Recipes from The Woollen Mills

In Dublin’s fair city

The Woollen Mills, County Dublin

Food, glorious food – if your taste buds are tingling just a little after watching chef Ian Connolly create these delicious dishes, then here’s how you can whip them up for yourself in the comfort of your own home!

Although it’s always nicer to have the lovely people at The Woollen Mills Eating House serving these scrumptious dishes right to your table in the heart of Dublin city, creating these dishes at home is simple if you follow the recipes provided by Ian, below. Perhaps this can be a little taste of Ireland to whet your appetite for the full flavour of Ireland...

Mussels ‘n chips: Marty’s Killary Harbour rope mussels in Howth velvet crab bisque with samphire, chips & saffron aioli  

Serves: 4


To prepare the saffron aioli:

Pinch of saffron soaked for 2 hours in 4 teaspoons of water

400ml/14oz mayonnaise

To make the crab bisque:

5 medium size crabs (we use Howth velvet crab, but any swimming crab can be used)

1 fennel

1 onion

3 celery sticks

1 carrot

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

100ml/3.5fl oz white wine

200g/7oz chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoons of tomato purée

To prepare the chunky chips/fries:

12 large potatoes, cut into thick chips (we leave the skin on for extra crunch)

1 litre vegetable oil, or enough for your fryer

Salt, to season

To prepare the mussels for 4:

4kg/8lb 8oz Mussels (1kg/2lb 2oz per person for a generous portion)

4 teaspoons minced garlic

80ml/2.8fl oz of white wine

400g/14oz samphire (or spring onion if samphire not available)

Chopped fresh herbs (dill and tarragon) to garnish



To make the saffron aioli, soak the saffron in the water for two hours. Mix the saffron water with the mayonnaise, then keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3.

To prepare the bisque, place the cut up crabs in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Peel and chop up the fennel, onion and celery into small pieces. Add the oil to a large pot, and fry the vegetables until golden brown and soft. Remove the crab pieces from the oven, then add the wine, chopped tomatoes and crab shells to the large pot. Cover and cook on a low heat for 1 hour.

Put the mixture into a blender and blitz all together. Place a piece of muslin cloth over a bowl, and secure it using a rubber band. Sift the crab mixture through the cloth, using the back of a spoon to push through. Place the sieved mixture back in the pot, and reduce by one third. To finish, stir in the tomato purée.

To prepare the chips/fries, bring a large pot of cold salted water to the boil, add the potato chips/fries and once the water has started to bubble again, boil for 4 minutes. Drain the chips and let them dry out on a tea towel or on kitchen towel. Turn your deep fat fryer onto 140C, then place the potatoes in and cook for 8 minutes before removing from the pan. They will still have no colour. Leave to one side until just ready to serve the mussels.

To prepare the mussels, heat a large pan and add mussels, garlic, wine and samphire to the pot. Cover with a lid and wait till the steam comes out. Give the pan a good shake, then add the bisque that you have already prepared. Mix well and cook for another minute. Place the chips/fries back in the hot oil for 2 minutes, or until golden brown and they float to the surface of the oil. Turn out into a bowl lined with kitchen towel, season with salt and shake well.

Garnish the mussels with chopped herbs and serve with the saffron aioli and fries.

Bread and Butter Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Makes: 6 generous portions


To make the pudding:

250ml /8.7fl oz cream

400ml/14fl oz full fat milk

85g/3oz caster sugar  

1 x vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence)

2 medium eggs, whisked

125g/4.5oz melted butter

100g/3.5oz Sultanas, raisins or dried fruit

One white loaf of bread (sliced pan with crusts removed)

To make the whiskey sauce:

140g/5oz golden syrup

50g/1.7oz caster sugar

70g/2.4oz brown sugar  

30g/1oz butter

115ml cream

2 shots of Irish whiskey



Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3. To make the pudding, heat the cream and milk in a heavy-based pan over a low heat, then add the sugar, vanilla essence, eggs and melted butter to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, mix well together and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, line a medium sized, deep baking tray with parchment paper. Slice the bread into square shapes and dip each piece into the cream mix until soaked through.

Layer the bread onto the baking tray, with a sprinkle of sultanas, raisins and dried fruit in between each slice. When the bread is all used, pour the remaining mixture all over the tray. Cover the baking tray with parchment paper and place the baking tray in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, then remove the paper, and cook for another 15 minutes until the top is golden.

To make the whiskey sauce: In a small pan, heat together the syrup, sugars and butter until melted. When the sauce starts to bubble, turn down the heat to low and whisk the cream into the hot mixture. Raise the heat again until the mixture begins to bubble, then take off the heat and add whiskey to serve.

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