A Great Irish BBQ – 20+ Products To Try This Summer

Summer in Ireland can be a funny thing. One year we’re plagued with torrential downpours and low teens temperatures, the next we’re scorched, seared and put on water restrictions. The vision of “Irish summer” is a confused one, as we’re not really guaranteed balmy sunshine like on the Continent, but that never dampens spirits and once June, July and August come around us Irish in general dust the barbecues straight off. Come rain or shine, an Irish BBQ is a fine thing –– and we’ve compiled (in no particular order) a number of products, condiments and BBQ essentials we’ve found recently to take your BBQ game to the next level!

1. Cafe Builín Smoked Onion Mayo

Builín Blasta is an Irish language cafe located at the tip of the Connemara Gaeltacht in the town of Spiddal, which is open daily and has a thriving trade. They’ve branched into their own line of products (chutnies, relishes, dressings) over the last number of years and their Smoked Onion Mayo is a true revelation. One of the finest mayonnaises we’ve ever encountered, the light smoky backnote is perfect as a BBQ accompaniment and you’ll find yourself reaching for a teaspoon to eat this straight from the jar. A must-try, but, there’s a catch. For the moment, it’s really only available in the Galway area. We’re holding out to hear of more widespread distribution across Ireland, but for the moment we’ve found it at the cafe and in McCambridges.

2. Great Northern Larder Scotch BBQ

Dip. Marinade. Pour. Make of this what you want, and make it work for you. Louth-based Great Northern Larder produce a range of incredible hand-made, hand-bottled sauces (their classic Brown Sauce and their honey-sweetened Ketchup should also be staples of your BBQ!) and spice rubs but it’s their best-selling Scotch BBQ that really stands out. It contains apple cider vinegar, black treacle, Oriel smoked sea salt and smoked scotch whiskey and the smell and flavour is sweet and sharp with a delicious, deep intensity.

Laura McMenamy and Ruari Browne are the pair behind the brand, and they describe this particular product as “a sweet, sticky and smoky sauce with deep flavours. It transports you immediately to the deep south on a hot summers night with whole hog burning over the grill and bourbon in abundance… and as a marinade – pour it over meat and leave overnight before cooking. It’s also a “mop” sauce – mop it onto meat while it is cooking so that it caramelises and creates a nice sweet and hot crust… try it (as a sauce) straight on burgers, chops, kebabs, chicken goujons, pulled pork, or in sandwiches”.

3. Rebel Chilli Barrel Aged Hot Sauce

‘Bright, Beautiful, Delicious, Smoky’ – the words emblazoned on Rebel Chilli’s Barrel-Aged Hot Sauce, and we have to say we 100% agree. Rebel by name, nature and location, this is an ultra special, limited edition creation from the young Cork-based hot sauce company as it’s a hot sauce that’s been aged and matured for 62 days in barrels that have produced some of Ireland’s finest whiskey. Sharp up front with a spicy undertone that grows and lingers underneath, a little of this goes a long way –– but if you’re like us and adore hot sauce, you’ll find excuses to keep dashing this on everything from breakfast to late-night BBQ. Rebel Chilli is widely available in stockists across Ireland.

A side note –– that mango and habanero sauce from Rebel Chilli is equally fantastic. It’s sweet at first, then a proper bang of spice right at the end. Heavenly! We swear by it for fish tacos.

4. Graham’s Mustards

Produced just down the road from us around Slane, Co. Meath, Kearns Foods is the family-owned and run brand behind ‘Graham’s’ range of mustards and sauces. Set in elegant little rotund monochrome pots, their Wholegrain and Dijon mustards (plus their Horseradish Cream) are punchy, sharp, rich and quality in every spoonful. The wholegrain is actually two month-aged and their award-winning Dijon is ‘cask strength’.

5. Fitzpatricks Poitín-infused Homemade Ketchup

A family business based in Cavan and run by Frank Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatricks produce a novel Poitín-infused ketchup inspired by his mother’s recipes from time-gone-by. 100% natural, no preservatives or additives, just tomatoes, onions, sultanas and balsamic with sugar, oil, salt, spices and ‘just a splash’ of Poitin –– Ireland’s once-outlawed high proof spirit. Not available absolutely everywhere, you’ll find this stocked in select SuperValu stores and Sheridan’s Cheesemonger; we picked ours up in Strandfield in Dundalk.

