I am thrilled to become a stockist of Dollop Ghee, a wonderful new Irish artisan ingredient destined to become a kitchen cupboard essential. Retailing at €6.95, Dollop Ghee comes in a 200ml glass jar and will be available online and at Killruddery Farm Market (on selected dates from 21st April).
Sophie van Dijk makes her fabulous product in Dundalk, Co Louth, her lightbulb moment coming while in the throes of the famous 12-week course at Ballymaloe Cookery School (I'm so jealous). With a background in chilled food purchasing for a major grocer, when she came up with her own idea for an innovative food product, she certainly knew what would appeal.
Dollop Ghee is pure Irish unsalted butter that has been clarified and simmered, the milk solids acquiring a toasty flavour that remains when they are filtered out. A key ingredient in Indian cooking, a dollop of ghee is perfect for roasting or frying, and delicious stirred into rice, cooked vegetables or even porridge. It has a high smoke point, and an intense, more buttery than butter taste.
WHAT IS GHEE?
Butter is made up of butterfat, milk solids,& water. Butter becomes ‘clarified’ when the water is evaporated and the fat separates from the milk solids. Ghee goes one step further: the clarified butter is simmered to toast the milk solids, the fat turning a deep golden hue while becoming nutty-tasting and aromatic. Once the toasted milk solids have done their job, they're filtered out leaving just pure fat: ghee!
WHY USE GHEE?
People love substituting ghee for other fats when cooking because it is a nutrient-dense food with a delicious taste and very high smoke point.
- Taste- Ghee has a deeply buttery taste and aroma, with nutty, toasty flavours. Using ghee brings a real depth of flavour to any dish.
- High Smoke Point- Sometimes food is best cooked at a very high heat and when cooking with a very high heat, it’s important to use a fat with a very high smoke point. Ghee has a smoke point of 252⁰c (in comparison, butter = 177⁰c, Extra Virgin Olive Oil = 191⁰c, Coconut Oil = 232⁰c). Add a dollop of ghee to a very hot pan when making crispy fried eggs, browning meat, searing steaks and sautéing vegetables.
HOW DO I USE GHEE?
With its buttery, nutty flavour and very high smoke point, ghee provides a great alternative to olive oil, butter or coconut oil when frying (meat, fish, veg, eggs) or roasting (meat, fish, veg). A dollop of ghee is also delicious stirred into rice, cooked vegetables or even porridge.
WHY IRISH GHEE?
‘Grassfed’ meat and dairy products are luxury food items in other places around the globe (where cattle are fed on corn), but in Ireland our cows are almost exclusively pasture-raised in fields of nourishing green grass. Year-round rainfall provides us with one of the longest grass growing seasons on the planet. Our dairy cows thrive on this nutritious grass and produce gorgeous rich, creamy, fresh milk. This high quality milk provides the raw material for a whole host of fantastic dairy products with unrivalled taste, texture and colour- now including Dollop Irish Ghee.
HOW DO I STORE GHEE?
Ghee is a shelf-stable, ambient product with a shelf life of 12 months. It's best stored in a cool, dark place like a cupboard, even after it’s been opened.
Oil separation is normal if you have a pretty warm kitchen, or the ghee may appear to ‘crack’ if you store it in the fridge – it is still perfectly good to use in either case!
Watch this space for some yummy recipes, coming soon!