Mid Terms on your Terms Newsletter February 2023

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2023 by Mandy in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Mid-term on your terms

Make mid-term easy on yourself. Here are five gorgeous James Whelan Butchers selects to order and collect, or better still have delivered. Our Master Butchers have done the prep. You already have a lot on your plate, we only want to add something delicious.


The Salt-Aged Showstopper


Prime Irish Striploin. Slow aged in a salt chamber for over 35 days. In salt from the Himalayas. In a craft of time which intensifies succulence and tenderness. Bring this feast of flavour home.


Take time for Heritage Bacon


Home cooked bacon is wonderful. It’s also simple as. It just takes a little time, that’s all. Our artisan Irish bacon loin has a wonderful, signature smoked hickory cure.  You’ll be delighted            with the results.


Chicken Cushion


Bacon, stuffing and cheese all packed into a plump, Irish chicken cushion. A really lovely flavour sensation, crafted freshly for you by our Master Butchers.


Bigger, built burgers

Our dry-aged burgers are built chunky to deliver a juicy, generous, oversized quarter pounder burger. Handcrafted with chuck and brisket to punch out juicy flavours.


Brilliant Bacon and Cabbage Recipe


Now you’ve ordered the Heritage Bacon Loin, here’s a sweet, creamy, mustardy joy of a dish to celebrate it. Bacon and cabbage, you’re back in the good books.

James Whelan Butchers: Traditional Bacon & Cabbage



Bringing Home the Bacon this St Patrick’s Day

Posted on Friday, March 10th, 2023 by Pat Whelan in Good Food | No Comments »

St Patrick’s Day, a day when the world over celebrates Ireland and the Irish. Our politicians cleverly use the day as a great excuse to hop on a plane and connect in person with world leaders. In more recent years, it’s used as a platform to promote Irish tourism with Tourism Ireland organising some of the most iconic buildings in the world so go green for the day. And for the Irish at home and abroad, as well as the millions of people globally who love everything Irish, the day is a great excuse for parties and parades.

The day is also synonymous with Ireland’s traditional dish of Bacon & Cabbage. It’s just what we like at James Whelan Butchers, as it is honest, wholesome and hearty. It’s also so easy to prepare.

Our good friends in Bord Bia carried out a survey and found that 64% of Irish adults chose bacon and cabbage as the meal most synonymous with Ireland, with over 50% of those questions saying that they planned to tuck into some Bacon as part of their St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

We carried out our own survey with the JWB team, and wanted to share with you some produce that we love and that we love recommending to customers at this time of year.


Easy to Cook Bacon, Award Winning, Sunday Lunch Idea, Roast Bacon, Rack of Bacon

Number one most definitely would be our award winning Rack of Heritage Bacon. It’s cured on the bone with a distinctive flavour with a hint of smoky hickory undertones, with the bone bringing a certain sweetness to the meat. It’s ideal for a special St Patrick’s dinner for friends and family, looks delicious to carve at the table. It is so easy to cut and the meat is so soft and succulent.

Served simply with some flowery potatoes and cabbage. It’s a dish that will be remembered. No need for a sauce, but if you fancy pushing the boat out, in the link here we have a simple recipe for a delicious Mustard Sauce which is part of a recipe for Traditional Bacon and Cabbage, that we often share with customers.


Restaurant Quality Meal for Two, Dine at Home, Fresh Ingredients, Irish Bacon & Cabbage, Easy to Cook Bacon & Cabbage

For those who are time poor, but looking for something special to eat at home on St Patrick’s Day, we are getting really great feedback from our customers on our Pulled Sugar Pit Bacon Shank & Cabbage Pie, which is available in store or through our Local Delivery Service. The bacon comes slow cooked and served in a roasted garlic cream, Savoy cabbage and topped with the most delicious wholegrain mustard mash. The dish is part of our Dine at Home Collection, hand prepared in our kitchens and offering restaurant quality meals at home. Definitely one for people who have less time in the kitchen on St Patrick’s Day. It can be baked in its packaging which is 100% compostable – so even more green for the day that’s in it!!


Traditional Irish Breakfast, Breakfast Pack, Delicious Full Irish Breakfast

And to complete our Top Three of bacon ideas for Paddy’s Day, we always recommend a hearty traditional Irish breakfast. With our James Whelan Butchers Box, we make it nice and handy for our customers by putting some of our favourite breakfast produce together in a special box with Dry Cured Rashers, succulent Homemade Pork Sausages and of course our Black and White pudding. Just the perfect start to a perfect St Paddy’s Day.


Restaurant Quality Beef Wellington, Hand Prepared Easy to Cook Beef Wellington, Signature Dish, Prime Fillet Steak

And of course it would be remiss of us not to add another favourite of ours as a very special treat this St Patrick’s Long Weekend. Our handmade Beef Wellington, which only makes an appearance on very special occasions is now available to order through our Click & Collect Service. Originally introduced as a special Christmas Day Treat – the feedback was so strong that the team decided to introduce it as a special treat this Bank Holiday weekend. It comes oven ready in 100% compostable packaging and is Ideal for people who are time poor but who would like to create a wonderful restaurant quality meal for two in the comfort of their own home.

