Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Pat Whelan brings wagyu beef to Ireland
I've previously written about Avoca on this blog as it's one of my favourite shops to visit. It's an Irish family run business with a selection of clothing, gifts, homeware, food and cafes/restaurants. They also have a fantastic range of Japanese basic ingredients including seaweed and miso.
Last week I visited the Pat Whelan butcher shop in Avoca Rathcoole. It's such an experience to go there and see the wonderful selection of meat available and chat to the butchers.
Pat Whelan is a well-known Irish butcher from the same county as me Tipperary! He was Ireland's first online butcher and recently wrote a book called "An Irish Butcher Shop".
In recent years Pat Whelan brought Japanese Wagyu to Ireland by cross breeding it with his own Aberdeen Angus and creating his own "Whelan Wagyu" here in Ireland. According to Pat Whelan "The cross breeding has maintained the integrity of the intense marbling associated with the Wagyu beef and marries the best qualities of both breeds to create a unique product".
Wagyu beef (also referred to as Kobe beef) is a Japanese breed of beef well known across the world for it's intense marbling, great taste and higher price tag. Recent studies have proved that the monounsaturated fats in Wagyu beef can actually help lower cholesterol making Wagyu far healthier than any other beef product.
When I lived in Japan I remember my Japanese friends telling me about Kobe beef and how the farmers use different techniques to help make the meat more tender and tasty such as massaging, adding Japanese beer or sake to the feed and seemingly playing music to the cows!
Although it's priced a little higher I think it's worth it considering all the hard work that goes into creating this beef. You have to try this for a special occasion or just to spoil yourself. Let me know what you think :)