Honey, Honey

Meadow Hedgerow Honey has been a staple in Oysters’s kitchen for a number of months now.

Locally sourced, from as nearby as Melmount Road, Strabane, the raw honey is carefully harvested ensuring the retention of nature’s nourishing health benefits, in an area as the name suggests; surrounded by meadows and hedgerows, home to gorse and broom trees.

Raw honey is known to be a natural immune booster, is rich in antioxidants, helps improve cholesterol, and is said to be suppress hay fever symptoms.

Throughout the year, Olivia Brown harvests the honey from her own apiary in rural Strabane -an area void of industrial pollution coupled with an environmental make-up of ocean washed winds drifting from Donegal and rain blowing from the Atlantic results in the production of some of the purest honey.

The harvested honey is packed within 12-24 hours of being removed from the hive to protect against any loss of aroma, locking in those indisputable benefitting factors.

Why not try for yourself…

You can indulge in Meadow Hedgerow Honey in one of our scrumptious dishes and even take a jar home.

#FoodNI #LocalProduce #LocalSuppliers #Strabane #CoTyrone

From Farm to Fork

At Oysters we deal only with the highest calibre of food source from the adjacent locality and we pride ourselves on offering the finest of beef in the region.

The provenance and quality of our meat origins, especially, is all important and we are extremely proud to have had a long tradition of meat supply from B McCarron Butchers, Raphoe.

Join us in our journey from farm to fork and experience the essence of local produce at its finest…

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Bernard and Brian, of McCarron Butchers, source their meat from a farm no further than three miles over the road from the butcher shop, guaranteeing that the meat they provide is wholly traceable and from the finest of breeds.

Farmer Roy Craig,  is credited with the breeding and raising of the beef source that graces Oysters‘ tables.

Roy deploys a dual approach in the rearing of his cattle, affording them the combination of grazing in green pastures alongside trough feeding. This practice guarantees wholesome, premium product, entirely traceable and as local as it comes.

Farmer, Roy Craig, Butcher, Brian McCarron & Owner of Oysters Restaurant, Kevin Clarke

The Aberdeen Angus and Charolais are then processed via the abattoir at Edenmore Farm Meats prior to their collection by the butcher himself. With over 44 years of experience garnered at Mc Carrons, the ageing and butchering processes are ready to begin. This initially entails hanging the meat for a 28-day period, allowing the ageing process to ensue.

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B McCarrons hanging room

After ageing, the beef is then prepared into sides of fillet or sirloin by McCarrons before undertaking the final stage of its  journey to Oysters Restaurant, Strabane. The transport of the beef by the butcher himself harks back to traditional trading methods in itself.  A doorstep operation also means that this business opts to place itself on call 24/7 in order to meet it’s customers demands, an unprecedented level of service that is rare to experience in today’s trading world.

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Niall Gorham, Oysters’ head chef, checking the origin of the beef
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Brian Mc Carron butchering

The provenance of our beef is all important to us and visits by Niall and Kevin to assess and approve the operation at McCarrons guarantees that only the finest product makes it into the kitchen at Oysters. Our Head Chef is proud to be associated with McCarrons, acknowledging the supreme quality and service that this butchers operation offers. To review our beef offering check out our menus.

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Brian Mc Carron & Oysters’ owner, Kevin Clarke
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Kevin selecting the meat
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Kevin with a side of sirloin – his favourite!
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Side of Sirloin

We at Oysters, pride ourselves on using only premium products and we fully support B McCarrons in their provision of a top quality product. Beef, lamb and pork are sourced in their entirety from Bernard and Brian, thus securing that only the optimum quality is achieved and offered to Oysters’ clientele.

We hope you have enjoyed your journey from farm to fork with us and that this preamble will enhance further your enjoyment of our beef product.

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Beef Fillet

#FoodNI #LocalSuppliers #LocalProduce #Steak #Food #CoTyrone #Donegal

Eel-Eat Week

As Eel Week draws to a close the reception to the initiative in Oysters was phenomenal! Many customers who had never tried eel before took this opportunity to delve into their adventurous side and they were not disappointed.

Eel-Eat originated from the Lough Neagh Partnership in association with the Lough Neagh Fisherman’s Co-Operative and supported and promoted throughout Northern Ireland by Tourism NI and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council,  running from Saturday 25th June to Saturday 2nd July.