Bon Appetit – and from our family to yours – have a really great St Patrick’s Day, wherever you are!

James Whelan Butchers: A Fresh Start

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2023 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles | No Comments »


Every year I moot the idea of moving the New Year celebration to the start of spring which just seems a more natural home for new beginnings, rather than this no man’s land of the deep midwinter. Those fine resolutions we make don’t stand a proper chance in a bleak January and only the fittest and most well thought out will survive. By the middle of the first month most good intentions are lying frayed and shattered around our ankles while we wear that uneasy and very uncomfortable mantle of failure.

For me January is not about leaping off into a New Year with gusto and high aspirations. January is instead a time of thoughtful reflection, careful planning and looking forward to the start of the new upcoming season of rebirth; the spring, then I will really take action. January is about preparation, baby steps and trying out a few things that I might like to change in the coming year without a big noisy declaration of change. I also think that small adjustments and changes that perhaps don’t come with the fanfare of the bigger resolutions will get you further in the long run.

Lamb Hot Pot

Lamb Hot Pot

To that end I want to encourage everyone to change things up a little this month and cook with fresh and, where possible, local ingredients; real fruit and vegetables, raw meat, local cheeses and breads, homemade pickles and preserves. We have become slaves to convenience and have largely forgotten the simple therapeutic value of standing and peeling a carrot for the pot. The joy of cooking and preparing a simple home cooked meal has been lost in the fug of celebrity cooking shows. They often subliminally suggest that unless you have a state of the art kitchen, access to the Queen’s greengrocer and loads of friends that are continuously coming around to your house for food, then there’s not much point in doing anything other than bunging something in the microwave because it’s easy or opening another jar of ‘Hot Something Tonight’ sauce to pour over the dried up meat you’ve begrudgingly cooked.

I also think the New Year as it is calls for simplicity. The over indulgence and frothy frills of calorie laden Christmas delights always leave me hankering after stews and mash, bacon and cabbage or even light fish dishes. Just because they are considered ordinary doesn’t mean that we can’t elevate them to the extraordinary. Great quality beef, fresh vegetables, good quality stock and a homemade bouquet garni can make a simple casserole or stew into a dish fit for any established restaurant. Take any recipe and substitute in local, fresh ingredients and you will be quite surprised at the difference in the end result.

With the year and the weather quite fresh and the stale Christmas decorations down and giving way to a mini spring clean in most houses, it is a great time to dust off the cookery books and add some new recipes to the repertoire. I also think it is a good time for a store cupboard clearout. My family often enjoy the exotic around this time of year as I try to use up various herbs and spices that would otherwise spoil.

With sales everywhere it is a great time to invest in any kitchen equipment or tools that have been on your list. The slow cooker seems to be the gadget of the moment. The old fashioned crock pot or electric pot seems to be enjoying a renaissance this year. Obviously you need to be an organised soul to get the best out of a slow cooker, but once you get the hang of preparing a meal the night before or early in the morning you might enjoy the ease of work come dinner time. Slow cooking is also considered very healthy. Speaking of trying new ways of cooking another small change would be to try steaming rather than boiling or roasting vegetables.

Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooker

Staying with a fresh theme is also about staying as closely as possible within the season. While we might be packing a few extra pounds after the festive excess, it is still winter and our food should be nourishing, warming and restorative. Chicken and beef broths with carrots, onions and celery served with chunks of warmed or toasted door steps of bread or hearty roasts of all kinds are always welcome. Sausages, pates, baked hams and smoked fish are good and make delightful additions and quick meals. Dried fruits and nuts are always in abundance at this time of year and it’s a great time for making your own marmalade with the influx of citrus fruits from Spain. There are still some fresh cranberries kicking around also, so grab them while you can for preserving and juicing.

Using fresh ingredients does not have to mean hardship or labour. Drop by the James Whelan Butchers website where there are videos, recipes and other sources of inspiration to get 2023 off to a great fresh start. Happy New Year.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel,  Avoca Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines, Swords, Leopardstown, Blanchardstown Naas, Tralee, Bandon Road, Cork, Jetland, Limerick . Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

Beef Wellington – The Perfect Alternative Christmas Day Dinner

Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Beef Wellington, Alternative Christmas Day Dinner, Ready to Cook Christmas Dinner, Oven Ready Christmas Dinner, Easy Cook Christmas Dinner

For people considering an alternative to the seasonal Turkey and Ham on Christmas Day, James Whelan Butchers are introducing a very special signature dish, Beef Wellington, which will be part of the now award winning Dine at Home Collection of restaurant quality meals for two.

Named after the man who crushed Napoleon at Waterloo, the very notion of preparing Beef Wellington casts fear into the hearts of the most competent of home cooks. However, this limited edition Beef Wellington is hand prepared and comes oven ready, needing the minimum of preparation time. Ideal for people looking for an easier approach to the most important meal of the year, simply pop it into a preheated oven at 200° C, for 25-35 minutes to achieve medium/rare – and rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

It serves two people generously, made with prime aged Irish beef fillet, wrapped in a mushroom duxelles, buttery puff pastry with fresh herbs and sea salt.

Like all of the Dine at Home dishes, it’s honest, simple, handmade from scratch using the freshest of ingredients, where you can taste the flavour and goodness that has gone into every single bite.

Available to order in one of our 12 stores nationwide or online through James Whelan Butchers seasonal Click & Collect service

James Whelan Butchers: Christmas Hampers

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Good Food | No Comments »

Memorable Corporate Gifts with the Gift of Great Food

Giving the gift of great food we believe is the most thoughtful Corporate Gift.

At James Whelan Butchers we have so many ideas for corporate gifts, especially our collection of  Salt Aged Hampers, especially for the meat connoisseur featuring a variety of exceptional cuts of meat including Salt Aged Cote de Boeuf, Sharing T-bone Steak, Fillet Steak and new to James Whelan Butchers, Salt Aged 8 bone Rack of Lamb and Hannon’s famous and much sought after Sugar Pit Bacon Rack.

The reason these hampers make such great corporate gifts, for colleagues or clients is of course they are full to the brim of the most flavoursome artisan meat products, but they take the delivery hassle from you as all of the hampers can be delivered door to door with the minimum of fuss for you.

Here are some suggestions from us on really great corporate gift ideas.


The Works, featuring every Salt Aged Cut imaginable including the lesser known Guanciale, which is full of flavour and goodness. This hamper is for a perfect Christmas corporate gift for that really special client, friend or colleague who you know appreciates really great food – and who you would like to give the gift of an unforgettable Christmas present.


The Salt Aged Variety Box, which is a selection of our favourite cuts is another perfect Corporate Christmas gift – and guaranteed to give the receiver lots of memorable Christmas meals and well into the New Year.


Our Salt Aged Steak Box – is exactly what it says on the box! Packed full of Salt Aged Beef Steaks including T Bone, Sirloin, the much loved Rib Eye and the lesser known Picanha. Every single piece will be a joy to cook and enjoy! Christmas corporate gifting at it’s very best!


Another great favourite for corporate gifting is our Salt Aged Rack Box. A collection of mouthwatering sharing racks of meat. This Christmas may be different to all others, but it will still involve sharing great food with loved ones and this collection is perfect for just that.


Last Minute Corporate Gifts


We have the solution here as well for last minute corporate gifts.

Take our Beef Bonds for example.

A Beef Bond is a Certificate that entitles the holder to a share in one of our acclaimed Hereford or Angus Cattle. On maturity, you’re guaranteed a superb return on your investment – a selection of delicious cuts of prime Tipperary Beef. It can be ordered online on our website.

Each bondholder will receive a beautiful gift certificate as their guarantee, referencing the details of the specific animal it is linked to. On maturity, a variety box of beautiful cuts of meat including a selection of roast joints, steak cuts, braise/ slow cook cuts, and a selection of steak mince and steak burgers, all of which will be prepared by James Whelan’s artisan craft butchers and delivered to the bondholder anywhere in Ireland or the UK.

Final piece of advice about Corporate Gifts – try and place your order as soon as possible. Christmas is always a busy time, but this year it’s going to be even busier, as people want to make the festive season even more special. Remember you can order online on our website – or for multiple orders, please feel free to call us on (052) 618 2477 or email at info@jameswhelanbutchers.com – we can take the details, and get all of your corporate gifts of great meat delivered in time for Christmas.


World Steak Challenge

Posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »


Tipperary Butcher strikes Gold at The World Steak Challenge

James Whelan Butchers certainly lived up to their ‘world class’ ambitions on Wednesday night, achieving both Gold and Silver at the World Steak Challenge. Blind tested and tasted against 300 steaks, from 25 different countries, spreading across four continents, their Tipperary home grown beef excelled in its field!

Pat Whelan, CEO is immensely proud of the JWB team. Pat says ‘not only does it show our Artisan Butchers are skilled craftspeople around meat, they are also a good judge of livestock. The animal was selected by our Head Butcher, David Culley in Clonmel, ably assisted by our farm manager Tony based on its outstanding confirmation. The animal was born, reared and slaughtered on our farm in Garrentemple, Clonmel. We are delighted both David and Tony have been recognised on the world stage, as best in their craft‘.

