil aioli and a fresh basil leaf.

Basil Aioli

Makes about 300ml/1/2 pint

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g/40z mashed potatoes
  • good handful fresh basil leaves
  • 250ml/9fl oz olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper

Place the garlic, egg yolks, mashed potatoes and basil in a food processor. Blend for 1 minute before slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Continue to add the olive oil slowly until the aioli has taken on the consistency of mayonnaise.

Season to taste and then add the lemon juice and taste again. Transfer to a plastic squeezy bottle and chill until needed. This will keep happily in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Poached Pear in Puff Pastry, Candied Pecans, Wicklow Blue Cheese Sorbet, Caramel Sauce

Serves 8

  • 8 small ripe pears
  • 225ml/8fl oz maple syrup
  • 40g/1 1/20z liquid glucose
  • 450g/11b puff pastry, thawed if frozen (made with butter)
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • 75g/30z caster sugar
  • 25g/10z pecan nuts


  • 150g/50z brown sugar
  • 50g/20z butter, diced
  • 350ml/12fl oz cream


  • 40g/1 1/20z flaked almonds
  • 25g/10z plain flour
  • 100g/40z butter
  • 100g/40z caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • drop almond extract (optional)
  • Wicklow blue cheese and pear cider sorbet, to serve (see separate recipe) crisp pastry shards, to decorate (optional)

To prepare the pears, peel the pears and carefully remove the cores from the bottom of each piece of fruit, trimming down the bottoms so that they fit snugly on the pasty bases.

Place the maple syrup in a pan with the liquid glucose and 600ml/1 pint of water. Stir, without heating until well combined, and then bring to the boil. Add the pears in an upright position and poach for about 20 minutes until tender. Leave to cool in the syrup.

To make the candied pecans, place five tablespoons of water and the sugar in a pan and boil steadily for 5 minutes, bringing the syrup to the soft boil stage (121 C/250F). Add the pecans and cook for 1 minute before carefully removing them with a perforated spoon. Transfer to a sheet of non-stick parchment paper and leave to cool completely.

To make the caramel sauce, bring the sugar and 100ml/3 1/2fl oz of cold water to the boil in a small heavy-based pan, then continue to cook until the sugar caramelises. Add the diced butter and cream and bring to the boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes until you have achieved a smooth sauce-like consistency.

To make the frangipane, place the flaked almonds and flour in a food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time, beating well. Fold in the flour and almond mixture and almond extract, if using.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 1 cm/1/2 inch thickness. Using a 9cm/3 1/2 inch pastry cutter, or sharp knife and a ramekin as a guide, cut out 8 rounds. Place on a dampened baking sheet.

Using a 6cm/2 1/2 inch cutter or sharp knife, mark an inner round halfway through the pastry and 1 cm/1/2 inch from the edge. Spread a tablespoon of frangipane into the inner round of each pastry shape and then brush the rim with egg wash. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.

Place the frangipane pastry rounds in the oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 200C/400F/Gas 6 for another 10-15 minutes until well risen and nicely golden.

To serve, arrange the puff pastry bases on plates and place a poached pear on each one, then decorate with the candied pecans. Add a couple of scoops of the sorbet to each one and decorate with the crisp pastry shards. Drizzle around the caramel sauce to serve.

Superquinn Dry Aged Rib Eye of Beef, Lyonnaise Potatoes & Bordelaise Jus

Serves 8

  • 2.25kg/5Ib piece rib eye of beef (off the bone)
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 100ml/3 1/2fl oz Bordeaux red wine (good quality)
  • 100ml/ 3 1/2fl oz jus (see separate recipe)


  • 900g/21b potatoes (preferably waxy)
  • 50g/20z clarified butter
  • 2 onions, very finely sliced
  • pinch chopped fresh thyme


  • 1/2 Savoy cabbage, tough core removed and shredded
  • 100ml/3fl oz chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • shavings of black truffle (optional)
  • fresh watercress sprigs, to garnish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Season the beef joint all over with pepper. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan. Add a little oil to the pan and then quickly sear the beef for about 30 seconds on each side until well sealed. Roast for 10 minutes per 450g/11b for rare; 12 minutes per 450g/11b for medium rare; or 20-25 minutes per 450g/11b for well done. Remove from the oven, then season with salt and transfer to a warm place to rest for at least 20 minutes to allow all of the juices to settle.

To make the potatoes Lyonnaise, boil the potatoes in their skins in a large pan of boiling salted water, then peel and slice into 5mm/1/4 inch rounds. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan and add half of the butter. Fry the potato rounds for about 8 minutes on each side until evenly golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the butter in a pan. Add the onions with the thyme and cook over a medium low flame for 10-15 minutes until pale golden. When the potatoes are done, tip in the thyme flavoured onions and cook for a couple of minutes, tossing until evenly combined. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, make the Bordelaise jus, place the red wine in a heavy-based pan and reduce by half. Add the jus and just heat through. Keep warm until needed.

To prepare the cabbage with truffle cream, blanch the cabbage in a pan of boiling salted water for a minute or so. Drain well and refresh under cold running water to prevent further cooking. Place the chicken stock in a small pan and reduce by half, then stir in the cream and reduce to a sauce consistency. Warm the blanched cabbage in a pan with the chicken stock mixture and place in a warmed serving dish. Scatter over the black truffle shavings, if using to serve.

When the beef has rested, carve into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the Lyonnaise potatoes. Spoon over a little of the Bordelaise jus and garnish with watercress sprigs. Serve with the cabbage with truffle cream.

Bordelaise jus

Makes about 600ml/1 pint

  • 20g/3/40z butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 200ml/7fl oz ruby port 200ml/7fl oz red wine
  • 1.5 litres/2 1/2 pints beef or veal stock

Melt the butter in a large pan and gently cook the shallot, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf and thyme for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes to caramelise. Add the balsamic vinegar, port and red wine and reduce by half.

Next add the stock and reduce to a sauce consistency. Pass through a muslin-lined sieve, cool and chill in a covered container.

The jus should keep for about 5 days in the fridge. It can also be frozen in ice-cube trays and stored in plastic bags. Use as required.

Wicklow Blue Cheese and Pear Cider Sorbet

Serves 8

  • 300ml/1/2 pint stock syrup (see separate recipe)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 100g/40z Wicklow blue cheese, rind removed and diced
  • 100ml/3 1/2fl oz pear cider

Bring the stock syrup to boil in a small pan. Remove from the heat; add the lemon juice and leave to cool. Transfer to an ice-cream maker and churn.

Just as the sorbet is at the soft stage, add the blue cheese and cider. Continue churning until the mixture is firm. Transfer it to a bowl and place in the freezer.

Alternatively, pour the mixture into a shallow container and freeze to slush. Whisk well so that the sorbet becomes very light and fine grained. Add the cheese and cider just before it becomes firm. Use as required.

Stock Syrup

Makes about 900ml/1 1/2 pints

  • 450g/11b sugar
  • 80g liquid glucose

Place the sugar and glucose in a heavy-based pan with 600ml/1 pint of water. Stir, without heating, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring the mixture to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely