You can’t trace the history of food in Ireland without bumping into the cultural significance of butter. The difference is all in the milk - many factors influence the quality including the breed of cow, the time of year as well as the cow’s diet. The regular rainfall and green, lush grass of Ireland is ideal for grazing cows and the grass-fed milk produces a rich, yellow butter. Nothing quite beats, a warm slice of bread slathered in creamy butter and as the old Irish saying goes “what butter and whiskey won’t cure, there is no cure for”.
Time: 15 mins (prep)
Equipment: 1x chopping board, 1x chefs knife, 2x mixing bowls, 1x microplane, 2x tablespoons, 1x parchment paper, 1x speed peeler
Into a bowl add some butter, making sure it's at room temperature and easy to mix. Using your knife cut your rosemary into a fine mix (as fine as you can).
Add the anchovy paste into the butter along with the rosemary. Mix thoroughly.
Using a spoon, decant your butter into the centre of the parchment paper, and then roll the paper around the butter into an even cylinder. Now, place into the fridge or freezer until needed.
For our sweet butter - peel a cooking apple and then grate it into a bowl of room temperature butter.
Now add a good helping (or to taste) of ground cinnamon and mix well until you have a golden colour.
Roll the butter into a cylinder like before and store in your fridge or freezer.
If you want to go one step further and make your butter from scratch, here's a simple method:
If your butter is a shade of white that means more air has been incorporated into the mixture, whereas the more yellow your butter, the less air it contains.
You can be as creative as you like with your flavourings - think of the butter is a blank canvas.
If you can’t find anchovy paste, don’t worry. All you need to do is mince the tiny anchovy fillets like you would a piece of garlic.
Cut your parchment into a rectangle shape.
We are now going to create our sweet butter.
Ireland was perfect for the spice trade as it had ports dotted around the country allowing for ingredients to be traded easily.
Your butter will keep in the fridge for a week or so, but will happily keep frozen for a few months - just cut and portion as you go.