James Whelan Butchers award winning steaks are available at James Whelan Butchers shops in Oakville Shopping Centre Clonmel, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Swan Rathmines, Blanchardstown, Swords Pavillions, Bishopstown Court, Tralee, Leopardstown, and Avoca Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue along with the online shop www.jameswhelanbutchers.com

Mama’s Meatballs

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce with Cheese, Mama's Meat Balls

One of the most popular dishes in our James Whelan Butchers range is the great family favourite, Mama’s Meatballs in a sumptuously rich Italian sauce and topped with local cheese.  It’s filling, comforting and fantastic value.  This is important as you can’t pick up a food magazine or go to a food website these days without seeing the words ‘budget’, ‘eat well, or spend less’.  I don’t want to be controversial, but surely the wise amongst us were always interested in value and many people I know always worked to a budget.  Savvy customers at James Whelan Butchers have always expected value without the compromise on taste or nutrition.  In a recent chat with another retailer he relayed a sad tale that he has noticed people buying the lower end range in food while they continue to buy the high end brands of pet food.  So Fido is getting the good stuff while little Johnny is being fed the less nutritious processed stuff.  There is definitely something wrong with that picture.

Making great value but nutritious meals is nothing new.  Meatballs are one such meal and a good homemade burger is just a slightly different take on the meatball.  If it is good ‘stretch-a-bility’ you are after or you have to produce a real crowd pleaser then in my book you can’t go past these two firm favourites; meatballs and or burgers.  Both are great budget meals, but also meals that never cease to delight or raise a smile.

Making meatballs is very easy, but making mouth-watering, full of flavour, tender, juicy little brown succulent orbs of meat is another matter entirely.  While most Western countries are familiar with the meatball and, indeed, most European countries have their own version, I still love the Italian take on it.  Maybe I’m slightly biased as the best meatballs I ever tasted were found in an Italian restaurant in the States.  Now to be fair my wife likes to tease me that it was hardly a proper ‘Italian’ experience given that we were in America, but I beg to differ.  The restaurant was run by immigrants and relatively young ones at that.

So what are the rules of great meatballs?  Well great meat balls are actually balls of great meat!  If you don’t start with quality at this stage you may as well forget about it.  You also, ideally, need two types of mince preferably equal parts beef and pork.  If you really want to push the boat out try adding some lamb mince for an extra taste dimension.  The beef is what gives the meatball its substance while the fat from the pork and or lamb adds the real flavour.  Where possible don’t have the meat minced too fine.  Sometimes that thin, stringy meat that very large supermarkets are often guilty of makes the worst kind of meatball or burger.

The next imperative in a meatball or a burger is the adhesive.  If you’ve ever cooked either and they have fallen apart during cooking it is highly possible that you didn’t have enough ‘glue’.  Now meatball and burger glue comes in the form of milk soaked bread.  I discovered this tip while trying out a Delia Smith recipe for meatloaf. Instead of adding plain breadcrumbs, Queen Delia wanted bread with the crusts cut off soaked in milk added to the meatloaf mixture.  The next time I was making meatballs I tried it and it worked really well.  The moist bread binds everything together without flavouring it, leaving the herbs, the meat and any other additions to do their job without interference.

Finally when it comes to meatballs I always seal them on a pan on a very high heat before cooking them off, whether that’s in a sauce or baking them in the oven.  By sealing them quickly on a hot pan you keep all the lovely juices on the inside.  I like my meatballs prepared medium in size and served with a tomato sauce, but maybe you would prefer the creamier paler sauces favoured in Scandinavian countries – it really is up to you.

The rules for homemade burgers are very similar to meatballs in many ways.  Start with great ingredients.  Burgers are probably even more versatile in what you can add to them and how you serve them.  Along with pork mince you could try adding some smoked lardons or how about stuffing them with cheese? British chef, James Martin, has a wonderful cheese stuffed burger recipe.  I also like all the things that go with burgers – the onions, lettuce, slivers of juicy beef tomatoes all topped with crispy streaky bacon and with warm melted cheese on the top, sandwiched between soft burger buns.  The main trick with burgers is not to make them too thick.  If you do you run the risk of cooking them too much on the outside and not enough in the middle.

With meatballs and burgers you really get a lot of bang for your buck plus they are always a real crowd pleaser.  In my house we often make miniature burgers.  They are great for little hands but work particularly well as substantial finger food for adults, always eliciting a little ‘wow’ as people chomp into the juicy meat without the guilt of a full size whopper.

