We're lucky that every once in a while, someone really interesting contacts us. This page is devoted to the thoughts of Master Butcher Eamon Martin, formerly of Dublin's famous Moore Street. Firstly, Eamon's expert opinion on irish stew:
"I have never seen the right meat discribed used in irish stew. First it was not from Ireland but was served up to poor Irish navies working on canals and later rail digouts and the meat was always low cost neck/sholder of mutton. Great low cost meat and outstanding flavour and everyone happy.now put that in your pot and stir it!"
Eamon's life is really fascinating, not only about the meat trade but also about Dublin life in the 1960s:
"I officially took over from my father in 1955 . I those days both the name mutton and sale was in common use as was boiling fowl [never by the name chicken] in thoes days every meat product was cooked as appropriate to taste,texture and cost there was no snobbery then. Soon after the buying power of people increased and the more desirable easy cook meats took over even tho we sold mutton butchers called it Lamb and the Mutton name died a natural death. In the 1950s 90% of meat was sold on the bone and no one questioned any other way. I was about 18 years old and very enthusing about new ideas. Customers by now were complaining about paying for bone and would always try to get the butcher to remove a part before weighing up. I sew about doing costing on round steak and found by removing all bone i could just about sell a little above the usual price. Then i cut in to small handy portions and decided to give my own brand name.....and so round steak was called MINI steaks. [this can all be verified by old butchers,if you can find one]. I say i was an innovator would be an understatement but i was passionate about me trade. I also was the first retailer to introduce a queue system ,and great story there so when the next time you are in line paying for petrol just think of old Eamon Martin. Yes its true about Irish stew it was started in UK and a great meal but only if mutton was the meat ingredient. Do you know when African medical students first shop in Moore St they would buy a joint of mutton and ask the butcher to cut and chop it in to pieces. I asked why not roast it like the Irish in an oven and i was told they always cooked in in a pot with herbs and veg as it retained the goodness and all the nutrient's,and they were right just as the Irish did in the old humble cabins over a fire. I could righting on old times . There a good one for you . Did you know the Waitrose in London sell jaw beef meat for about £2 kg cooked as a slow stew [its a dell icy in Paris,check out as you will] its flavour is fantastic...and forgotten by the snobby new Irish as they gave up buying it sixty years ago. Now i wonder did you ever shop in old Moore St or did you just buy bangers after school?"
You can also follow Eamon (a.k.a. "Vintage Dub") on his YouTube and Flickr pages. All material on this page © Eamon Martin 2010. If you want to contact him, please conplete our Form and we will forward it.