Indie store is this year’s Blas na Éireann producers’ champion

Food File: Get ready to barbecue, butcher style, big chance for small producers and a gastronomy symposium

Johnny McDowell and Laura Bradley’s Indie Füde, which started out as an online Irish artisan food shop and now also has bricks and mortar stores in Comber and Belfast, is the Blas na Éireann Producers Champion for 2022.

The award is voted for by food producers who have entered the Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards, which are an integral part of the Dingle Food Festival. The festival returns to the Co Kerry town this year, September 30th-October 2nd. irishfoodawards.com

The butcher’s barbecue

Jessica Kelly honed her butchery skills in Melbourne before coming home to join her parents, Sarah and Michael, in their family business, the Village Butcher in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Sausage-making is her speciality, and she handmakes a wide range for the shop's barbecue range, including boerewors; Italian chilli and fennel; cheddar, jalapeno and smoked bacon; Argentinian (Gaucho) and Toulouse.

She also has some excellent tips for marinating meat prior to grilling. “Skirt steak is a great option – a quick sear on a very hot barbecue each side is all it needs. Even better if you have time to marinate it in beer and fresh limes for an hour. Or if you’re using flank steak, bavette or sirloin, try a simple marinade of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, brown sugar and ginger.”

The shop’s burger range is also extensive, including pork, chorizo and apple burgers; Angus short rib and Monterey Jack cheese burgers; Belted Galloway burgers with smoked applewood cheese; Dexter burgers with bone marrow, and Irish Wagyu burgers.

For a change from sausages and burgers and steaks on the grill, the shop also stocks lobster tails (€17.99), olive-fed pork shoulder (from €9.99), and tiger prawn skewers (€10.99), or you could go all out with a whole suckling pig (€175).

The shop is now delivering, with Dublin deliveries on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (€7.99) and nationwide on Monday to Wednesday (€13.99). Free delivery on orders over €120. thevillagebutcher.ie

Small producers

It has been a good couple of weeks for small food and drink producers in Ireland, with products from the 24 finalists in the Grow with Aldi programme going on sale in 150 branches of the supermarket chain, and 33 graduates of SuperValu’s Food Academy going on shelves as part of the chain’s Taste of Local initiative. The Aldi selection will be in store for two weeks, while the new SuperValu listings will be part of an initiative to highlight hyperlocal produce in stores across the country.

Gastronomy symposium

The sixth biennial Dublin Gastronomy Symposium takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31st and June 1st, at the TU Dublin Grangegorman campus. The theme is Food and Movement, and attendance can be in person (€230, to include lunches, refreshments and a place at the gala dinner at King's Inns), or online (€30). The provisional programme and booking details are online at arrow.tudublin.ie/dgs/

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