Mix up your mince, try it with different herbs and flavourings and along with being great value you’ll also find that it’s very tasty too. Drop by the website or the store in Oakville any day for more great money saving ideas.  Great meat at great value is what we are really, really good at.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. James Whelan Butchers is a 5th generation butchers with shops in Clonmel, Dunnes Stores at Cornelscourt, Swan Centre Rathmines, Swords Pavillions, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Bandon Road Cork, Jetland Limerick, Tralee, Main Street Naas along with Avoca Rathcoole and Avoca Kilmacanogue. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

James Whelan Butchers: ‘Summers End 2022

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | 1 Comment »

As I write it’s another rain soaked Irish summer’s day with a bit of a gust thrown in. I wonder if I have the will to believe it will turn around before the children return to school. Now the upturned hourglass is well and truly running out of sand and my wishful anticipation of a hot day on the coast with sand in the sandwiches is turning to a wistful philosophical thought that “well there’s always next year”. I have to admit that this summer has tired me somewhat; perhaps it was all that hoping for good weather; I’m exhausted. This won’t be the first time I’ve said it, but is there anything more uninspiring than a damp, wet August? And before we go any further I am fully aware that August is not technically summer, but with everyone still out of routine and people on holidays I always lump it in there in the hope of some late sunshine.

This year my idyllic thoughts of suppers on picnic blankets on the grass with the kids running around until late into the balmy evenings belong in another country altogether and not on the soggy, damp sod of my back garden. Even the more Irish feel of the barbeque on the patio and sticky wings on plastic outdoor tables and disposable plates have also been beaten back into the ‘summer’ box where they reside with the lid firmly screwed down. One of the things I most enjoy about the changing seasons is ‘how’ we cook as much as ‘what’ we cook. In the winter I love the wafts of meaty casseroles slow cooking for hours in the oven while the wind blusters outside, but the warmer months are meant for the smell of cut grass mingling with aromas of grilled meats coming in the opposite direction and light, peppery salad leaves. Stoking up the barbeque with tongs in one hand and an umbrella in the other to eventually eat the food indoors doesn’t cut it. Beef & Vegetable Casserole

So before you chalk me down as Negative Norman, I’m here to spread a little sunshine in your grub. Before we move on to picking blackberries and creating autumnal pies, let’s enjoy what’s left of the season even of the rain is still pelting nosily of the pane. Chicken has to be one of the most universal and versatile meats on the planet and works well in summer and winter, in hot and cold climates alike. I know the rows and debates that surround our feathered friend, but we can break it down to this; the flavour of chicken depends largely on just two things. The first is what they eat and a good and proper diet will lead to a healthy tasty bird. The second is how they are reared in that if they have had space to move around stress free as God intended them to move, then they will develop normally. I personally and often visit the farms where all James Whelan chicken is reared and assure you those boxes are ticked. If you are buying chicken anywhere else they are the two questions you need to ask. Indeed the same goes for eggs; happy hens lay happy eggs.

Traditionally before we had all year round production, chickens born in the spring and ready for the table by summer were good for roasting and grilling. By the winter months they were obviously bigger and the meat was tougher and so casseroles, pies and soups came into their own. Notice how these dishes matched the seasons they were meant for. We really have distorted the food landscape with our progress and technology. Chicken definitely gets my vote for versatility. It can be eaten hot or cold, it’s good for kids and adults alike, it adapts to the seasons, it can be grilled, boiled or roasted, it is usually good value, you can buy it as a whole or in part, you could even rear your own! However if you decide to ‘grow your own’ I warn you now of the dangers of attachment and tell you, from experience, it is not good to kill the perceived family pet (even if it was for a short time) place it plucked and trussed in the oven and present it for dinner. Such action has the potential to scar children for life if not handled correctly! I suggest using the eggs only and enjoy your new pet should you press ahead

Roast Breast of Chicken with Herb and Oatmeal stuffing wrapped in baconSo how can we cook chicken differently in order to put the spark back into our fowl love affair if it has gone foul? (Okay, I’ll stop now.) Once again it is about thinking outside the norm. Take a traditional method and mix it up a little or marry two things together. For example I recently came across a lovely recipe in an American cook book called ‘Bite Me’. It suggested stuffing a chicken breast with a mix of cream cheese, goats’ cheese, fresh basil and thyme and then breading it with a little Dijon mustard as part of the process. The result was fantastic; creamy, cheesy, crunchy, plump mouthfuls with a lovely subtle herby warm kick. I served this with a leafy salad and some garlic bread. (Yes the garlic bread and the breaded chicken was a little bit bread over load, but I wanted to use it up and it was great). I will definitely keep this recipe for the winter and just serve it with hearty roast vegetables.

Citrus flavours such as orange and lemon also give a nice summery feel to chicken and a simple orange sauce can be made using good quality orange juice and a little cornflour. Talking of sweet orange other sweet flavours complement chicken also; sweet peppers, honey, or a little raisin and brown sugar. You could try a simple breaded breast of gingery chicken with a sweet salad for a little sweet and sour slant. Chicken also works well with nuts; peanuts, cashew and pecan but the usual nut allergy warnings apply here.

We’ve got some great offers on chicken right now and some good ideas on both our website and in store. Drop by before the end of the ‘summer’, I promise you’ll be inspired.

