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My Top 10 Irish Dishes of 2018 #1

Black Pudding and Foie Gras with Pistachios at Vaughan’s Anchor Inn in Liscannor

Humble Irish black pudding and sinfully rich French foie gras hitch up in this intriguing appetizer by chef Denis Vaughan at Vaughan’s Anchor Inn. The combination lights up the palate while it tweaks the culinary imagination. 


The combination of blood sausage and fatty duck liver has a Fergus Henderson sort of vibe about it. Henderson, as you may recall, is the British chef who launched the “Nose to Tail” eating movement and famously cooks up all sorts of innards and offals at his St. John restaurant in London.


Chef Vaughan makes his own black pudding at the restaurant. Like French boudin noir, black pudding is made of pork fat and pig blood thickened with oatmeal or barley, As Good Food Ireland explains: Black pudding has a long history in Western Ireland where it was produced by farm wives when the pigs were killed. It was traditionally sold in local markets to make extra money for the family. 


Several butchers around Ireland have made black pudding their specialty. Kelly’s of Newport makes an exceptional version that has won a gold medal from La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Goûte Boudin – The Brotherhood of the Knights of the Black Pudding in France.


Located not far from the Cliffs of Moher and the resort town of Lahinch, Vaughan’s is a family run restaurant that’s been around since 1979. Annette and John Vaughan manage the place while their talented son Denis runs the kitchen. Chef Denis Vaughan is entirely self-taught and his cooking is amazing.


Vaughan’s Anchor Inn is not your average pierside pub. The dinner menu starts with a caviar section.

Robb Walsh