Behind The Scenes: Avoca Butcher

Sep 13, 2017

Avoca are thrilled to announce the opening of the first Avoca Butcher in our Monkstown Food Market, with our second Avoca Butcher in our new store in Dunboyne,now open. The team at Avoca have spent months sourcing the best of Irish, artisan, organic, and free range meat producers in order to bring it all together under one roof for our customers. The range of meat on offer is varied and extensive, we chose only the best artisan producers to work with. The principles of honesty and integrity are extremely important to us, therefore it was essential to find suppliers with the same ethos.

Our Suppliers: We are stocking a fantastic range of organic beef from Jimmy and Eddie Mulhall of Coolanowle Organic Farm in Co. Laois. The family have been farming in Laois for generations and they converted their farm to organic in 2001. They recently won 4 Gold medals at the Great Taste awards and we are delighted to welcome them to Avoca. Our chickens are organically-reared by Margaret McDonnell and her family on the Curragh in Co. Kildare. Margaret McDonnell and her family take huge pride in the organic chickens they have been rearing since 1999. The secret to their success? Margaret lets her birds grow for 3 months, delivering truly delicious, succulent and tender meat.

We have a long-standing relationship with the Carton brothers of Manor Farm, who have supplied our restaurants for years. It is one of the oldest family companies in Ireland, dating back to 1775, and centuries of experience ensures meat of outstanding quality and integrity. That’s why we’re proud to stock Manor Farm chickens in The Avoca Butcher. We get our free-range geese and ducks from Mary and Tony Walsh who have been rearing free range poultry on their farm in Killkenny for close to fifteen years. These birds are truly special, a dry plucking method is used and the flavour and texture of the meat is sublime, as testament to the fact they are being used in some of the top restaurants in Ireland. Fresh farm ducks from Skeaghanore West Cork Ducks are hand reared by Eugene and Helena Hickey on the Atlantic coast. Fed a 100% Corn diet, their ducks are naturally plump, tender and juicy. Always innovating, they have recently added confit duck legs and a superb smoked duck breast to their range.

Especially for the Christmas season, we have sourced woodland bronze traditional free-range turkeys from Hogan’s farm in Co. Meath. These turkeys live on the woodland area on the Hogan farm, Charlesfort Estate outdoors full-time from the age of six weeks. The rich woodland area with its mature oak, beech, and chestnut trees and scattered grass areas and the slower pace which the turkeys mature at aids their overall flavour and texture. In order for each and every turkey from Hogan’s Farm to grown in its natural environment, only a couple of hundred turkeys are reared at this time of the year. Paul Hogan’s passion for the welfare and husbandry of these birds is evident in their amazing flavour. The only producer in Ireland to be awarded the accolade of Traditional Free Range. We also have organic and free-range turkeys from the Crowe family in Co. Tipperary. These much loved birds are allowed to roam freely on lush pastures and are allowed to grow naturally for a longer period which enhances the flavour.

Jack and Tim McCarthy create something very special in Kanturk, Co Cork. Their reputation for unique and innovative products have won awards all over Ireland and abroad, with their pudding served to Queen Elizabeth at a state banquet – and if it’s good enough for Liz, it’s good enough for us! The brothers also supply their multi award winning traditional spiced beef, produced the age old way by curing the beef in a brown sugar, salt, peppercorn and porter brine for 3 weeks before being massaged daily with the secret spice mix which includes cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pimento to name but a few, and then left to mature for over 4 weeks. It can be slow roasted or poached in water with some root vegetables and is delicious served either hot or cold with seasonal pickles and chutney.

We get our free-range sausages and bacon from rare breed pork at Pigs on the Green, a farm in Offaly run by Fergus Dunne and his wife Sandra. The farm is home to 50 pigs who run freely every day. Free-range farming methods result in much tastier and healthier pork products. We are also delighted to introduce a broad selection of wild Irish game to our stores, including pheasant, mallard, snipe, wild game, and rabbit.

The Avoca Butcher will also stock charcuterie and ready to eat meats from McGeough’s. These air dried meats are unique, distinctive and delicious! Slowly cured over a period of 8 months, James McGeough and his father have created award winning and much loved meats in Ougherard, Co. Galway since 1971. Gubbeen Smokehouse is a household name in Ireland, and rightly so. Fingal Ferguson is dedicated to quality ingredients, expertly handled to create unique, award winning products. If you like strong, bold flavours you’ll love this! All of our meat is hand selected by our master butcher James Kenny, who has over 20 years’ experience in the trade working with some of the best producers around Ireland. The Avoca Butcher will also have its own dry-aging cabinet where our master butcher will be able to dry age meat to customers’ requirements for up to 60 days. We intend to preserve a full butcher’s counter in this selected offering in our Avoca Monkstown store, catering for all needs from oxtail and beef cheeks to prime ribs and roasts!