Is it a dressing, a dip or a sauce? It’s all three, and it’s delicious

Shelf Help: This supermarket product made by a well-regarded chef is part of a new range of useful things that will make your kitchen life easier

Buttermilk Ranch, made by Sage restaurant in Midleton, for Dunnes Stores Simply Better.

What is it? Handmade Buttermilk Ranch, Dunnes Stores Simply Better (€3.99, 220g).

What’s so good about it? It is part of a new range of sauces, dips, relishes, pickles and cooking sauces, as well as ready meals, made for the supermarket chain by chef and restaurateur Kevin Aherne of Sage restaurant in Midleton. Faced with pandemic closures and restrictions in 2020 Aherne developed Sage Products. The range is made in the restaurant for use at home.

He entered this Buttermilk Ranch for the Irish Quality Food Awards in 2021 and won the small producer award. Dunnes stepped in to strike a deal, and Aherne’s products are now listed for all branches. This is made with Irish free-range eggs, Irish sour cream, and Irish buttermilk, and Aherne’s home-made chimichurri sauce.

These puddings are great added to salads or used to make sausage rolls ]

How do I use it? I served it drizzled generously over a warm salad of grilled peppers, onions and asparagus, with a few pieces of leftover roast chicken in the mix, and it was a quick and delicious dinner. It would also be good with chicken wings, on a Caesar salad or as dip. Its versatility is a huge plus; when I went to the fridge to get it to serve with a spicy quiche, the tub was empty ...


Where can I buy it? In chill cabinets at Dunnes Stores.

Anything else? The Sage range for Dunnes Stores Simply Better also includes a small selection of ready meals – the Red Thai chicken curry, made with Irish chicken, is good – and they are all still made at the restaurant.

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