How Patrick got into producing Ulster Corned Beef and why he chose this particular product
Patrick is a butcher with a passion not just for food, but also for local history. His inquisitive nature led him to conduct exhaustive research into the local food heritage which is gradually disappearing in Northern Ireland. He started out producing Fermanagh Black Bacon, a recipe which he rediscovered by donning his wellington boots and going out into the countryside to interview farmers and ask them how bacon was cured back in the 1930s and 40s. When this side of the business took off, he bought an island in Lough Erne for his Tamworth pigs to live on, and created a kind of pig’s paradise in which the animals could become fully integrated into the natural ecosystem.
Interviewing the locals about Corned Beef, Patrick was shocked to hear the same puzzled response each time, “is it not something you get out of a tin?” After diligent historical research in the archives, he found evidence of corned beef being mentioned in ancient Irish texts dating back 1100 years ago. He also discovered that the corned beef we know today has a direct link with Napoleon, who offered a cash prize to anyone who could find a way to preserve food for long expeditions. Disconcerted that a food with such a long history had been relegated to the aisles of the supermarkets, and worse still, reduced to something generally minced, tinned and imported from Brazil, he set about recreating this ancient recipe.
Working closely alongside farmers who rear their grass-fed cows in the most natural way possible, Patrick assures the highest quality meat is used for his products. Large joints of the beef are cured for around three months, before being sold whole or pre-sliced. The curing process is such that this beef can even be eaten raw.
The challenges that Patrick is facing in producing Ulster Corned Beef
Although business is booming and his company has picked up many accolades and awards, Patrick faces one basic challenge, which is getting past people’s preconceptions about Corned Beef and convincing them that this is a high quality, delicious ingredient that most certainly does NOT come from a tin. He’s also keen to highlight this brilliantly versatile product to professional chefs. While it is fantastic in traditional Irish hearty dishes, Corned Beef also has great potential to be used in contemporary cooking.
Products that Patrick is offering
Alongside Fermanagh Black Bacon, and Ulster Corned Beef, Patrick also produces a wide range of speciality meats. His best-sellers are Aberdeen Angus Beef, Black Pudding, and Wild Venison Terrine.
Patrick’s favourite Ulster Corned Beef recipe
Patrick has published the “Old Fermanagh Corned Beef Cookbook” which includes a wealth of ideas of how to cook Ulster Corned Beef. His favourite is Old Fermanagh Corned Beef Ravioli with Sage Butter.
Address: O’Doherty’s Fine Meats, Belmore Street, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh
Phone: 0044 2866 322152