tips, tipples & table talk – Week 12

We’ve got two amazing recipes for you in this week’s tips, tipples and table talk. One is a scrumptious Strawberry & Citrus Sangria, which some do say is the wine lover’s answer to strawberry daiquiris and the other, features the 200-year-classic Pernod adding a delicious twist to the classic mussels accompaniment. We also give you a little insight into our old friends and “Craggy Island” neighbouring farm, The Mc Cormacks who now run “Tea at Father Teds”. Up with that sort of thing.

Tipple Tip of the Week: Strawberry & Citrus Sangria

Although we’re reaching the end of the sunshine season, we’ve still got one or two summery drinks recipes up our sleeve! Some of you may have had the pleasure of visiting Spain this year but for those of you who haven’t, enjoy this fruity and sweet taste of Spanish Sangria, in only 4 steps and all without having to leave your house.

strawberry sangria summer fruits

What You Need:

  • 1 btl Rioja
  • ½ measure of Cognac/Brandy
  • 1 measure of triple sec
  • 1 ½ measures of fresh orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Soda water
  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 slices of lime, 10 slices of lemon, 10 slices of orange

How We Do It:

  • Cut the strawberries, mix with sugar and let sit for 4 hours.
  • Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Mix the strawberries with the refrigerated mixture
  • Add ice and fruit, serve and enjoy.

Enjoy specialty cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1. 


Table Talk of the Week: Father Ted’s Farm

Father Ted’s house is an organic farm neighbouring the ely family farm  in national landmark, The Burren, Co. Clare. Long time friends of ely, Patrick & Cheryl Mc Cormack supply each of the 3 ely restaurants with their suberb organic Burren lamb. Fans will recognise the house as the location for the extremely popular “Father Ted” television series.


Joe Mardis, the location manager for the series, has family connections in the area and while having a drink with friends from the locality they came up with the idea of setting the series in the Burren. The experience was a very positive one for the Mc Cormack family, the show brought a lot of fun and income to the area and many locals featured in the series.


You can now enjoy ‘Tea at Father Teds, which includes all home baking using only organic ingredients. Patrick Mc Cormack, a wonderful speaker, tells the story of the family’s Fr. Ted experience, the history of the house, providing guided walks of the farm and recommend other places to visit and things to do in the locality.

Learn more about the Burren, Co. Clare and the organic ely family farm here.

craggy island lamb


Taste Tip of the Week: Mussels with Fennel & Pernod

Adding Pernod, the French liqueur, to traditional steamed mussels gives them a deliciously gentle sweet flavour. This recipe offers a refreshing alternative to the popular dish of mussels with white wine and cream sauce.

A Note For The Cook:

Scrub the mussels first in clean water to remove the barnacles and pull off any beards. It’s much easier to do this if you take 2 mussels and use the pointed end of one to clean the other. Check if an open mussel is safe to eat by tapping it gently on a counter top. If it closes easily, it’s ok to eat. If it remains open, discard.

ely card musselsWhat You Need:

  • 1 fennel bulb with leaves, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 800g-1kg fresh mussels
  • 100ml pernod
  • 150ml cream
  • ½ lemon, sliced, to garnish
  • flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

Serves 4

pernodHow We Do It:

  • Prepare the mussels (see note for the cook, above).
  • Sauté the fennel and shallot in a small amount of oil over a medium heat.
  • When they have softened slightly, add the mussels and leave for 1 minute, then add the pernod.
  • Flambé the pernod, then allow the alcohol to reduce. Add the cream and reduce again until the mussels are just coated.
  • Serve in a large bowl garnished with lemon slices, fennel leaves, sprigs of flat-leaf parsley  if  you like.

Enjoy fresh delicious seafood in Dublin’s iconic wine bar, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 10

Is the phrase ‘leftover wine’ an oxymoron? We know a few friends and colleagues that might think so! Nonetheless, this week’s tips, tipples and table talk has a few ideas on what to do with that leftover wine. We also have an easy, simple risotto recipe for you to try, and we introduce you to the newest, hairiest member of the ely family – and no it’s not our new sous chef Steve (kidding)!

In case you missed it last week, don’t forget that we’re giving 10% back to you, our fantastic ely customers, all summer when you use your ely loyalty card. Don’t have one yet? And if not, why not? Sign up here

Taste Tip of the Week: Simple Risotto 

This popular dish is perfect for serving at a dinner party but equally so, easy enough to make for a delicious dinner at home for one. Light enough to eat during the summer heat, you can also include almost any ingredients to adapt to your tastes. Here’s a simple risotto recipe for you to try.

