The 9th chapter

The 9th Chapter of 12.

Does it feel like the 9th Chapter??

I think this year went more like, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 then Chapters 3 - 8 (March - August) aghhhhhhh and now at Chapter 9, some sort of normality. A lot has happened, while nothing has happened. It's been horrendous for some and we've all learned to adapt and change. The shop has adapted and changed. Our customers are adapting and changing. This brought about various changes to our opening and closing time as mentioned yesterday and are below.

On Sundays from 10am to 2pm the wall fridge wil be open with all your usual favourites but also a selection of roasts, prepared in a recyclable roasting tray for your convenience and steak, chops etc on our compostable trays, all in our wall cabinet. The counter cabinet will not be open on Sundays.

One thing that came back into our house during lockdown was the return of the traditional Sunday Roast and much to the kids delighted a Sunday dessert. Sundays had been filled with matches and getting organised for work that we lost the Sunday Roast. Last Sunday I did a lovely Roast beef but I had loads left over. My lads love beef but won't really eat it in a sandwich so I made this recipe below while I was cooking the roast and allowed it to cool just to be reheated the next day with the meat added in. It was a real winner and handy to have organised as things start to get busy again. I seriously encourage you to give it a try. Without adding the meat it would feed any vegetarian in your house too.

Moroccan-style stew for roasted meat

Serves 8

olive oil
15g butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tin of chickpeas (400g), drained and rinsed
1 tin of tomatoes (400g), chopped
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
450ml vegetable or chicken stock (plus more if needed)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp paprika
¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper
leftover roast lamb (or chicken or beef)

I had none of these below and just left them out - still yum!!
(1 large bunch of fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped (or a mixture of both - reserve some for serving)
2 tsp mint, dried or a couple of sprigs of fresh mint)

Heat the butter and oil mixture in a large saucepan. Add the onion and gently fry for at least 10 minutes until beginning to soften and take on some colour. Add the garlic and give it a good stir.

Add the drained chickpeas and chopped tomatoes. Stir.

Add the pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and the lemon juice (but not the salt).

Add the stock and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced but not dried out completely. Top up with more liquid if necessary.

Add the paprika and cayenne now.

At this point I turned off the hob and let it cool. Just for convenience, add the diced cold meat (lamb, beef or chicken).

The next evening, take your dish out of the fridge and let it heat slowly. Boil your rice while you're doing this.

(If you are using these add the chopped coriander and parsley, 1 teaspoon of dried mint)

Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

Sprinkle over with chopped herbs.

Tip: Add additional vegetables such as red peppers or cooked potatoes or even some of the left over veg from your Sunday Roast dinner. Just the last few minutes before the end so they don't go to mush.


I hope you get to try this it was delicious. So change can bring challenges but also opportunity. I have always been change adverse. I think this time has help build some resilience in me, in my children and all around us. Love this Socrates quote - "The secret of Change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but building on the new." I like this and I keep reminding myself of it when I'm frustrated about something I can no longer do they way I used to. I was, like most anxious about the going back to school. Teachers are professionals who focus on the child so their wellbeing was never in question.  I spoke to the kids a little bit but not too much before they went back, keeping it positive and trying to encourage that not all change is bad. I'll leave ye with the words that my second youngest said when I collected him from school day one.  " Mam, it's a bit different but it's even better".


The Butchers' Wife.

New Times Below.

Days Opening and closing time





8 am – 7pm
Saturdays 8am – 6pm
Sundays 10am – 2pm

Happy New Year

So Christmas has come and gone, and it's the start of a brand new year. Usually, the new year brings lots of talk of a "New You", “January detox”, “New Year Cleanse” and all of that waffle! When you understand the inner workings of the human body, you quickly realise that there really is no such thing as “cleansing foods", which magically make your liver and kidneys work at full throttle to undo all of the overindulgences of Christmas. Detoxification is a process that is happening on a continual basis, and not just during a “quick-fix” 3-day juice fast. There are, however, some foods which support specific pathways that your body uses to rid itself of the by-products of alcohol, for example. So do your body a favour this January, up your intake of plant fibre, antioxidant-rich spices and coloured veggies every day. 30 minutes of walking and 1-2 litres of filtered water also help to get the pathways of elimination working well. Therefore, you will be encouraging good detoxification 365 days of the year not just after Christmas. So pop this nourishing casserole on your new meal plan for January. No starvation and no juicer required! Only whole, real food.

Chicken casserole with a twist – Serves 4
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will work too)
1 onion, sliced
100gms dried apricots, roughly chopped
40gms red split lentils rinsed well in a sieve
400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
300mls chicken stock
4 pieces of chicken – you can use breast if you wish, my preference is thighs or leg.
Freshly chopped coriander to serve

Coat the chicken in the garlic, coriander and paprika. If time permits, cover the spiced chicken pieces and pop them in the fridge to marinate for between 1-3 hours. If not, you can cook them straight away, and it will still taste amazing. In a large casserole dish, sweat down the onion for approx. 8-10 minutes until soft. Then, add in the apricots, lentils, the tin of tomatoes, stock and chicken. Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Serve with some stir-fried or steamed green veggies and a sprinkle of coriander. This tastes even nicer the next day so double to quantity and make a big batch to pop some portions in the freezer.

Tip from the butcher’s wife...
I’m with you all the way on that one Jemma. No self-flagellation here. The thing that Jemma has told me and has made the biggest impact on how I eat is forget the guilt. If you are not eating well, you know you don’t feel well etc. but we all have to eat the cake, eat the chocolate and drink the gin. Life is so short. So if you’ve enjoyed your food at Christmas, make sure to continue to enjoy it but perhaps more of the energy boosting and cleansing type. This looks delicious and I think I’m going to fling it into the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. I’ll let you know how I get on. Onwards and upwards to you all for 2019. My resolution is to be healthy and happy as I can be but there’s still some Christmas cake here and you couldn’t throw it out!!
The butchers’ wife XX

Happy New Year to all of our loyal customers. Wishing you all the very best of health and happiness for 2019!
All at Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen