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



James Whelan Butchers: Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Posted on Saturday, June 8th, 2024 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food, Lamb Recipes, Recipes | No Comments »


This butterfield leg of lamb is the perfect choice for a speedy Sunday Lunch and can even be cooked on the barbecue.

Serves 8
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serving Suggestions
Steamed new potatoes
Nutritional Analysis per Serving
Protein: 55g
Carbohydrates: 32g
Fat: 20g
Iron: 3.8mg
Energy: 521kcal


  • 1 leg of lamb, boned and trimmed, roughly 4-5cm thick
  • Rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 fresh rosemary stalks, leaves stripped
  • 2 tablesp. of olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Cook

Place the lamb in a large non-metallic dish and sprinkle the lemon rind and half the juice, the rosemary and the garlic slivers on top. Drizzle over half the olive oil and then turn the lamb over a couple of times until the marinade ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for 2 hours to allow the flavours to combine or overnight in the fridge is even better.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 7, 220ºC(450ºF). If the lamb has been chilled overnight, bring it back to room temperature. Then place it skin side up, in a large roasting tin and season with salt and black pepper. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, then turn it over and roast for another 15 minutes for medium rare.

To make the salad, place the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion in a large bowl. Then tear in the mint leaves. Season to taste and then dress with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice.

When the lamb is cooked, transfer to a warm dish, then leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Carve into slices and arrange on plates with the tomato and cucumber salad and steam new potatoes.

The Food Makeover

Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2024 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | 1 Comment »

In conversation with a friend recently I found myself wading into the murky waters of food and weight loss.   We would both find ourselves in that rather tricky position of having a desire to fit into a smaller trouser size but possessing an even greater desire for a steak pie, nice wine, good sausage, local cheese and all the other scrumptious food available on our doorstep. We wondered if we lived in a less ‘food centric’ county would we be thinner! Perhaps; but with our collective love of food, moving was out of the question.

We both agreed that dieting was pure folly. I don’t care what regimen you try be it the crazy Hollywood stuff of the baby food diet or even the more sensible programmes based on true science, in my mind a diet is a diet and that equals deprivation which will ultimately, in my case, always fail. I am just unsuited to self punishment or depriving myself of anything. The mere thought of it makes me sad and I’d rather be cuddly and happy than thin and miserable. The thought occurred to both of us; is it possible to still eat all the things you like and yet maintain a healthy weight? Or is it simply the case that a lettuce leaf, half a tomato and cardboard cracker bread is the only miserable path to perfectly svelte?

In the shop I often hear people talking about diet and weight loss. More often than not, the same people that were talking about it five years ago are still talking about it now. They’ve tried all the well known routes. “Are you sure that’s lean, I’m on the Atkins?” “That steak is far too big, Weight Watchers say that a portion is about the size of my palm”.   “What kind of bread is in those breadcrumbs?” These are the usual questions and just to protect the identity of the insane I won’t quote some of the others.

mushroom-omletteSo we’ve decided that small changes are less traumatic for everyone and possibly more sustainable long term.   So where do you start? Well I tried to create a better burger and I did surprisingly well.   Making burgers in the past I would often have added some breadcrumbs and even an egg into the mix. I left both of these items out and using good quality lean steak mince I just added some onion, garlic, a tablespoon of half fat crème fraiche and a few herbs and seasoning and made a burger. It was great and I didn’t miss the breadcrumbs at all. I made the burger slightly bigger than usual and didn’t bother with the bun, but loaded some rocket and coriander on to the plate. Instead of covering it with cheese I caramelised some red onions using balsamic vinegar and a little honey and while they took about 30 minutes to cook, they added some lovely moistness to my burger. All in all it was a great feast and by the time I’d finished I hadn’t missed the bun.

I also tried a makeover on a simple omelette. If I’m having a late breakfast I will often opt for an omelette as it feels like a substantial brunch. I love bacon and ham in omelettes but this time I used some smoked bacon and a little less of it and loaded up with the mushrooms and onions. I also threw in a few sliced peppers, loads of fresh herbs and I cut back on the eggs by using three egg whites and just one yoke. I admit it was light, but you could get used to it and while the colour was definitely paler, the taste wasn’t as compromised as I thought it would be.

