Burns night slow cooked collops of beef

So it’s that time of year when those of us with Scottish heritage eat sheep’s innards (Haggis) and pretend we like it.  Allow me to remind you about the ingredients (heart, lungs and liver of a sheep in a sheep’s stomach). Then there is the language of the old Scots when coof means a fool, fa means to have one’s lot and hame means home, etc Need I say any more?  In honor of Burns we drink Scottish whiskey and toast a man who still impacts Scottish culture an indeed our world after 213 years.

Last night I was an honored guest at a Burns night supper at the Old Blind Dog Irish pub to share the opening Selkirk Grace.  We dined on scotch eggs, lamb shanks and a rather interesting Black Forest Cranachan.

Tomorrow evening we will celebrate Burns with my wee family and I am making an Ulster Scots classic. Growing up as the daughter of an Irish beef farmer we used the simple method of cooking to tendering tough pieces of meat (and less expensive) by braising and slowly cooking to melt in your mouth tender. Ulster style comfort food!  When shopping for beef look for marbling of fat for the best flavor.

Ulster Scot Braised Chuck Steak

(serves 4)

  • 2 Lbs braising steak such as chuck (cut in to 8 pieces)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp flour (blended with a little cold water)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) beef stock
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp coarse whole grain mustard

How to make it:

  1. Season the steaks salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat cast iron skillet to medium high heat with a little oil and butter combined.
  3. Add the beef to skillet and braise the pieces in small batches for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown.  Remove the steak and place in to a Dutch style oven or casserole dish.
  4. Cook the onions in the skillet to soften and then add to the Dutch style oven.
  5. Combine the stock, flour, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and then pour over the meat.  Add the freshly chopped thyme and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and cook for 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender and falling apart.
  7. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving.
  8. Serve with creamed mashed potatoes and turnip and carrot mash (Neeps and Tatties).

Enjoy the celebration!

Judith the Irish foodie

Take me away to St. Cecilia

St. Cecilia Interior

This weekend I was transported on a Coastal European Culinary Journey without having to leave Atlanta. My good friend Chef Ford Fry combined forces with Chef Brian Horn and opened up a new restaurant in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta with a world-class vibe. The food reflects coastal Italy but maintains a strong one of a kind identity with inventive spins and local metropolitan elements. The towering architecture of the building evokes a sense of world travel and so, good times and sacred spaces.  


Most memorable crudo from the raw menu was the Maine scallop with green apple foam with fennel and pine nut.   A close second antipasti of distinction was the Salt cod beignets with caper aioli and lemon both of which we tried  and were wonderful indeed! Everyone seemed to raving about the Triggerfish with wood roasted calamari, heirloom potato, citrus and fennel and I must agree it’s food memory effects are lasting!  The Raviloli with apple and mascarpone, Maine lobster and cracked pepper was buttery rich and decadent, and even the most simple dish of Good bred chicken roasted with lemon and potato puree was a talking point at our table.  

We ended our meal experience with a decadent NutellaTorta and the Affogato a blend of chantilly, chocolate pearls, espresso and gelato of our choice….wow, loved it, loved it!

Living the good life in Atlanta with flavors from around the globe!…make time to book a table and experience this new Atlanta foodie hotspot – please!

Judith the Irish foodie

Irish Pantry cook book is a must buy

Irish pantry cook book

I first met Noel McMeel several years ago in New York as one of the Irish chefs invited to represent the very best of the new culinary brilliance that is abundant throughout Northern Ireland today and he so kindly submitted a recipe to the Shamrock and Peach cook book. To my absolute honor and surprise I was given the opportunity to cook with Noel 2 years ago as a guest of Tourism Ireland at the Atlanta Highland Games. Noel was there helping me promote the pre sale of my cook book one month prior to its official launch, and his support and affirmation truly meant the world to me.  Apart from my own family there are few people who I regard more highly than Noel McMeel and now it’s my turn to tell you all about his new and highly acclaimed book the Irish pantry!

The theme of Noel’s book is about feeding the ones you love and as you flick through each page and read the story description featuring every recipe you can feel the warmth and love.  Please do not feel intimidated about cooking the recipes from a chef who has cooked for the President of the United States and catered Paul McCartney’s wedding.  The recipes are all easy to make and best of all they work for the whole family to enjoy. The photography and images of Ireland are stunning and makes me so proud to be Irish and do what I do.  It’s time for Irish food to take its rightful place on the world’s culinary food stage and few books tell our countries story better than the Irish pantry. If you love good wholesome food and Irish culture you will be inspired by the recipes created by Noel and his new cook book.  The Irish pantry is a classic and the quality of book that will be passed down generation to generation.

The book is available on-line now on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble just hot off the press so please order today and as always enjoy the journey!

Judith the Irish Foodie