High Steaks

Daube of Beef Hastings
Daube of Beef Hastings

“Glenarm Shorthorn fillet. Make a note of those three words. They'll change your life”

Those three words – Glenarm Shorthorn fillet – certainly had an impact on journalist David J Constable, who in an article in the Huffington Post claimed that the northern Antrim steak changed his tastes forever.

Really, though –a steak? Can a steak be that good? It turns out it can. Glenarm Estate, we’re looking at you.

Himalayan help

Hailing from the Glenarm Estate in the picturesque Glens of Antrim, the cuts of beef that so enchanted Mr Contable undergo a process that is the first of its kind in Europe. The meat is store in a Himalayan Salt Chamber for four weeks, giving it a completely sweet and flavoursome taste. It’s what you might call ‘high steaks’ food production.

What’s the beef?

To be truthful, the reputation of Irish beef has been on the up for some time now – and the culinary world is taking notice. In January, it was chosen as a key meat ingredient in the Bocuse D’Or, one of the world’s top culinary competitions held in Lyon, France.

So why Irish beef? What sets it apart from the competition?

Well, Irish beef is outdoor grass-fed in lush pastureland that allows beef herds to wander, meander and munch. Every day. Protein-laden grass and nibbles from hedgerows and ditches add flavour to the end result. Traditional and heritage breeds such as Irish Angus, Hereford, Dexter and Shorthorn are renowned for high yields of quality beef, while traditional dry-ageing on the bone for a minimum of 21 days equals tenderness and intense flavour.

Credit: Hannan Meats

Ask the expert

Ask Irish Piemontese Beef farmers, Michael Fennelly and John Commins and they won’t waste time in telling you the secret: “Irish steak is excellent because cattle are reared on family farms in lush green fields. Traditional farming techniques ensure healthy livestock with quality meat, traceable from farm to fork.”

Irish T-Bone, striploin, fillet and ribeye are melt in the mouth, and you don’t have to go far to find one. Restaurants all over the island are serving up incredible steaks, from Shanahans renowned steak restaurant in Dublin to Molly’s Yard… Tempted yet? Restaurants and butchers in the Good Food Ireland network are the names to know for Ireland’s finest steaks.

Six of the best good food Ireland venues for a stunning steak

The Grill Restaurant at the Everglades Hotel, near Derry-Londonderry city. Ribeye is quite the business. Northern Irish Hereford beef, 28 days hung. Stylish surroundings in a spacious light filled dining room. Perfect.

The Chop House, Dublin 4. Steak is taken very seriously here. Get your gnashers round the 35 day dry aged 10oz Hereford Ribeye or a Porterhouse steak for two to share. Bustling city atmosphere with good wine and beer selection matches the macho meat.

Sage Restaurant, Midleton, County Cork. Dynamic chef and whizz kid Kevin Aherne puts Cork on a plate at his own restaurant. Farmer John Tait’s Aberdeen Angus steaks come from cattle reared in the countryside nearby. Local is the buzzword for this Good Food Ireland Best Regional Newcomer award winner for 2013.

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill, Dublin 2. All’s good with the wild child of food. Irish dry aged sirloin, ribeye and fillet, served with classic French sauces like Bordelaise, Bearnaise or Beurre Maitre d’Hotel. Brasserie ambience is chic and smart – MPW style!

Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Antrim. Bank on a good steak at this former bank building turned luxury hotel. Northern Irish Glenarm Shorthorn fillet, salt aged for 38-45 days. Wow! Enjoy this beauty in The Great Room Restaurant, situated in the old banking hall. Here hangs the largest crystal chandelier in Ireland, suspended from the impressive domed ceiling.

Harte’s Bar and Grill, Kildare Town. The venue where Steak on the Rock rocks! Head Chef Barry Liscombe places his steaks on a searingly hot lava rock. Diners cook to preference at the table. DIY dining with the best of meats, in a gastropub where friendly hospitality is at the heart of Harte’s.

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