Sweet potato, Bean and Beef Shepherd's Pie

Sweet Potato, Beef and Bean Shepherd Pie 

This sweet potato, bean and beef shepherd’s pie is packed with flavour and nutrients and can also be made the night before.

The sweet potato provides a boost on your vitamin intake, specially vitamins A and C, as well as fewer calories than white potatoes, more fiber and fewer total carbs. This recipe also has added protein and fibers coming from the beans.


  • 600g sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • Small splash of milk
  • 400g of beef/lamb mince
  • 115g black beans (drained weight), drained and washed
  • 115g red kidney beans (drained weight), drained and washed
  • x1 400g can tinned tomatoes
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. 
  2. Boil the peeled sweet potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and leave to one side.
  3. Fry the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, in a drizzle of olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion softens. Add the paprika and slices of spring onion, sauté for 2-3 minutes, ensuring they are coated in the paprika, before adding the mushrooms and mixing again.
  4. Add the mince and cook until turns brown and then put in both beans and cook for another 5 minutes.  Then add the tinned tomatoes, maple syrup, lime juice, pepper and coriander, mixing everything through.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, mash them with the milk and a pinch of salt.
  6. Spoon the mince and bean mix at the bottom of a baking tray and top with the sweet potato mash.
  7. Place in the oven to grill until it starts to crisp on the top, about 20-25 minutes.

Serve piping hot, share your photos and tag us!

And don’t forget that we have a great selection including turkey burgers, beef burgers, stir fries and meatballs. All you need to do is pop them in the oven and add a few more vegetables to add to the nutritional content of the meal.


Beef and Bean Casserole

 Beef and Bean Casserole 

This Beef and Bean Casserole recipe is simple, can easily be made the night before and will actually taste even better the next day as the flavours develop and the meat will be even more tender.

Rib beef steak is a great cut for stewing or for casseroles as there is a little bit of fat which is necessary for the cooking process and adds to the flavour.

Don’t be afraid of fat, we need fat to give us energy especially in winter months. Fat gets a bad press but research is now showing the benefits of having fat in our diets along with protein, vegetables and fruits.

Replacing refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, sugary foods and processed foods) with saturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease according to studies carried out by Food and Nutrition research.

This recipe (adapted from Safefood) also has protein coming from the butter beans added. This is a good way of getting different amino acids from various protein sources into the diet.

Ask the butchers in Hugh Maguire’s to trim some of the fat off before taking it, it’ll be one less job for you at home!


  • 675g (1½ lb) of rib beef steak
  • 1 dessertspoon of cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 25g (1 oz) of corn-flour
  • 7 mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 575ml (1 pint) of beef stock or 2 stock cubes dissolved in 575ml (1 pint) of warm water
  • 400g of butter beans
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper, to season


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3
  2. Trim the beef and cut it into thin strips about 2 inches in length
  3. Heat the oil and fry the chopped onion, mushrooms and carrots for 2 to 3 minutes
  4. Place in the casserole dish
  5. Fry the beef strips until brown
  6. Place beef in the casserole dish, leave the juices in the pan
  7. Mix the corn-flour with 2 dessertspoon water and then mix it into the juice in the pan. Cook stirring gently for 2 to 3 minutes
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the stock. Bring to the boil
  9. Add the beans, tomato puree, salt and pepper
  10. Add the sauce to the casserole dish and cook for 1½ hours
  11. Serve with some mash or boiled potatoes and don’t forget to share your photos and tag us!


Back to School and Child Nutrition!

Back to school and child nutrition!

Back to school can be daunting and stressful… so here are a few tips to help you settle back into the routine!

It’s that time of year again, the evenings are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the little ones are returning to school for another year.

We all know what that means; the daily dilemma begins, what to pack in their lunch boxes and make for dinner at night that will satisfy everyone in the house…

But it doesn’t need to be so complicated, at Hugh Maguire Butchers we have a huge variety of products and cuts of meat that you can take home to make every meal interesting.

It’s important that children get nourishing food for their minds and body to stay mentally and physically alert in school so each meal should contain a source of protein (meat, fish, bean/legumes, eggs), carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes, wholegrain rice/pasta) and two sources of vegetables (one of which should be green). 

Try to have fish twice weekly, and preferably at least one of them being an oily fish like salmon, mackerel or trout.

