Guest post for The Ring of Kerry by Kenmare Foodies, Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon.

I recently discovered a recipe that I want to share more than any other recipe I have ever come across…. I moved to Kerry 13 years ago, I took a leap of faith with my husband and our then two sons, we have since invested and have added two Kerry babies to the pack. The leap wasn’t one that spanned oceans or continents but it crossed an even bigger divide, that of the Cork and Kerry border.

Ring of Kerry MountainsWe landed in a place that matched the beauty of where we had left. Where we once had the Atlantic ocean and rolling green hills we now discovered a land of mountains, forests and lakes, not only mountains but mountains that yearn and stretch towards the sea. Mountains that change colour with the seasons and where in the summer you can chase the shadows of the clouds across a sea of green, mountains that turn from grey to purple to brown and mountains where tiny streams become gushing torrents when the rain falls heavy against them. These mountains hold one more treasure in their midst for it is these mountains that make Kerry famous for one of it’s most natural delicacies….that is Kerry Lamb.

Kerry Sheep Kerry Sheep Where we live on the Ring of Kerry is a place of beauty and mysticism, it inspires me to write and also to cook. I forage for pleasure what I can when in season like mushrooms, blueberries, sea spinach, samphire and the now present hazelnuts but I also have a wealth of natural ingredients all well reared on my doorstep. I do supermarket shop….( it’s not Nirvana that I live in ) but I know my local butcher is exactly that…local and that what I buy from him is from my area.

Kerry LambI saw lamb shanks behind the counter last week and I was reminded of a recipe that a very good friend had given to me that I was dying to try. These looked too good to leave behind. The recipe has a mix of some of my favourite ingredients Rioja, chorizo, balsamic vinegar and sweet smoked paprika. The one thing that I will say is please invest in an authentic Spanish Paprika, it will make the world of difference to your dish. The secret to the success of this is the slow cooking which causes all the fat to render out of the shanks leaving you with moist succulent meat that falls off the bone and a rich deep flavoursome sauce. I served this with Champ and last weekend on a dark and stormy night while the wind howled across the mountains we soothed and comforted our souls with this and of course a bottle of Rioja.

Here is a link to the recipe which is Lorraine Pascales Rioja braised Lamb Shanks with garlic and chorizo.

Karen Coakley and Derick McMahonGuest post for The Ring of Kerry by Kenmare Foodies, Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon. Kenmare Foodies are Karen Coakley and Derick McMahon. They are the founding members and organisers of the 2012 and 2013 Kenmare Food Carnivals. They are available for food demonstrations, cook offs and event management consultation. Contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.