The aim of Eel-Eat was to encourage residents, local businesses and visitors to try Lough Neagh eels in support of the local fishing industry within the area.

Oysters put together a dish comprising of ‘Smoked Eel with Sautéed Potatoes, Buttered Leaks and a Watercress Veloute.’

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Here at Oysters we were proud to support our local fishing industry and serve some of the best of local Northern Irish produce.

#Food NI #LocalProduce #LocalSuppliers #Foodie #Strabane #CoTyrone

A True Taste of Irish Heritage

By Michaela Clarke

Oysters latest Spring menu has a new exciting dish in the form of Haven Smokehouse Turf-Smoked Donegal Salmon served with a Pea, Vanilla & Mint Puree, Confit Potato and Crispy Capers!

Head Chef, Niall Gorham, has had a long standing love for Turf-Smoked Salmon from The Haven Smokehouse, and has now brought a piece of Irish heritage to the plates at Oysters.

Hailing from Derry, Declan McConnelllogue has set up The Haven Smokehouse alongside his partner Sue Cruse from Sri Lanka, in the picturesque Co. Donegal village of Carrigart.

Derry is a thread linking Oysters and The Haven Smokehouse, both owners originating from the Maiden City and now collaborating to bring organic turf-smoked salmon, via the most traditional of smoking methods to the palates of Northern Irish diners, a fine example showcasing the best of our local produce with two Derry natives at the heart of the process.

Declan and Sue pride themselves on keeping their smokehouse as authentic and traditional as possible and with Oysters’ love affair of local produce and Northern Irish heritage, this makes for the perfect pairing, the end product being a fabulous melody of true Irish flavours stimulating the tastebuds.

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Declan McConnelllogue – The Haven Smokehouse

An explosion of flavours and smoked nuances immediately transport the diner to the Irish countryside of old and the heritage of years gone-by, of farmers cutting turf and the smell of turf-filled fires permeating homes across the land.

The beautiful, fresh, organic salmon is carefully hand selected from a bio-suisse approved organic farm in Fanad Head, and Declan explains how; “within hours of swimming in the wild Atlantic waters, it is on the filleting table.”

The journey of the salmon fillet begins a short distance from the smokehouse, only a stone throw from the pristine waters edge.

After the salmon is caught and brought to the smokehouse, Declan, the Master Smoker, carefully threads a needle under the collar of each side of salmon with twine and then hangs same from hooks, allowing the oil that comes to the surface, to drip off the tail, in sparkling droplets. The delicacy is then left to dry in the fresh Atlantic breeze.

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The next step sees the introduction of turf to the process – “It’s time to light the turf fire, gentle smoke envelopes our salmon sides for two to three days as it slowly starts to cure,” explains Declan.

Declan, proprietor of The Haven Smokehouse, details the unique smoking effect used, “Contrary to popular understanding, at The Haven Smokehouse we do not use salt to cure our salmon – we use smoke! Salt is used to create a pellicle on the flesh to let smoke stick to it. Given time, smoke will slowly displace the moisture in the salmon, therefore curing and creating a low salt product – call us rebels!”

The turf is local to the Smokehouse as well, with some of the peat bogs, generated over thousands of years, located in the surrounding hills.

The entire process takes place in the most traditional of smokehouses, designed and established by Declan and Sue, shunning the modern commercialised smoking processes in favour of an authentic dry-stone walled cottage smoking methods, thereby keeping Irish heritage truly alive in the form of turf-smoked salmon, every single element coming from the surrounding landscape and carried out through Irish traditions passed down through generations. “After many late nights and many mistakes, I realised it was a taste of my memories, of a time when simplicity was understanding and knowledge was watching the salmon, with the old soul,” Declan – The Haven Smoke House.

A man, with an absolute passion for heritage and the simplicity of process, Declan is on the threshold of perfecting his recipe for sour dough bread which he hopes to make in his own clay oven currently in process of being fashioned by his own hands. Keep an eye out for another wonderful, exciting product being exported across the region of Ireland / Northern Ireland and Europe.

If this has tantalised your tastebuds and you yearn to savour veritable organic turf-smoked salmon at its optimum, visit Oysters and be enthralled by the delicacies of this superb product, steeped in the heritage of these two Derry natives.