I was definitely onto something and so my quest continued. I felt like the government, making little cuts here and there and small adjustments to this and that. One tablespoon of butter instead of two or half a teaspoon of sugar instead of a rounded one and in one or two instances I just opted for a tomato based sauce rather than a cream sauce and didn’t skimp on taste whatsoever. Just in case you are wondering, at no time did I resort to using a sugar or butter substitute.

There are so many dishes that can be made over that I’m actually getting a little excited about it now. For example in a cooked breakfast I could use one less sausage or replace it with a rasher. Instead of two fried eggs I could have just one, but add in a heap of fried mushrooms. There are many different options and it’s all about choice. I have a new slogan, “Moderation for the nation without deprivation or starvation!” or how about “A substitution revolution for a new constitution!”. (You’re right, I’m better at producing meat than rapping any day, but you get my drift.)

If you do come up with any good ‘makeovers’ of common recipes let me know and we’ll try and pass it on through the website at Jameswhelanbutchers.com. I’ve decided that maintaining a healthy weight should never mean compromising on taste or the food that you love. I welcome your feedback to info@jwb.ie

James Whelan Butchers: Lighter Days

Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2024 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food | No Comments »

Regardless of the weather I always find that I just enjoy lighter food in the summer months. It may be simple conditioning or it could be my body wanting to shed all that was packed into it in the cold winter. For me this time of year always calls for lighter meals and with the abundance of salad vegetables around there is plenty to choose from. However as a meat and fish eater I have no intention of eating like a rabbit and sometimes find it hard to get my head around making salads exciting. Warm Chicken Salad with Cashew Nut and Mango Dressing

Like everything it is only a matter of application. Once you take the time to think about it a myriad of possibilities enter the picture. You will find yourself looking forward to dinner and not just putting up with a little limp lettuce and a hard half of tomato with lashings of mayonnaise and fooling your brain into thinking you are eating something healthy and tasty. Ireland has really grown up when it comes to salad. No longer are we confined to potato salad with slices of cold corned beef, ham or chicken always accompanied by that limp lettuce and the hard halved tomato as mentioned above. Today we have great choice and taste. Crunchy romaine lettuce, soft lambs leaf lettuce, rocket and spinach leaves are all tasty alternatives in the green department. I am currently addicted to rocket leaves, and not just rocket, but a mixture of rocket and fresh coriander; it is nothing short of a revelation. You no longer have to put up with those un-ripened tomatoes that ricocheted around the plate when you tried to stab them with a fork; today the choice is immense. Choose from tiny baby tomatoes, delicious tomatoes on the vine, ordinary tomatoes or even sun dried are all readily available. Avocados, celery, red, white and green onions, peppers of every hue and an abundance of nuts and seeds have all transformed the humble salad into a plate of natural goodness that can be enjoyed rather than endured.  James Whelan Butchers Pork Belly

When it comes to meat I really want to encourage you to try cuts of hot meat with a decent salad and not just as a side dish; actually replace the spuds and cooked vegetables with something lighter. For a handy weekday meal try grilled pork chops with avocado and melon. Warm chicken salad couldn’t be easier and chicken works particularly well in the classic Caesar Salad, warm or cold. You can also try topping the meat with salad and this works particularly well with steak and rocket leaves. Indeed a good steak, rocket, homemade salsa and a baguette gives you the chance to create a hearty steak sandwich. Topping cuts of meat with salad is seen as particularly ‘chefy’ looking and it’s a style that is quite popular at the minute in food magazines and restaurants. Make sure you let grilled meats stand for about five minutes before topping with any salad mixture and serving.

Skewers of grilled meat and fish also work really well on a bed of leaves and salad vegetables. You can add a Mediterranean feel by incorporating some fruit such as slices of orange or lemon. Don’t forget the old combination of apples, raisins and celery is still tasty today. There are also plenty of pickles and chutneys you can make ahead and add for taste value such as pickled cucumber which I eat with just about everything at this time of year or beetroot.