What you need:

  • 1.75 litres vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 85g butter
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • rock salt, black pepper

How we do it:

  • Bring the stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently.
  • In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  • Add the onion and, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, cook until it softens and becomes translucent.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, making sure that every grain is coated with oil.
  • Add 1 cup (250ml) of the stock and stir until absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock, about ½ cup (125ml) at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
  • When most of the stock has been added – this should take about 15-20 minutes – test a grain of rice.
  • The risotto is ready when the rice is just tender and creamy, but still ‘al dente’, with a little bite to it.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds to give a creamy, glossy finish to the risotto
  • Add in mushrooms, asparagus, butternut squash, prawns etc. Whatever you fancy – get creative!

You can now enjoy our great value early-bird menu all evening, Mon – Sat at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC. 

risotto collage

Tipple Tip of the Week: What To Do With Leftover Wine

As our executive wine manager Ian Brosnan would argue, leftover wine is somewhat of a myth. However, we do know that sometimes you are faced with some leftover wine and the thought of throwing it down the sink (we can’t watch!) pains you. Therefore, we’ve put together a few useful tips, cooking being the most obvious (great for also popping a good splash of white in when making the above risotto recipe!), on what to do with the remains from the bottom of the bottle.

ely empty wine glass

  1. Freeze Please – First things first, fill an ice cube tray with your leftover wine and pop it straight in the freezer. Now you can use a cube or two for cooking whenever you need to.
  2. Wine Syrup – This rich syrup a bit tangy, similar to Balsamic vinegar but simmering the syrup with cinnamon or vanilla makes it sweet and delicious enough to use on pancakes or with ice cream. In a wide saucepan, combine red wine with sugar (3 cups wine to 1 cup sugar), bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about a third of the volume. Let cool, bottle, and refrigerate.
  3. Save For Mulled Wine Season – Put leftover red wine into a freezable container and for use in the winter months. Empty the frozen wine into a large pot; add spices such as cinnamon sticks and a spoonful of whole cloves. Melt wine over medium heat, then sweeten to taste with honey, sugar, or apple juice. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in glasses with a citrus slice.
  4. Poaching – Soft foods taste amazing when poached  in wine flavored with aromatics and spices. White wine for eggs and fish, and sweetened red wine is perfect for poaching fruit.
  5. Salad Dressing – Leftover white wine makes for a flavoursome, fresh-tasting salad dressing. Blend wine, lemon juice, honey (if wine is sweet, leave out the honey) salt, and pepper in a bowl. Still blending (either with a fork, whisk, or the blender), slowly add olive oil. Voilà!

Learn more about wine in a fun and informal setting at an ely wine tasting evening. 

Table Talk of the Week: New Addition To The ely Family Farm

Well well, who do we have here? These magnificent creatures, and the newest additions to the ely organic family farm, are Highland cattle descendants from Scotland. These cattle are extremely adept at grazing on steep, mountainous lands which makes the limestone rocky slopes in The Burren, Co. Clare, an ideal place for them to rest.


Natural born survivors, the Highland cattle’s long horns were developed to protect themselves and their flowing locks grown to shelter them from harsh, cold winters – which makes us think they must be a little warm at the moment! Their short, stumpy legs provide them with excellent balance and surprisingly, Highland cattle can be found up to 10,000 feet high up in the Andes.

Welcome to the farm guys!

We source all of our grass fed beef, pork and lamb through our organic family farm in The Burren, Co. Clare. 



down on the farm

Burren farmlandThe beef and pork at ely come from an organic farm run
by Erik’s father, Hugh, in The Burren, County Clare.

down on the farm

A neighbouring organic farmer, who lives in the house used in the TV series, Father Ted, supplies most of the lamb. The meat is known, for obvious reasons to fans of the show, as ‘Craggy Island Lamb’. Hugh farms roughly 450 acres of typical Burren land – plenty of rock, with wild flowers found nowhere else in the world. The farm is home to 120 animals that are organically sourced and farmed according to a system that’s 6,000 years old and unique to the area. The animals spend summers on the lowlands, and winters on the highlands. This is because the limestone rock acts like a huge storage heater, absorbing the heat that comes from the Atlantic, hitting the west coast of Ireland during summer and autumn. Even throughout winter there is little frost on the highlands, while the grasses and herbs continue to grow.

With the meat being transferred from Co. Clare to Dublin in a matter of hours, ely lives by the fundamental principle of the organic movement. ‘Local produce for a local market’. The ely carbon footprint is kept to a minimum, and the quality of food served is as good as it gets.

This article is taken from the ely Cookbook – available for purchase –

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