Born and Braised has been announced as Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish at a grand unveiling, in front of a crowd of foodie fans, at Belfast’s St George’s Market.
As part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016, Tourism NI tasked four of our top chefs to create Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish and following weeks of testing, collaboration and deliberation, the chefs produced a shortlist of three dishes before the winner was crowned.
The three shortlisted dishes - Born and Braised, Jowled Eel and ‘Buttermilked Lamb’ - have all been battling it out in a public poll over the last number of weeks. The votes have been counted and verified and ‘Born and Braised’ has now been named, Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish.
The four creative minds, referred to as the “cooking collective”, who created the final three dishes are Niall McKenna from James Street South in Belfast; Ian Orr from Browns Restaurant and Ardtara House in Londonderry; Kelan McMichael from Bull and Ram in Ballynahinch and Chris McGowan from Wine and Brine in Co Armagh.
Naomi Waite, director of marketing Tourism Northern Ireland, said: “So many people have got involved in the search for Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish and we’d like to thank each and every one of you. The winning dish, ‘Born and Braised’ will appear on restaurant menus and dinner tables across Northern Ireland, but as the final three were all so delicious there really isn’t any downside for food lovers.
“The three dishes prepared by the ‘cooking collective’ are completely new to the dining scene in Northern Ireland and are made from only the best of our local produce. While the Born and Braised, Buttermilked Lamb and Jowled Eel dishes are of restaurant quality the recipes are available on the Discover Northern Ireland website and can easily be cooked, adapted and enjoyed at the dinner table at home.”
Ian Orr, Browns Restaurants and Ardtara Country House Hotel, said: “It’s been lots of fun working with the other guys to come up with a new signature dish for Northern Ireland. I am really pleased with how all the dishes have turned out and delighted that the people of NI have chosen the winning dish for themselves.”
Chris McGowan, Wine and Brine, said: “Myself along with the other chefs have been on quite a journey to come up with the dishes for this campaign and whilst it has been challenging, it has also been hugely rewarding. The diversity and quality of produce available across Northern Ireland is astounding and we have showcased just some of it in our three finalist dishes. We hope that everyone enjoys making the winning dish at home - and remember to support local producers when buying your ingredients.”
Kelan McMichael, Bull and Ram, said: “I have really enjoyed working on the initiative to find Northern Ireland’s new signature dish and am delighted with what we came up with. We chose the final three dishes because they bring together the very best local produce we have on offer but also because the ingredients are affordable and accessible for people to buy in their local butchers, deli’s and shops. All the ingredients chosen work really well together and are easy to cook so we hope that everyone enjoys cooking the winning dish at home.”
Niall McKenna, James Street South Restaurant Group, said: “Coming up with a new signature dish for Northern Ireland has certainly been a challenge but a worthwhile one. All three dishes really embody a taste of Northern Ireland and are stellar examples of the quality, flavour, value and diversity of the amazing produce we have on our doorsteps, and all the ingredients are widely available making each dish accessible to everyone across the country. Working with Ian, Kelan and Chris has been a fantastic experience and I hope everyone has lots of fun at home creating these dishes for themselves.”
Find out more about Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish by logging on to, www.discovernorthernireland.com and share your thoughts on the Discover NI Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages with the hashtag, #SignatureDishNI.
All ingredients used in the dishes was sourced from Northern Ireland food and drink producers and suppliers. Comber Early Potatoes currently not in season and wild garlic, usually available from late January onwards, must be washed before use.
Born and Braised (serves 4-6)
(Shin of Northern Irish beef served with beetroot and bone marrow gremolata)
4 litres water
400ml black treacle
3 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
25g pickling spices
3-4kg Peter Hannan’s shin of beef (bone in)
2 celery sticks
2 bulbs garlic cut in half
500ml Northern Irish artisan Dark Ale such as Belfast Black
300ml Comber honey
250ml red wine vinegar
200ml red wine vinegar
2 litres water
Bone marrow gremolata:
Zest of 2 lemons
40g grated horseradish
20g table celery or fresh parsley chopped finely
400g Peter Hannan’s bone marrow, cooked and diced
4 cloves chopped garlic
20ml Broighter Gold rapeseed oil
For the brine:
Bring the water, salt, sugar, black treacle, bay leaves, garlic, pickling spices and honey to the boil and then leave to cool.
For the beef:
Add the shin of beef to the brine and leave for 24 hours.
Remove the beef from the brine and discard the brine.
Seal the beef all over on the hob and then place it in a deep roasting dish.
Slice the carrots, onion, celery, leek and sauté the vegetables along with the 2 bulbs of garlic until caramelised. Once caramelised, add to the roasting dish with the beef. Pour the ale, honey, red wine vinegar and salt over the beef. Cover the beef with water, place greaseproof paper on top and then cover with tin foil.
Cook in a preheated oven (140 degrees C) for 4 hours.
After cooking, remove the beef. Pass the remaining stock from the roasting dish through a sieve into a pan. Heat this stock on the hob until syrupy. Season as required and pour over the beef shin.
For the beetroots:
Clean the beetroots under cold water, then place into a pot. Add the red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and water and boil for 15 minutes. Leave the beetroots to cool in the water. When cool, peel the beetroots and set aside.
For the bone marrow gremolata:
Mix the lemon zest, grated horseradish, table celery, cooked and diced bone marrow, croutons, diced garlic and rapeseed oil together.
To finish the dish, place the beef onto a serving dish. Add the beetroots and put into the oven (180 degrees C) for 10 minutes to glaze. Add the bone marrow to the serving dish and serve.
Perfect with …
A glass of craft beer such as Hilden Halt or one of the Farmageddon range of craft beers