My Passion for Pudding!

Growing up in rural Ireland, the pig was the most important animal kept on the farm – in fact, the pig was crucial to the existence of people outside the main cities. The slaughtering of the pig was a huge day’s work, and one which I remember so well on the family farm in Bellewstown – my Dad, my uncle Hugh and my uncle Barney would all work together, sometimes including me, probably just to keep me quiet. An old bath tub was filled with water, which was heated by a fire underneath; once the pig was killed, it was firstly gutted and then broken down into the various parts we are all familiar with.

From my perspective, the most interesting part of the process was the part undertaken by my mother – her primary task was to take the blood from the pig to make homemade black pudding. From a very young age, I watched in fascination as she produced the tastiest black pudding from this process – it was from this time that my love for the production of quality pudding was born; something which I still hold very close to my heart.

Since purchasing my first butcher shop in Navan in 1991, I have put endless hours into experimenting with various recipes and flavourings for black and white pudding. My customers have always been willing participants in the process, giving me honest feedback on the range of products I have developed. Many of the pudding products I have developed have won national and international awards – of which I am very proud!

My Passion for Pudding!

Growing up in rural Ireland, the pig was the most important animal kept on the farm – in fact, the pig was crucial to the existence of people outside the main cities. The slaughtering of the pig was a huge day’s work, and one which I remember so well on the family farm in Bellewstown – my Dad, my uncle Hugh and my uncle Barney would all work together, sometimes including me, probably just to keep me quiet. An old bath tub was filled with water, which was heated by a fire underneath; once the pig was killed, it was firstly gutted and then broken down into the various parts we are all familiar with.

From my perspective, the most interesting part of the process was the part undertaken by my mother – her primary task was to take the blood from the pig to make homemade black pudding. From a very young age, I watched in fascination as she produced the tastiest black pudding from this process – it was from this time that my love for the production of quality pudding was born; something which I still hold very close to my heart.

Since purchasing my first butcher shop in Navan in 1991, I have put endless hours into experimenting with various recipes and flavourings for black and white pudding. My customers have always been willing participants in the process, giving me honest feedback on the range of products I have developed. Many of the pudding products I have developed have won national and international awards – of which I am very proud!

Becoming the Smokin’ Butcher

During 2016 I got the opportunity to purchase a Pork & Bacon factory in Navan.  In the back of my mind I wanted to improve and see what other countries were doing in the black pudding market. So in pursuit of this goal, I set off to Lyon in France (The Gastronomy Capital of Europe), with my good friend Cetric.  We visted and worked in various butcher shops and I learned a lot from that experience.

I also took myself to Burgos in Northern Spain (famous for the Morcilla pudding). Again I got great insights into the production and ingredients used in the process of making the pudding. On my return home and in February 2017, I began making and experimenting with puddings in my new factory.  One day, while making the pudding, I had a “light bulb” moment to smoke it. My enthusiasm for smoking was enhanced by my travels across Europe.

The smoked black pudding was an amazing success in terms of taste and flavour. I really felt I had broken into new territory and I then showcased the product in my Retail outlet in Ashbourne and the feedback was really positive. I then felt it was worthy of entering into the Great Taste Awards in London.  For sure I was proven right when I scooped the “Supreme Champion Award for 2017”, the Oscars for the food industry.

A quote from a Great Taste Judge “Why has nobody smoked black pudding before? It’s bloody genius!”. Indeed I have many more wonderful ideas to pursue under the “Smokin’ Butcher” brand – watch this space.

My Smokin’ Butcher pudding is available for purchase in my shop in Ashbourne, and will available further afield in the near future!

Becoming the Smokin’ Butcher

During 2016 I got the opportunity to purchase a Pork & Bacon factory in Navan.  In the back of my mind I wanted to improve and see what other countries were doing in the black pudding market. So in pursuit of this goal, I set off to Lyon in France (The Gastronomy Capital of Europe), with my good friend Cetric.  We visted and worked in various butcher shops and I learned a lot from that experience.

I also took myself to Burgos in Northern Spain (famous for the Morcilla pudding). Again I got great insights into the production and ingredients used in the process of making the pudding. On my return home and in February 2017, I began making and experimenting with puddings in my new factory.  One day, while making the pudding, I had a “light bulb” moment to smoke it. My enthusiasm for smoking was enhanced by my travels across Europe.

The smoked black pudding was an amazing success in terms of taste and flavour. I really felt I had broken into new territory and I then showcased the product in my Retail outlet in Ashbourne and the feedback was really positive. I then felt it was worthy of entering into the Great Taste Awards in London.  For sure I was proven right when I scooped the “Supreme Champion Award for 2017”, the Oscars for the food industry.

A quote from a Great Taste Judge “Why has nobody smoked black pudding before? It’s bloody genius!”. Indeed I have many more wonderful ideas to pursue under the “Smokin’ Butcher” brand – watch this space.

My Smokin’ Butcher pudding is available for purchase in my shop in Ashbourne, and will available further afield in the near future!

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Unit 3/4 High Street Ashbourne, Co. Meath

hughmaguirebutchers@eircom.net
01 849 9919