Carnaun School Organic Diary – June 2007

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Students from Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria help the Carnaun pupils get the Organic Banquet ready.

Not only do Carnaun pupils learn how to grow organic vegetables they also like to cook!

This is an extract from “Our Irish Cookbook” specially researched and chosen by the 6th. Class Pupils of “Carnaun National School” Athenry, Co. Galway, for their European Schools partnership Project “l eat therefore I am”. The cookbook, when finished, had traditional recipes from the 12 partner countries involved in the project.


Irish raw materials are so good that we don’t need to dress them up in fancy sauces that would mask their natural, wholesome taster We know that the prime beef we raise in Ireland is best prepared as simply as possible. Thick-cut steak, carefully grilled over charcoal to give the delicate tang of wood smoke, or prime ribs roasted so that the juices sear into a mouth-watering outer coating while the tender heart of the meat remains a succulent pink. And what better way to treat our national vegetable, the potato, than to serve it simply, boiled and coated with parsley butter, or baked in foil and eaten with sour cream and chives?

In Ireland whether from the sea or our many rivers and lakes, fish are exceptionally good. Fresh-water salmon and trout are delicious when grilled with butter as is our salmon smoked. Dublin Bay provides you with its famous prawns.  Galway Bay with its equally celebrated oysters. There are lobsters, and broad-backed Atlantic crayfish, and king scallops of regal proportions.

We like Irish bacon and eggs with nice thick slices of nutty brown soda bread spread with salted butter. Irish cheese is especially good and famous all over the world.


Here are some of our favourite recipes: (Remember to use only certified Organic produce).

Roast Beef from Kilskeagh:

Once a traditional English dish the Irish have adopted it for 300 years and made their own. This is our teacher’s favourite!


At its best there is no dish to equal Irish Roast Beef and to get the best results start with the correct cut. The very best to choose is the Short Sirloin (T-bone) left in the piece. Buy a decent-sized piece, 2-21/2 kg (4-5 lbs.) on the bone.

The next best is the Rib Roast, also left on the bone. For this you will need a double rib, as a single one is too thin. It looks the same as a sirloin but without the undercut (fillet). It is best to cook the joint on the bone. The bone provides good flavour and it is also a good conductor of heat inside the joint, thus cooking the meat more evenly and with less loss of juice. However, if you prefer, both sirloin and rib roasts can be boned and rolled.

If you feel that your family is too small for a Iarge joint remember that good roast beef is delicious cold with chutney and baked potatoes or in salads like “Beef and  Broccoli”. It is also very useful for nutritious lunch boxes during the week.

More economical and very lean are the cuts from the round. These need slower roasting but, they do have a good flavour. ‘

Method of preparation and cooking

Remove from the fridge an hour before cooking. Dust the fat surface with a mixture of dry mustard and freshly ground black pepper Set oven to Gas Mark 6 2OOC (4000F) Place the meat on a rack in the roasting tin.

Start by giving it 20 minutes in the hot oven. Reduce the heat and allow 15 minutes per lb for rare, 20 minutes for medium and 30 minutes for well-done If you want to have very accurate results use a meat thermometer. Plan the meal so that the joint is allowed to ‘relax’ for about 30 minutes before serving This will make carving easier and it will give you a chance to increase the oven heat to crisp the roast potatoes and to cook the Yorkshire pudding.

When our European Colleagues came to visit we invited our local friends to join them in a banquet in the school.


Irish Stew from Carnaun


l kg lamb

450 g potatoes

6 onions

salt and pepper


Method of cooking:

Chop up the meat, wash the potatoes and peel the onions. Put the meat, one sliced potato and one onion into a saucepan. Season to taste and pour on 350 ml. of water. Simmer for 1 hour. Then put in the rest of the potatoes and onions and simmer for a further hour. When servings put the meat in the centre of the dish and surround it with the potatoes and onions. Garnish it with parsley. (Serves 4 people)


Poached Salmon from Castle Ellen

This is a good recipe for poached fish with vegetables.


1 salmon or sea trout – 3 lbs

1 medium onion, sliced

2 young carrots, sliced

½ bayleaf

Sprig of fennel or tarragon

½ lb mushrooms or green beans simmered in butter and lemon juice

¼ bottle dry white wine or cider

¼ pint fish stock

Salt and pepper

¼ pint double cream

1 oz. butter, diced, worked into 1 oz flour

Prepare the onions and carrots and put in the bottom of a large long dish. Put the fish on top; add herbs, seasoning and stock. Cover and cook, at 200 degrees C. or gas6 for 35 – 40 minutes, basting occasionally with the stock. When cooled, lift fish onto a warm serving dish and keep warm. Strain off liquid and reduce until half. Add the cream and wine and simmer. Work the flour into the butter and add a little at a time, stirring well aft er each addition. Put to side to heat.

Cook mushrooms or beans lightly, toss the fish and arrange the mushrooms of beans along the middle and into little heaps at the side. Finish the sauce by adding a few pieces of diced butter, let it melt, but do not boil. Tast for seasoning then pour over fish and serve.


Stuffed Castle Lambert Roast Lamb


2kg gigot of lamb (with breast)

Fresh rosemary leaves

2 garlic cloves chopped

Salt and black pepper

75gr chopped onion

225g long grained rice

100g dried, chopped apricots

2 teaspoons raisins

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Method of Cooking

Bone the lamb and liberally sprinkle with rosemary and chopped garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To make the stuffing, melt the butter and cook the onion in it until softened. Stir the rice and add 600ml water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until tender. Mix with the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Stuff the lamb with this mixture and roll it up beginning with the gigot end. Secure well with skewers and string and roast, allowing 20 minutes to the pound and 20 minutes over at 400degrees (gas marked 6).

When it is done, remove the roast to the serving dish. Pour the from the pan juices, mix in any rice mixture that may have left over and reheat. Serve with or around the lamb.


Editor’s note: This article was, one of many, written in Carnaun School, Athenry, from 2001 onwards, for IOFGA’s Organic Matters Magazine, Editor Cáit Curran!

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About this record

Written by 6th class Carnaun School

Published here 20 Feb 2024 and originally published June 2007

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