Monday 3 December 2012


A constant source of joy to us since arriving here has been the quality of the meat we can buy locally at 'normal' prices, compared to England. This even applies in comparison to Faversham's excellent local butcher, Barkaways but admittedly he did come close. We first noticed this in the bacon, which we were buying from Cunniffe's in Ballghaderreen. 'English' bacon always seems to be full of water so that when you tried to fry it it would shrink a lot and all the water would come out as a scummy soup. You'd end up braising the bacon rather than frying it.

The bacon here, by contrast often had no water in it. You don't have to hunt around for expensive packs called "dry cured" or "traditionally cured"; the default setting seems to be thicker slices and no added water or brine, although we have found the watery stuff cheap in one Supermarket. We just don't buy our bacon there any more.

The title of today's post, with it's weird spelling, is an in-joke which comes from a chat forum Liz is on, where they enjoy their food and joke about greedily asking for 'MOAR' 2nd helpings.

Pork is an interesting case here as the Irish seem to greatly prefer gammon and bacon, so the meat is largely salted rather than being left unsalted. You can buy the big joints and chops as pork, but all the ribs and smaller bits, hocks etc are 'bacon ribs' pre-salted. We discovered this by mistake when we bought 'pork' spare ribs and smeared them in the usual Thai peanut sauce or some such. Yeurck! Salty!

We now know to ask at Cunniffe's in advance so that he cuts our ribs out of the carcass and does not salt them. The pictures today are actually from a Cunniffe's story. Liz went in to buy just a pork hock with which to do a lovely Chinese recipe from another food-forum guy, whose 'moniker' is "Black Spring". His Mum is Chinese and the pork is done in a really enriched stock flavoured with Chinese herbs and spices and it is LOVELY. Cunniffe's however, had no pork hock on stock "except for this one which is still attached to the leg and these ribs" - a goodly rack of pork ribs at the top of the leg. In the event we decided we might as well buy the whole thing, plus a gammon hock, all for €14 total. A real result.

We have since had the ribs from it separately but yesterday we had the 3.5 kg leg (picture here). The meaty side was smeared with 5-spice powder and the skin with salt. The whole got half an hour at the 220 degrees, then half a can of cider was poured in to 'deglaze' the pan and then got 4 and a half hours at lower heat. Lovely crackling (Liz's first real crackling success) and gorgeous meat.


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