This post was written by me, Pat Whelan, owner of James Whelan Butchers and a passionate advocate of local artisan food. My family have been producing quality Irish Angus beef for generations using a traditional dry aging process. This tradition is one that I continue to practice at our abattoir on our family farm in Garrentemple, Clonmel. These posts aim to impart some of the wisdom to readers and help them get the best out of the meat they eat! Our meat is available online here! I welcome your feedback to Pat@jwb.ie

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers . Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

Our Top Tips for Barbecuing

Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Nothing says summer more than the sights and smells of people cooking and enjoying great food outdoors. We just love dusting off the BBQ and garden furniture – inviting friends and family round, creating great times in the back garden! Heaven!

We asked some of our team for their barbequing tips, from cooking the perfect steak on the barbeque to taking the hassle out of summer entertaining. We thought it would be nice to share some of these with you.

Use a Meat Thermometer

Cooking on a BBQ can be unpredictable and with cooking meat you can’t rely on appearance alone. A meat thermometer is a simple to use, low cost tool to keep you and your loved ones safe and is a fool proof way of cooking to perfection on the BBQ.


Then the next question – is how long do you cook meat for on the BBQ? For grilling times, depending on how you like your steak cooked, or what type of meat you are cooking, we found this useful BBQ guide on the Weber website.

For other tips on cooking meat safely, safefood has some great tips on their website.


When barbequing you are also entertaining so try and get as much prep work out of the way as possible, so you have time to spend with your guests. Marinating food in advance, the night before is preferable. Prepare salads or even better pop into your local deli or supermarket which will take the fuss and extra work out of the BBQ. Stock up the night before, get your drinks trolley ready – or how about going with the latest trend, getting your pallet bar stocked – and don’t forget to fill the ice trays in the freezer!

Avoid Fridge Chill

Another great tip when cooking meat – take raw meat out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before barbecuing until it reaches room temperature. If the meat is too cold when it hits the grill it could burn on the outside before it’s cooked through. This is especially important with sausages, burgers, and chicken. It’s also important with steaks to ensure it’s cooked as you like it.


Use the Skills of Your Butcher

BBQing should be enjoyable, not something that creates extra work, so consider using the skills of your local butcher and leave the meat prep to the expert – often it can be better value as well! Think of the time you will save on chopping, threading skewers, making burgers from scratch or marinating chicken.

Also when people prepare BBQ food from scratch there is a tendency to over-purchase and most butchers, including our good selves have a wide range of delicious meats made especially for the BBQ. All of our BBQ Collection is available in our shops including our online shop, with delivery right to your door.


Take Your Time

Allow plenty of time for the food to cook. Traditionally barbecuing is not meant to be as fast as grilling, it is a slower, more leisurely process although gas barbecues are faster than conventional ones. When executed properly this is what gives it that great, unique taste. It is also quite a healthy option as most of the fat drips off and into the flames during cooking. If you think about it barbecues are the original health grills as little is added to create the flavour.


Final Piece of Advice

Our final piece of advice is to always, always, always go for the best ingredients you can afford. Top quality burgers will always taste better than cheap, poor quality steak. Buy the best you can afford, forget the barbecue snobbery that abounds and just enjoy having your family and friends around, to break bread together – something we have all been missing.

At the end of the day it really is one of life’s simplest but greatest pleasures.


Mother’s Day 2022

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food, Occasions | No Comments »

Roast Rib of Beef, Slow Roast Beef, Most Popular Roast, James Whelan Butchers Rib of Beef

Roast Rib of Beef, one of our most popular joints, perfect for slow roasting and with roasting on the bone it is so full of flavour.

Mother’s Day is one of the highlights of our year, a day when we honour our own mothers, grandmothers and in this era of blended families – we honour step mothers and other strong female influences in our lives.

Traditionally on this day, mothers and mother figures are treated with cards, flowers and other thoughtful gifts and here at James Whelan Butchers we love to celebrate with great food.

For people planning a big family gathering, we always say that you just can’t go wrong with Rib of Beef on the Bone. It’s one of our most popular joints, perfect for slow roasting and with roasting on the bone it is so full of flavours. Often called the Roast of Roasts, here is our own step by step guide – and an important tip here is to allow the meat to rest and relax after cooking before slicing and serving as it improves the flavour and juiciness – plus it makes it so much easier to carve.

And our friends and customers would be well aware that we never recommend a roast without our famous JWB Beef Dripping Roast Potatoes – in our humble opinion these are the best roast potatoes you will ever have!


Rack of Iberico Pork, Easy to Cook Pork Roast, James Whelan Butchers Iberico Rack of Pork, Artisan Rack of Pork

Iberico Rack of Pork, this very special meat is native to the Iberian Peninsula, which has an incredible luxurious flavour and tenderness.

Viva Espana for Mother’s Day!

