Kings of the grill: Barbecue essentials from the Dunnes Stores Simply Better collection
In the second of a partner content series, Gillian Nelis, Food&Wine editor, picks her favourite products from the Dunnes Stores Simply Better summer barbecue range, while wine writer Cathal McBride suggests some wine pairings
Courgette & Radish slaw with yogurt and sumac dressing, €2.50
If you prefer your slaw to be a little on the lighter side, this option made by Avondale Foods for the Simply Better range will fit the bill. Finely-cut radish and courgette are combined with spring onions, coriander, dill and mint, and accompanied by a yogurt, sumac and pomegranate molasses dressing that’s added before serving. Take the pot out of the fridge half an hour or so before eating to let the slaw come to room temperature; it will let the flavours come to the fore.
Creamy ruby coleslaw, €1.50
Made by Avondale Foods in Co Armagh, this is a luxurious coleslaw that’s perfect for summer salads. With shredded white and pink cabbage - the latter giving it its pretty colour - grated carrot and sliced onion, it’s elevated by a free range egg mayonnaise and a dressing made with fresh cream. It’s a delicious indulgence.
Irish corn-fed chicken wings, €3
You’ll need to do very little to these corn-fed wings, which are produced for Simply Better by Manor Farm in Co Cavan and are full of flavour - some hot wing sauce on the side, and you’re good to go. The corn-fed range also includes whole chickens, skin-on breasts, skinless breasts and thighs.
Hot wing sauce, €3.99
From Mic’s Chilli in Co Wicklow comes this hot wing sauce with pineapple, red jalapeño peppers and habanero chillies. It’s got that kick you want in a hot sauce, but the heat is finely balanced with that lovely pineapple tang. Keep an eye out for the other sauces in the range: hot barbecue sauce, and hot chilli sauce.
Irish Angus ultimate steak burgers, €4 for two
Burgers can be tricky. Too little fat and they taste dry and unappealing; too much, and they can be overpowering. These Irish Angus patties hit the sweet spot, with marbling lending great flavour, and simple seasoning letting that flavour shine through.
28 day matured Irish Angus ribeye steaks, €9.99 for two
As quick, tasty summer meals go, a great steak is hard to beat. These Irish Angus ribeyes are matured for a minimum of 28 days, and won gold awards at both the World Steak Challenge competition and the Great Taste awards. Serve with homemade potato wedges and a simple. green salad for a perfect summer dinner.
Handmade Waterford blaas, €1.79 for four
The Walsh family has been making blaas in Waterford since 1921, but the history of these soft white bread rolls go back much further than that. The name is believed to have originated with the Huguenots, religious exiles who fled from France in the 1700s, and is thought to be derived from blanc, the French word for white. Michael and Dermot Walsh make these pillows of bready loveliness for the Simply Better range - fill them with a delicious burger for lunch, or a sausage or two and a fried egg for breakfast.
Gherkin relish with mustard, €2.50
Folláin, the food company based in west Cork, is best known for its jams, but it’s also behind this seriously addictive relish. It’s made with gherkins, onion, mustard and dill, and if you’re an umami nut like me, you will adore it. Put it on burgers, hot dogs, cheese toasties - or just eat it with a spoon, as I may have done on more than one occasion.
1. CHÂTEAU DE PIERREUX BROUILLY ROUGE, 2019 (ABV 13.5 PER CENT), €19.99
When we think of red wine, beef or lamb immediately come to mind but this exciting organic and biodynamic Brouilly has loads of character, yet a light freshness to pair well with other meats in the Simply Better range. An appellation of Beaujolais, this quality vintage is made from 100 per cent hand harvested gamay. The nose presents delicate aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberry with a touch of mild spice and minerality. These ripe forest fruits lead onto the palate rounded by fresh vibrant acidity along with soft and silky tannins. High acidity and notes of spice make this a delicious pairing with grilled Simply Better spring onion and black pepper sausages served in the Simply Better blaas along with the gherkin Relish with mustard.
2. CAMBORAL RESERVA TEMPRANILLO, RIOJA, 2017 (ABV14 PER CENT), €14.99
A new vintage of this wine from the Simply Better range, this is on a par with the previous 2016. It’s a 100 per cent tempranillo classified as Reserva, meaning that it was aged for three years with at least 12 months of those in cask. The nose presents with beautifully ripe dark fruits like plums, racy fresh raspberry and integrated oak, followed by gentle vanilla and herbal aromas. Smooth and decadent, this is well-balanced full bodied wine, with adequate acidity and finely tuned tannins. It would be a delicious accompaniment to any grilled red meats but particularly so with the steak burgers.
3. R PROSECCO ROSÉ DOC BRUT, 2021 (ABV 11.5 PER CENT), €16.79*
Nothing says summer entertaining like some refreshing bubbles, but this rosé prosecco also has the qualities to pair very well with a number of dishes. Fresh and lively on the nose, it is redolent of red berry fruits along with some floral inflections. With a strong mousse, this vibrancy is replicated on the palate in a wine that is buoyant and cheerful but with a well-tuned structure. A rosé prosecco like this is perfect as an aperitif but has both the juicy fruit qualities and underlying sweetness to balance the chilli heat of the hot wing sauce coating some grilled chicken. It would also be a refreshing pairing with side dishes like the courgette and radish slaw. *Price valid until 1 August 2022.
4. ALTOS DE TAMARÓN RIBERA DEL DUERO CRIANZA, 2018 (ABV 14 PER CENT), €14.99
From the heart of Ribera del Duero comes a wine showcasing the elegant marriage of fruit with oak ageing, and one that is ideal with barbecued red meats. With 14 months in new American oak barrels along with a further nine months in the bottle, this is a wine that is full of character and body. A strong vintage, the 2018 is one that surpassed the previous year by some distance. Fruit-forward on the nose with rich concentrated dark fruits, this is elegant full-bodied wine that is rounded by a fresh cleanliness from the fruit preserved by stainless steel fermentation. With a purposeful finish and firm but polished tannins this is a match made in heaven with succulent charcoal grilled Irish Angus ribeye steaks.
In partnership with Dunnes Stores Simply Better