Cheese is another great addition to a salad. Greek feta cheese, grated parmesan or some grated cheddar can elevate the taste. Some people like to add a little knob of butter to a steak but why not substitute it for a little knob of cream cheese and lettuce leaves or the classic stilton cheese with a little rocket on the top. Indeed a goat’s cheese, tomato and ham tartlet topped with rocket and coriander is a terrific starter.

Try my delicious Beetroot, Jerusalem Artichoke and Skirt Steak Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Mixed Leaves, Tarragon Dressing

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Our Top Tips for Barbecuing

Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2024 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.


How to Cook our Free-Range, Irish Chicken Breast Goujons

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to Cook our Free-Range, Irish Chicken Breast Goujons

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared these Free-Range, Irish Chicken Breast Goujons for you to oven-cook simply at home. Generous chunks of Irish chicken breast coated in a crispy breadcrumb. Beep-beep kids, the grown-ups have just discovered real chicken goujons.

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Place on a tray lined with parchment paper
  • Cook for 20 mins
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 5 mins before serving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!


Shop instore or online



How to Cook our Free-Range, Irish Chicken Surprise

Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to Cook our Free-Range Chicken Surprise

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared this Free-Range, Irish Chicken Surprise for you to oven-cook simply at home. Handcrafted from free-range, Irish Hubbard Chicken Breast Fillets, wrapped in bacon and filled with award-winning buttery herb stuffing. Surprise yourself with a new favourite.

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Cook for between 40 and 45 mins
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 20 mins before serving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!


Shop instore or online



How to cook our Meatloaf

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to cook our Award-Winning Mamma’s Meatloaf

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared this award-winning Mamma’s Meatloaf for you to oven-cook simply at home. An artisan-crafted, blend of dry-aged, Irish beef and locally-reared, Irish pork all smothered in a rich, homemade tomato ragu and topped with melting mozzarella. Mamma, take a bow.

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Cover in tinfoil
  • Cook for 60 minutes
  • Remove tinfoil for the last 10 mins
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 10 mins before serving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!


Shop instore or online



How to Cook Meatballs

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to Cook Mamma’s Meatballs

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared these award-winning Mamma’s Meatballs for you to oven-cook simply at home. This is special, dry-aged, Irish beef blended and balanced with locally-reared, Irish pork all nestled in a rich, homemade tomato ragu.

Go ahead and make your Mamma, Mum, Mammy proud.

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Cover in tinfoil
  • Cook for between 40 and 45 mins
  • Remove tinfoil for the last 10 mins
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 5 mins before serving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!


Shop instore or online


How to Cook our Free-Range, Boneless, Roast Irish Turkey Breast

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to Cook our James Whelan Butchers Free-Range, Boneless, Roast Irish Turkey Breast

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared this Free-Range, Boneless, Irish Turkey for you to roast simply at home. Slow-raised for extra succulence. Award-winning for its delicate, melt-in-the-mouth meat and depth of flavours. Moist and juicy inside.

Golden and crispy outside. Make every day, a mini-Christmas.

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper
  • Cover with parchment paper
  • Cover with tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Cook for 44 mins per kg and add 20 mins
  • Remove tinfoil and parchment paper for the last 20 mins
  • Cook to a core temperature of 75°C
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 20 mins before carving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!

Shop instore or online




How to cook our Free-Range Chicken

Posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 by boxadmin in Video Recipes | No Comments »

How to Cook Free-Range, Slow-Raised, Irish Hubbard Unstuffed Chicken

Our Master Butchers have hand-prepared this Free-Range, Slow-Raised, Irish Hubbard Chicken for you to roast simply at home. The succulence of this slow-raised Hubbard Chicken speaks for itself.

Plump, flavoursome meat, roasted to golden, carves like a dream. Seconds, everyone?