Another favourite roast of ours, which is perfect for Mother’s Day or any special Sunday is our award winning Iberico Rack of Pork. This very unique pork is native to the Iberian Peninsula, where the pigs are allowed to roam free in oak forests and enjoy a diet of herbs, grasses and cereals. This gives the pork an incredible luxurious flavour and tenderness. It’s so easy to prepare and serve and never fails to impress. You will be the apple of your mother’s eye preparing this dish on Mother’s Day. And speaking of apples – our trick here is to place a cooking apple or two underneath the meat during cooking. Again something that we always celebrate – great food that is so simple, yet full of goodness and flavour.


Oven Ready Chicken & Ham, Chicken & Heritage Ham Roast, Chicken with Stuffing Roast, Easy to Cook Sunday Roast, Easy to Cook Mother's Day Meal, James Whelan Butchers Chicken Cushion

Our Chicken Cushion is hand prepared by our butchers and wrapped around our Heritage Cure Bacon and stuffed with delicious Black Pudding and Thyme Sausage Meat Stuffing.

Easy Does It!

We love coming up with solutions for those of you who may prefer to spend less time in the kitchen and is looking for an oven ready special meal. Like our Red Chicken Cushion, which is hand prepared by our butchers, deboned and wrapped around delicious Heritage Cure Bacon and stuffed with a mouth watering Black Pudding and Thyme Sausage Meat Stuffing. It’s a meal for four people, or if you are looking for something for a larger gathering, why not try our Roast Stuffed Turkey. Our Free Range Irish Turkey are available all year round and can be prepared stuffed or unstuffed.

We love ours stuffed, as the flavours of our award winning stuffing are released through the turkey giving a juicy flavoursome tender joint. If your guests include people who may have an intolerance to gluten, you can always serve the stuffing on the side and our Award Winning Homemade Stuffing is available to purchase separately – either online or in any one of our shops.


Restaurant Quality Beef Wellington, Hand Prepared Easy to Cook Beef Wellington, Signature Dish, Prime Fillet Steak, Mother's Day Meal for Two, James Whelan Butchers Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington, serves two people generously made with prime aged Irish beef fillet, wrapped in a mushroom duxelles, buttery puff pastry with fresh herbs and sea salt.

Delicious Mother’s Day Treat for Two

Our signature Beef Wellington is making a very special re-appearance in time for Mother’s Day. It is the “pièce de résistance“ of oven ready meals. It serves two people generously, made with prime aged Irish beef fillet, wrapped in a mushroom duxelles, buttery puff pastry with fresh herbs and sea salt. This special dish is available through our Click & Collect service, so simply order online, choose your nearest shop and collect on the day of your choice.

Our advice this Mother’s Day is to keep it simple, spend more time with mum and less time stressing over elaborate meals. The most important thing is spending time together, with great food of course, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Our recommendation would be to leave the preparation to your trusted butcher, leaving more time to relax and enjoy this special day.

Dude Food

Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Dude Food, Easy Food for Entertaining, TV Dinner

February is a great month for sport. We have round one of the Six Nations starting this Saturday, the Winter Olympics start today in Beijing. In GAA, February marks Round 2 of the Allianz Football League and across the water in the UK, the Premier League hots up with some really great matches in February.

All of this got us thinking of the relatively new phenomenon of “Dude Food”, which is often associated with meaty dishes that are simple to prepare, delicious and easy to eat while watching some great sports at home.

At James Whelan Butchers we are passionate about great food and with so many of us interested in sports, we wanted to share some of our favourite “Dude Food” options, to prepare and enjoy while watching your favourite team or athlete, from the comfort of your couch.


Dry Aged Angus Burger

Of course the obvious first choice is a delicious Burger, sandwiched in a fresh brioche or sourdough bun, with mustard, cheese, gherkins and salad. One of our favourite choices is our Dry Aged Burger made with 100% Angus Beef – these are available in any of our 12 shops across the country. If you are entertaining friends, maybe you require a more substantial feast. Available all year round on our website is our BBQ Collection, which is a selection of our favourite bbq products that can be delivered right to your door through our Local Delivery Service.

For those with some time on their hands before the games begin, we would recommend a special treat of Beef Dripping Onion Rings. They go perfectly with a burger and are great to share and snack on. Made with our Award Winning Beef Dripping of course!


Chicken Wings, Hot & Spicey Chicken Wings

Another “Dude Food” favourite is Chicken Wings, ready to serve and great to share straight out of the oven. We love ours spicy, and always a favourite are Donal’s Wings, coated in a layer of our Hot & Spicy sauce. These wings will provide the right amount of ‘heat’ for any spectator sporting occasion. Available on our website – or if you are picking them up in one of our shops and want them even spicier, just ask one of the team and we can pile on even more chillies!!!


Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce with Cheese, Mama's Meat Balls

If you would like to go “Italian” for your “Dude Food” – how about some meatballs – again great to share, perhaps a little bit messy, but so what, sport can be messy too!!! We found a really delicious recipe from our friends at Bord Bia that we wanted to share with you. It’s for their Meatballs in Tomato & Ginger Sauce. Or if you want an option to just pop into the oven and be ready in minutes, we have the solution – Mama’s Meatballs, which are available in all our shops and online. They come in a sumptuously rich Italian sauce and are topped with Irish cheese.

Of course for further inspiration next time you visit us why not ask one of our butchers for suggestions, they would be more than happy to help. Our favourite topic is always great food and it’s always a pleasure helping our customers and friends find the perfect food for any occasion, not just Christmas or Easter or Valentines Day. Great food can turn any occasion into a really special day – and all that is left is for your team to win which makes the day even better – and if they lose, at least the food will be great!!!

James Whelan Butchers: A Taste of the Orient

Posted on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

With the Chinese New Year fast approaching it got me thinking about Chinese food and how we could take some Chinese influences to shake up the mid week menu.

Bok Choy - Chinese cabbage

Bok Choy – Chinese cabbage

There are general Chinese cooking principles that can be applied. I like the fact that you don’t have to stick to the same meat or vegetables. Many Chinese recipes call for a variety of both. This certainly creates flavour, texture and colour in dishes. The Chinese also like to use fresh ingredients where possible and when it comes to stir fries my big tip is to prepare everything before you start cooking. With any Asian dish the preparation is crucial. Wash drain and cut the vegetables, marinate the meat if necessary and prepare any sauces before you even turn on a hot plate. It is also good to wash any green leafy vegetables as early as possible as they need time to dry. If they are too wet when you stir fry the result will be poor. When stir-frying, cook the toughest and thickest vegetables for a longer period than the softer leafy ones. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and cabbage need to be cooked longer than bok choy, which in turn is cooked longer than mangetout or bean sprouts.

When it comes to meat a Chinese person told me to always marinate fresh meat. You can do this from the day before or just a few hours before you use it but the longer the better. Another tip was to cut the beef across the grain for a more tender meat. Try to keep the pieces uniform in size as this way they will cook more evenly. With stir fries you can always cook the meat first and then set it aside, returning it to the wok with a sauce during the final stages of cooking. A wok is a traditional high sided Chinese frying pan and while you don’t absolutely need one I think it is the only way to achieve a decent stir fry. The high sides of the wok allow the heat to distribute evenly and you can whizz the food around without it spilling all over the hob. In many Chinese restaurants it is the well seasoned hot wok that is part of the secret.

Beef stir fry with noodles

Beef stir fry with noodles

Woks also allow you to deep fry with less oil that you would normally use but still great care is needed here. Before you put any food into a wok make sure it is good and hot. Generally speaking the Chinese use peanut oil to cook with, but vegetable oil will work just as well. Also be aware that peanut oil, once open, has a much shorter shelf life than vegetable oil so unless you are planning on doing a lot of Asian cooking I can’t recommend the investment. When adding the oil, drizzle it down the sides of the wok and make sure it is very hot before adding any of the food.

When it comes to sauces and seasoning you might think it is very complicated when in fact the opposite is true. For flavouring the Chinese tend to stick to a few well known ingredients. Light Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Sesame Oil, Rice Wine, Tomato Ketchup and plain old sugar are widely used.

A good friend and a fellow Tipperary native, Fiona Uyema has created a wonderful array of flavoured Soya Sauces and oriental Food Kits, Fused by Fiona Uyema – which we would recommend highly. Manufactured in Ireland and full of great flavours.

Fresh ginger (never powdered), garlic, onion and bean sprouts are the other staples. After that just think about all the takeaway dishes you’ve eaten; red and green peppers, carrots, cashew nuts, baby corn, spring onion, French beans, mange tout and water chestnuts. Corn flour is widely used to thicken any sauces and peanut butter is always handy for a satay sauce. Rice and noodles are the common accompaniment and, another little tip, leftover cooked rice makes better fried rice than freshly boiled rice.

If you just want something a little different but still home cooked then try doing it the Chinese way. How about a little beef or chicken stir-fry, a chicken satay or even a duck breast in a nice oriental sauce? All of these dishes are easily achieved in our own kitchens without too much fanfare. Try it this week and see, if nothing else once everything is prepared, Chinese food is relatively quick to cook.

Our good friends in Bord Bia have a wide range of tasty and easy to prepare oriental dishes such as Oriental Lamb Stir Fry with crispy Vegetables, Steak with Plum Sauce or the Classic Stir Fry Chicken with Ginger.

For time poor people out there, in store and online we have a range of Turkey, Chicken or Dry Aged Beef Stir Fries – already marinated with extra virgin oil and seasonings with some seasonal fresh vegetables so ready to go straight into the wok or frying pan.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher and farmer, cookbook author and the CEO of James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines, Swords, Leopardstown and Blanchardstown in Dublin, as well as Naas Town Centre, Bishopstown Court in Cork, Jetland in Limerick and Tralee. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

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