How nice to meat you: Renowned chefs give their recipes for carnivores during lockdown

How nice to meat you: Renowned chefs give their recipes for carnivores during lockdown
Fire up the barbecue for the long weekend .

When restrictions on movement were first announced, few of us realised the enormous impact they would have on our lives and increasingly it looks as if we need to adapt to our ‘new normal’ rather than expect things to go back to how they were.

The same goes for our eating and shopping habits. With so many businesses — entire sectors in fact — under pressure to survive it’s vital to back our communities. Our food producers, farmers, butchers, and local shops all need support going forward.

We will feature vegetarian and vegan options at a later date, but this week’s recipes are for our carnivore readers —it’s all about the meat.

Tasty, wholesome, high-quality produce, responsibly and locally sourced. And nothing overly complicated either.

You can’t have your friends or neighbours around, but there’s nothing to prevent an intimate family barbecue for the long weekend. You can’t beat a homemade burger — get the kids involved in helping to make them.

All of the recipes by renowned chefs and food experts Darina Allen, Michelle Carmody, Derval O’Rourke and the Currabinny Cooks (James Kavanagh and William Murray), have been published previously in the Irish Examiner Weekend supplement.

Homemade beef burgers with ginger mushroom and Buffalo chips 

(Darina Allen)

How nice to meat you: Renowned chefs give their recipes for carnivores during lockdown
All American Burger /Darina article Examiner 22 July

Ingredients: Burgers

  • 15g -½oz- butter
  • 75g (3oz) onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 450g (1lb) freshly minced beef — flank, or chump or even shin would be perfect
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pork caul fat, optional
  • Oil or dripping

Ginger mushrooms

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 75g (3oz) onion, finely chopped
  • 225g (½lb) mushrooms
  • 125ml (4½fl oz) cream
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • ½ tbsp freshly chopped chives (optional)
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 20g (¾oz) nibbed almonds, lightly toasted

Buffalo chips

  • 6 large potatoes unpeeled
  • Salt
  • Beef dripping or oil for deep-frying


  • Green salad and cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Burger buns


First make the burgers. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, toss in the chopped onions, sweat until soft but not coloured, then allow to get cold. Meanwhile mix the mince with the herbs, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add the onions and mix well.

Fry off a tiny bit on the pan to check the seasoning and tweak if necessary. Then shape into burgers, four to six, depending on the size you require. Wrap each one loosely in caul fat if using. Keep refrigerated.

Next make the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until it foams. Add the chopped onions, cover and sweat on a gentle heat for five to six minutes or until quite soft but not coloured. Meanwhile slice and cook the mushrooms in a hot frying pan in batches if necessary. Season each batch with salt, freshly ground pepper and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice. Add the mushrooms to the onions in the saucepan, then add the cream, ginger, toasted almonds and allow to bubble for a few minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning, and add parsley and chives if used. Keep aside.

Scrub the potatoes and cut into wedges from top to bottom — they should be about ¾ inch (2cm) thick and at least 2½ inches (6½ cm) long. If you like rinse the chips quickly in cold water but do not soak, dry them meticulously with a tea towel or kitchen paper before cooking.

Heat the beef dripping or oil in the deep fry to 180C/350F, fry twice, once at this temperature for five to eight minutes depending on size then drain.

Meanwhile, fry the burgers and reheat the ginger mushrooms.

Increase the heat to 220C/425F and cook the Buffalo chips for a further one to two minutes until crisp and golden. Shake the basket, drain well, toss on to kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt.

Put the burgers onto hot plates, spoon some ginger mushrooms over the side of the burgers and pile on the crispy buffalo chips.

Put a little green salad dressed in a well flavoured dressing on the side with one or two ripe cherry tomatoes and a perky spring onion.

Serve immediately and tuck in.

Laid-back lamb tagine (Derval O’Rourke)

How nice to meat you: Renowned chefs give their recipes for carnivores during lockdown
Lamb Tagine
Food by Derval O’’Rourke
Picture: Miki Barlok

Lamb is a good source of quality protein, iron and zinc, and it’s really versatile. This lamb tagine is such a laid-back dish to cook: you don’t even need to brown the meat. The end result is delicious with the sweet honey and spices. A great meal to make for friends. Serves 4


  • 1kg shoulder of lamb, trimmed and diced into 3cm pieces
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • a handful of sultanas
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • a handful of flaked almonds
  • couscous, to serve


Place the lamb, spices, almonds, honey, sultanas and tomatoes in a large lidded casserole. Mix well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the cooked onions to the lamb mixture in the casserole and stir well.

Cover the casserole and place in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.

Ladle the cooked tagine into warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle over the coriander and almonds.

Serve with couscous.

Sausage stew with fennel and lentils (Michelle Darmody)

How nice to meat you: Renowned chefs give their recipes for carnivores during lockdown
WARMING WINTER STEW: Michael used non-alcoholic beer with his Sausage and Beer Stew


  • A dash of rapeseed oil
  • 400g of good quality banger style sausages, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 tsp of fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 200g of puy lentils
  • 300 mls of stock
  • 100 mls of white wine


Heat your oil in a heavy saucepan and sauté the onion until completely soft. Add the sausages and garlic and fry until the sausage pieces have browned all over. Stir in the fennel.

Now add the fennel seeds, chilli flakes, wine, stock and lentils. Bring to a gentle boil and leave to simmer for about twenty minutes until the sausages are cooked through.

Taste and season.

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