6. Mooncoin Beetroot

Beetroot is a fantastic product, and Mooncoin Beetroot have – within food circles – given the plant a new lease of life of late. A popular addition to menus across Ireland, as well as in a number of speciality food stores, their fresh produce is as beautiful as they are delicious. However, on the patio table, a jar of Mooncoin Beetroot wouldn’t go amiss. Great in the salad bowl or even on sandwiches.

7. Lakeshore Mustards

Us Irish are great at producing drinks –– and wonderful at consuming them too. An Irish BBQ is the perfect excuse to get everyone around for some drinks and a feast of food from the grill, and we’ve found unique ways to include stouts and whiskeys in our condiments too. Lakeshore is probably better known as an oil producer, but they also produce a selection of unique Lakeshore mustards well worth trying out –– a Strong Irish; a Wholegrain with Irish Stout; and a Wholegrain with Whiskey.

8. Mezze Middle East Spice Blends

Husband and wife team Nicola Crowley and Dvir Nusery bring Middle Eastern spice to the Irish table with Mezze, and have been a fixture on the Irish food scene for some time for their travelling food stall at festivals, their brand new cafe in Tramore and their ‘Lavosh’ flatbread crackers and signature glass jar spice blends: Baharat, Peanut Dukkah, Hawai’ij.

Coat a beer can chicken or spatchcocked bird in their spices, make a spiced oil to pour over fish cooked in foil over the flames, marinade veggies like aubergine, cauliflower or portobello mushrooms in them or simply sprinkle over hummus –– make these spice blends your go-to grabbed from the cupboard when you want to inject some punchy spice into BBQ proceedings.

9. 10. And Two More Mustards…

The Lodge Mustards is the mustard for a mustard fan. Adventurous and unique combinations make these stand out. Produced in Barna, Co. Galway, these can be slightly harder to find than the likes of Lakeshore, but they’re worth stocking up on where you can. Both the Galway Hooker Pale Ale Mustard and their Dingle Gin, Juniper and Lime Mustard in particular are a real taste sensation. Small in stance (and) jar, but mighty in flavour.

One more mustard to write home about is Cork’s Real Olive Co. who are essentially ‘Italy in Ireland’ with their range of vinegars, cheeses, olives, crackers, spreads, tapenades, sauces and condiments. They are also the people behind Toonsbridge, in case you didn’t know, famed for their Irish buffalo mozzarella but also their feta and halloumi-style cheeses, their ricotta and their smoked scarmoza. They also produce a great pair of mustards, one smooth and Dijon-style, the other Moutarde à l’Ancienne, a more traditional wholegrain, nutty and rich mustard.

11. GIY Grow HQ Beetroot Ketchup

This is a special one which we think is worth heading to Waterford for. If you’ve not heard of Grow HQ, it’d be worth listening to our episode of Chew The Fat with Michael Kelly & Karen O’Donohoe to find out about the Grow It Yourself movement, and the work done by the team at their now nationally famous HQ. The beetroot ketchup is a popular condiment in their cafe, and perfectly demonstrates the seasonable ethos behind JB Dubois kitchen, by making use of the glut of beets that come out of the ground every year. Available to buy in their shop.

12. White Mausu Peanut Rayu {食べるラー油}

THE kitchen condiment, store cupboard staple of the moment across Ireland. There’s really no limit to what Katie Sanderson’s Rayu can be used for – perfect on eggs, on a toastie, over the top of some noodles, or even just as the label suggests, eat straight from the jar. A different product to enjoy during your BBQ, yes, but something to bring a new dimension to proceedings.

13. 14. Ballymaloe Original Relish & Ballymaloe Mayo

Original, simple, classic. This cupboard staple really can’t be beaten nor can be overlooked. Everyone loves this stuff, and it’s widely available across Ireland. We put it in our Irish (St. Paddy’s Patty) Burger. It’s perfect with burgers, hot dogs, crêpes, and pretty much anything.

We were delighted too when we heard that Ballymaloe launched their own Mayo earlier this year. Not only is it an Irish product, it’s made with free-range eggs and ultimately has a great flavour. Available in jars and in squeezy bottles, it’s worth ensuring you have it in your cupboard this summer.