Roasting vegetables like carrots, parsnip, peppers and celery with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is a tasty way of getting vegetables into children who mightn’t be too fond of them ordinarily. And you can always try them raw as well, also with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Beef, lamb, chicken and turkey are excellent sources of protein, which keeps you fuller for longer and is necessary for children’s growth and development.

And for those nights that you don’t feel like preparing a meal from scratch why not try some of  our prepared meals at Hugh Maguire Butchers.

We have a great selection including turkey burgers, beef burgers, stirfrys and meatballs. All you need to do is pop them in the oven and add a few more vegetables to add to the nutritional content of the meal.

Tips for preparing for the week ahead:

  • Plan, plan, plan!!!
  • Prepare meals like casseroles and shepherd’s pie at the weekend and freeze them until needed later in the week.
  • Always have beef or lamb mince at home or in the freezer. You can turn them into a meal easily with a can of chopped tomatoes (bolognaise, shepherd’s pie, stews).
  • If you have a leftover chicken, don’t throw out the carcass! Instead slowly boil overnight with onions, carrots, celery and water to make delicious healthy bone broth. This is a great source of nutrition and ideal for the winter months to strengthen the immune system and fight off colds and flus. Ask Caroline in our store for tips on this and how to make it into soup.

If you are looking for a little inspiration, here are some recipes to give you some motivation before the school term really kicks off!

And don’t forget… if you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below!

Chat soon, MJ

Nutrition labels and what to look out for!

Nutrition labels and what to look out for!

Nutrition labels are everywhere now, but do you know what to look out for?

Nutrition labels helps you as a consumer to make informed decisions about what you are eating, the nutrition content in your food purchases and may lead to you opting for some healthier alternatives. 

There is so much information on a food label, from allergens, ingredient lists and nutritional content, you would be forgiven for getting confused or just giving up and buying the tastiest looking option.

At Hugh Maguire’s we have added a new FitFood range to our already extensive product selection. We have included the nutritional content for each food to this range, for your benefit. Our aim is to provide full transparency of what is in our products whilst helping you make informed choices about what you feed your family. This is particularly important for our FitFood range, as you know exactly what you are getting and there are no hidden fats or sugars… Full Transparency!

Here is a summary of what to look out for on these labels and what each heading means:


These are our main sources of energy and are comprised of carbohydrates, proteins in fats. We all need a healthy balance of each of these macronutrients for good health.


Carbohydrates are our bodies preferred energy source. But what is the Total Carbohydrate that you see on the labels?

Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches, fibre and sugar alcohols. On most labels, you will find sugars and dietary Fibre listed as sources.

Sugars are both those naturally found in foods and those that have been added to foods for taste, texture and preservation.

Dietary fibre is made up of sugar molecules that aren’t readily digested. Fibre important for our health as it can help promote intestinal regularity and aid in digestion.

When reading labels, foods containing dietary fibre, natural containing sugars (those found in dairy, fruits and vegetable) and other vitamins and minerals are considered nutrient dense. Where possible, avoid added sugars in foods. It is recommended that <10% of our energy comes from added sugars.


Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. They are essential for the absorption of vitamins and minerals, building cells, and muscle movement.

Total Fat… What is it?

Fat is found in both plant and animal foods and there are two types of fat: Saturated and Unsaturated.

Saturated fat is found in animal products mainly. We need saturated fats for energy. Saturated fats have been shown to raise cholesterol. However, they raise the good cholesterol HDL too, which is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. There is conflicting information out there on saturated fats, but what’s important to take home is foods like meat, dairy nuts and oils containing saturated fats are nutrient dense foods and are needed as part of healthy diet.

Unsaturated fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found mainly in plant foods. These fats exert beneficial effects on heart health. That are found mainly in oily fish, nuts, seeds, oils and avocados.

Trans fats are hydrogenated fats found predominantly in processed foods to increase their shelf life. These fats have detrimental effects on heart health and should only make up <1% of our energy intake.


Protein is essential for good health. It provides the building blocks of the body, and not just for muscle, bone, skin and hair. Protein is used primarily for growth, health, and body maintenance.

All your hormones, antibodies, and other important substances are composed of protein. Protein is not used to fuel the body unless necessary.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You get different sources of amino acids from foods. You need a variety of amino acids for your body to function properly.

Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and soy are all good sources of protein. Our Turkey burgers, Venison burgers, Burrito bowl, and Meatza are all sources of protein to get in your diet.


As we know salt can be damaging for our heart health. When looking at labels it can be confusing at some labels list sodium and not salt.

To convert the sodium to salt you need to multiply the sodium X 2.5.

For example, if there is 1g of sodium per 100g of a product, there is 2.5g of salt in the product. 1g X 2.5 = 2.5

Sodium x2.5 = Salt

You should aim to eat no more than 6g of salt per day. High salt is found in processed meals/ ready meals, fast food and canteen/restaurant food.

At Hugh Maguire’s we have the Salt amount listed on our label for your convenience.

We hope this helps and if you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below and an email to marketing@hmbutchers.com!

Chat soon, MJ

nutrition for kids

Development & nutrition for kids

Children and adolescent development and nutrition!

Child development and nutrition

As many of you may know the growth and development of children and adolescents is heavily reliant on good nutrition obtained from their diets.

The growth spurts for girls starts between the ages 8-12 and for boys starts between 10-14. Therefore, the period before and during these ages are crucial for ensuring our children are getting good quality food, good nutrition, to fulfil their potential.

Vital nutrients

One of the many nutrients required for optimum nutrition is protein. Protein, comprised of amino acids are the building blocks for growth and repair and is key in the pathway for reaching optimal energy. Other nutrients required include iron, B-vitamins, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin A and magnesium.

But how do we get our children to eat all these vital nutrients without making complicated recipes? Easy… meat from your local butchers contains all the listed nutrients required for optimum health.

It’s that simple! Your local craft butcher, provides quality and locally sourced meat so you feel comforted in the fact your feeding your family with nutritious food. Lean red meat, is an excellent source of protein and iron.

Iron from meat is the most readily absorbable form of iron from food sources. When iron is consumed in combination with vitamin C it is absorbed even faster. So, another reason of adding rich greens and colourful vegetables alongside your lean steak or burger.

Local butchers

One of the major benefits of buying your beef from your local butchers you know its grass-fed. You may say so what? Well studies have done comparisons between grass fed beef and grain fed beef and the nutritional differences are worth mentioning.

Grass fed beef are higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLAs) Omega 3s provide a role in optimum cognitive development (essential for those that are studying hard) and are good for heart health.

If you haven’t heard of CLAs, they are powerful polyunsaturated fatty acids that can only be obtained from the diet and have many health benefits including helping to build muscle and discourage weight gain. They also contained more anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A and E.

Meat is extremely versatile, especially for children and teenagers. Ask your own butcher to trim of any
excess fat when buying red meat such as beef and lamb. This ensures you are getting the vital nutrients and avoiding the saturated fats.

Homemade dishes

Other lean meats such as chicken, and trimmed pork do not contain as much iron but contain good sources of protein to keep their energy up for their activities and of course concentrating in school. Lean meat can be used to make healthy homemade dishes such as casseroles, stir-fries, curries, stews, roasts and salads.

It is recommended young children and teenagers eat 1-2 servings of protein each day. Meat as a good source of protein can be consumed 3 -4 days per weeks. Other sources of protein include eggs, nuts seeds, legumes and fish. Try to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish per week also.

If you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below and an email to marketing@hmbutchers.com!

Chat soon, MJ


Introducing our in-house nutritionist!

Please welcome Mary-Jo Maguire, our in-house nutritionist!

Hi guys, I’m Mary-Jo Maguire!

I am a nutritionist and will be guest blogging here, sharing tips and discussing topics around the vast amount of benefits that all types of meat can offer.

Growing up in a family business centered around quality food and produce it was only natural I ended up following a career dedicated to food and nutrition. I have a BSc in Human Nutrition in UCD, and I am currently completing a MSc in Personalised Nutrition in the UK.

I always had a passion for healthy living, and I am a firm believer this starts at home.

Keeping it simple is key and a great place to start is your local butcher. For one you know that your meat is being sourced locally and to a top standard and you also know that meat is a nutrient dense food great for all the family.

As a nutritionist, I will be discussing topics around the vast amount of benefits that meat, poultry and more can offer. You can expect to find information on grass fed beef, bone broth and gut health, meat and children’s development, recipes and much more.

If you have any topics you would like covered or have any questions, send me a message filling the form below and an email to marketing@hmbutchers.com!

Chat soon, MJ