Some Simple Steps:

  • Preheat the fan oven to 180°C
  • Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Cover with parchment paper
  • Cover with tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Cook for 44 mins per kg and add 20 mins
  • Remove tinfoil and parchment paper for the last 20 mins
  • Cook to a core temperature of 75°C
  • Remove and loosely wrap in tinfoil, shiny side down
  • Allow to rest for 20 mins before carving

Enjoy another delicious meal from James Whelan Butchers!

Shop instore or online



Easter – A Time of Celebration & Change

Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 by Pat Whelan in Foodie Articles, Good Food, Lamb Recipes, Occasions | No Comments »

Now that the days are getting longer and thankfully brighter, it’s a time of change. Those of us who are organised enough, might begin to resurrect summer wardrobes; we might bring fresh life to our gardens with new plants and flowers, and those of us passionate about great food might be looking for fresh inspiration with our food.

Easter is usually the time that we welcome lighter meals and seasonal favourites like fresh Spring Lamb.

Regular visitors to our blog know that we have lots of delicious Lamb recipes to choose from – and if you click here you will find a selection of our favourites – many of them so perfect for Springtime dining and entertaining.


Shoulder of Spring Lamb

Shoulder of Spring Lamb, a lesser known, but truly wonderful alternative to Leg of Lamb

There are so many ways to enjoy this seasonal treat. While traditionalists will already have a succulent Leg of Lamb on their Easter Shopping List, a lesser known, but truly wonderful alternative to this is Shoulder of Lamb. Cooked long and slow, it results in the most tender and juicy meat, perfect for a really special Easter get together.


Rack of Spring Lamb

Rack of Lamb, an Easter Classic, perfect to impress dinner party guests, yet so simple to prepare and serve

An Easter Classic and perfect for creating an impressive dinner party main course for friends and family is Rack of Lamb. Might look challenging to prepare, but we promise that a good butcher will do the hard work to make you look good! Chat to your local butcher who will prepare this beautiful piece of meat for you. All you have to do is sprinkle on some rosemary, salt and black pepper and pop into the oven.


Butterfly Leg of Lamb

Butterfly Leg of Lamb, one of our favourite ways to cook Lamb – either in the oven, or on the barbeque

Some people give their Barbeque its first outing of the year at Easter – and again, Spring Lamb is perfect meat for an Easter BBQ. Click here for one of our favourite Butterfly Leg of Lamb recipes which includes a delicious Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Our recipe gives instructions for cooking the lamb in the oven, but if you are firing up your barbeque, our friends in Bordbia recommend placing the lamb on a hot barbecue and cooking for 20/25 minutes approx. on each side over a medium heat.


Freerange Turkey Crown

Freerange Turkey Crown, perfect for Easter lunch or dinner, ready to pop into the oven

A firm favourite in our home on Easter Sunday is a succulent fresh Turkey Breast Roast. To spend more time with your family and friends, rather than in the kitchen, especially if the weather is nice – we suggest asking your butcher to roll and tie the meat, so it’s ready to pop into the oven. This way it’s much quicker to cook and even easier to carve.

With all of these very special meats, which are perfect for Spring or Easter roasts when you are entertaining friends and family, whether you are going with lamb, chicken or ham, here is a handy Roasting Guide that we have put together that might be of use.


The final piece of advice for entertaining or preparing a special meal for friends and family this Easter, is something you will have heard from us before. Keep things simple. For vegetables go with some seasonal favourites, like courgettes, asparagus, carrots, perhaps roasting in the oven towards the end of cooking time for the meat. Like everything we love at James Whelan Butchers – so simple, yet so full of flavour and goodness.

Happy Easter Everyone!


Bringing Home the Bacon this St Patrick’s Day

Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 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.


Heritage Cur Bacon

Heritage Cure Bacon – Our signature heritage cure Irish bacon is truly delicious. Traditionally cured, it has a distinctive flavour with a hint of smoky hickory undertones.


Breakfast Box


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.

Heritage Ham

Our award-winning Heritage Ham is truly delicious. Cured on the bone over natural woods of beech and hickory. This gives a sweet, smoky cure to this wondrous ham.
As the judges said, at the Great Taste Awards; “What a treat, an enormous ham that brings a flurry of excitement when it’s brought to the table.”


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

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