15. Blasta Street Kitchen Taco Truck Sauces

After graduating in 2012 during the recession (snap –– us too!), Seany and Nikita packed their bags and spent five years travelling the world. Upon their return, they brought a food truck & catering concept Blasta Street Kitchen inspired by their travels to life, with an eco-friendly and farm-to-fork twist, based out of Monaghan. You’ll find them popping up at festivals and events across Ireland as well as offering private catering for weddings and parties. Next to follow was a range of ‘Tex-Mex’ products, including their Taco Truck Sauce, which comes in two flavours right now: Honey BBQ and Garlic and Chilli.

16. Harvest Moon Hummus Dressing

For the plant-based, plant-centric or just plain plant-obsessed, these novel dressing by Harvest Moon have a chickpea base and are produced in Westport, Co. Mayo. They actually produce a huge range of pestos, tapenades, vegan pates and all sorts of plant-based dips and sauces –– perfect for al fresco dining, especially finger food or sharing nibbles family-style. We spotted their new hummus dressings (two flavours: honey and ginger; and roasted red pepper) in McCambridges in Galway and we’re looking forward to experimenting more with them this year.

17. The Scullery Corn Relish

Known for their jams, chutneys and spreads, The Scullery from Co. Tipperary is also the only producer of Corn Relish in Ireland – as far as we know? A unique one to whip out if entertaining a group or cracking out the BBQ, particularly good as a burger or hot dog topping!

18. Armagh Black Butter

Alastair Bell is the man behind Irish Black Butter, the incredible product that adds depth to both sweet and savoury BBQ recipes. From the man himself, he suggests it as a marinade for chicken drumsticks or wings, chops, or to make sticky ribs or sticky sausages. Also a good sauce for steak and, of course, stirred through vanilla ice-cream for afters! There’s really a world of uses for this sticky, treacle-like condiment that uses Bramley apples, so if you can think of a recipe on the BBQ, chances are Irish Black Butter can make it better!

A Note on Salt…

We use Oriel Sea Salt as a fine, free-flowing (kosher) salt –– not just because it’s produced right beside us here in Co. Louth but also because it’s unique on the Irish market. For a sea salt that’s rougher in texture, we generally use Achill Island Sea Salt. There’s also no alternative to Maldon Salt from Essex as a finishing salt –– it really stands on its own, but where we can, we try to use our Irish salts as much as possible.

There are so many other products we would’ve loved to include but here is just a sample of some fantastic products by Irish businesses. One store in particular who champion producers from across the island are our friends Laura & Johnny at Indie Füde, in Comber, Northern Ireland. They’ve kindly offered us a prize featuring some of the products mentioned above and some of their favourites to one lucky winner in Ireland or the UK. Simply enter below to be in with a chance.

… and Balsamics!

Whether drizzled, dressed or marinaded, you can’t think of a BBQ without balsamic vinegar –– and there are quite a few producers on the island of Ireland. From Llewellyns in Lusk, North Co. Dublin to The Real Olive Co. in Cork; Highbank Orchard in Kilkenny to Wildwood Vinegars in Mayo; and Burren Balsamics up in Armagh who has a wide range including signature white balsamics. Any one (or all) is a must-try this year!

🔥 WIN w/ Indie Füde! 🔥

We’ve teamed up with one of our favourite food stores, the impeccable purveyors of the best produce sourced from across the island of Ireland – Indie Füde, located in Comber, Co. Down. Johnny and Laura run this absolute modern emporium of Irish food, and they independently source and stock so so many of the products we’ve mentioned in this feature as it happens! (Remember their episode of Chew The Fat? Listen back here!)

They’ve offered one lucky winner the chance to get one of their amazing hampers (worth a cool £50 –– that’s a *LOT* of little delicious BBQ bits and pieces!) delivered direct to their door this summer! What’s more, this competition is available for anyone to win across ROI and the UK!

Simply enter below by following us both on both Twitter and Facebook (as well as an extra option of providing your email address) and share far and wide –– this competition runs until midnight on the 19th July 2019; see below for full terms and conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition Closed!

Congrats to Brigid O’Gorman, the lucky winner of our Indie Fude BBQ Essentials hamper!

P.S. If you want to head over to the Indie Füde site itself to take a peek at their amazing selection, you can use the exclusive Indie Fude discount code “GastroGays15” to get 15% off your order (excluding supper clubs and gift vouchers). Valid until the final day of this month: July 29th 2019.

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