While the weather is dominating everyone’s newsfeed today with red alert warnings and images of snow blanketing the country, one of Ireland’s most recognisable weather women Nuala Carey will be facing down a beast from the east of her own in the form of Marco Pierre White.
TV3’s The Restaurant returns tonight at 9pm with Nuala hoping to cook up a storm and earn a five star rating from judges Rachel Allen and Marco. They will be joined at the critic’s table by Michelin star chef Aidan McGrath of the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, the first pub in Ireland to be awarded a star.
Nuala looked to wow the critics with a menu of impressive sounding dishes such as Kelly’s Black Pudding and Pig Cheek with Vanilla Bean Apple Purée and Thornhill Honey Roasted Duck Breast with Plum and Red Wine Sauce.
However, speaking to Marco about his dish of the night, it was clear not all of Nuala’s menu managed to spark a smile as he described her cooking as ‘like the Irish weather: inconsistent.” Teaming up with Gary O’Hanlon on starters, Stephen McAllister on mains and Louise Lennox on desserts, Nuala produced a varied menu to woo the critics.
While there were highs and lows according to the legendary chef known as White Heat, there was one dish which managed to completely wow him, using one of Ireland’s finest ingredients, and we have the recipe for you to try at home.
Kelly’s Black Pudding and Pig Cheek with Vanilla Bean Apple Puree
For the pig cheeks
– 100ml vegetable oil
– 1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
– 1 tsp red chilli flakes
– 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
– 1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves stripped
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– 6 pig cheeks, well trimmed
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 carrot, chopped
– 2 celery sticks, chopped
– 4 bay leaves
– 500ml white wine
– 1 litre chicken stock
– 200ml veal stock
– 40ml sherry vinegar
For the black pudding
– vegetable oil, for cooking
– 6 slices Kelly’s of Newport Black Pudding
For the apple puree
– 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
– 2 vanilla pods, split in half and beans scraped out
– 4 tbsp Cognac
1. Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into julienne
2. For the pig cheeks, blend the oil, ginger, chilli, herbs and garlic together and rub into the pig cheeks. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 7 hours and ideally 24 hours.
3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160C. Get a large non-stick frying pan smoking hot. Drain the pig cheeks of excess marinade and season with sea salt, then pan fry until golden all over. Add to a casserole dish and add in the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, wine and stock. Braise in the oven for 2 ½ hours or until tender to the touch.
4. Strain the pig cheeks and set aside discarding the vegetables, then reduce the remaining liquid until sticky and add in the sherry vinegar. Season to taste, then add back in the pig cheeks and leave to soak in the sauce. Warm gently through when needed.
5. For the apple puree, put the apples, vanilla seeds and Cognac into a pan and sweat without colour until soft, then blend into a smooth puree.
6. For the black pudding, heat a non-stick frying pan with a little oil and pan fry the pudding on both sides until crisp on the outside but moist inside.
7. To serve, place one slice of black pudding on the plate and top with a pig cheek followed by a little sauce, some Granny Smith apple julienne and a spoonful of the vanilla bean apple puree.
The Restaurant is sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland and will air tonight, Wednesday 28th, at 9pm on TV3. For more information click here.