Ireland - Day 3: In the Bulman Pub in Kinsale and on the cattle farm in Old Head
When you first enter Kinsale's "The Bulman" restaurant, the first thing that delights you is the view: set in a slight drop, the historic building is almost at sea level and offers a phenomenal view of Kinsale Harbor. In the lower part of the building is the bar with a relaxed pub atmosphere. However, when you climb up the smoothly oiled wooden steps, you suddenly find yourself standing in a dignified restaurant with a maritime decor.
Pearse welcomes us in his kitchen. It is small, but well equipped and quite bright. Pearse had the windows built in afterwards, before that there was no light and it seemed to him like cooking in a cave. Today, spontaneity is announced and Pearse presents what he has recently received from the region. There are shimmering oysters, magnificent shrimp, shiny scallops and a freshly caught salmon. One quickly agrees on how to prepare these delicacies: as natural as possible, completed only with light, complementary flavors. Almost everything here comes from the area of Kinsale, little comes from a distance of more than 20 km. The area is well known for its seafood.
And so Shane skillfully fillets the salmon as he learned it from a Japanese sushi master, then slices the salmon filet into thin slices. The sashimi is dressed with a little toasted sesame, chives, coriander and a Teriaki sauce made by Pearse himself. The prawns are opened and briefly fried on a hot grill at high temperature. They only need a little salt, pepper and garlic oil, because their own taste is so intense and unique.
The scallops have already prepared Pearse - in Ireland you do not remove the roe, as you do in Germany. Pearse and Shane agree that this piece is often the better and more flavorful than the classic muscle meat. The scallops end up in the pan, are sautéed and then refined with Kerrygold butter. This gives them a fine, nutty aroma. The oysters are opened and released from the bowls. Again, one agrees: Just give a little lemon juice, nothing else. And he's already on the table, the seafood plate from Kinsale. Everything tastes fresh, pure, after sea water and just to Ireland. Good ingredients just do not need much around it.
At lunchtime we meet Mark and Robert Chamber for lunch in Old Head.The two brothers run two cattle farms in the area of Old Head and produce there Irish beef from different breeds such as Hereford, Black Angus, Limousin and Charolais. After we have fortified ourselves with burgers and steaks, we drive to the pasture of the two-year cattle. Mixed colors, the animals stand curiously at the fence. Unlike our German cows, they are not so used to humans and watch us at first with some distance. But they quickly come closer and are enthusiastic about the camera. No matter where our cameraman Matthias goes with his camera, the herd follows him curiously.
The cows are well balanced, friendly and content. They live 10 months a year on the vast green meadows on the Irish Atlantic coast. Every few days, they are driven on new, juicy pastures and feed more than 90% of fresh grass. The view from up here is fantastic: The Atlantic coast is within walking distance, the beach of Kinsale Beach is not far away. Mark says that in the summer thousands of people come to the white sand beach to take a bath. But he has no time for that. He runs 17 km a day and not just straight ahead. We notice that at the latest when we climb up a green hill with our mothers to visit the calves. What a victory in the first place, rewarded with a fabulous view!
We have to keep our distance from the mother cows. They protect their two-month-old calves. They stay with their mothers for a total of 9 months, until they are slowly weaned and eventually come into a flock with their peers. The cattle are given 2.5 years to grow up before being slaughtered. Until then, they know the stables only in the dead of winter and then eat silage and hay. The farm is fully committed to sustainability: raising cattle, changing pastures, all based on a proprietary system to achieve the best possible quality of meat. Here, too, one consciously focuses on quality rather than quantity.
The concept of the Chambers is very special: they operate two farms in the same country: one brother looks after the rearing of the calves and the care of suckler cows. The other brother then takes over the half-strong and raises them in their own flocks of about 30-40 animals. So everyone has their job and every move sits. They have taken over the operation from their parents, who have already taken over from their parents.
The original 150-year-old farmhouse is still standing, around which the family has built newer houses. Every conversation reveals how connected and rooted Mark and Robert and their wives are with their region and their profession. They act calmly and deliberately and treat the animals with the utmost respect. There are no hectic movements, no loud calls. Thus, the kittens also present themselves from their best side to their audience without problems.The experiences and experiences are my own impressions.