Why meat is just part of the attraction of this Ranelagh butchers shop

Irish butcher shops are a national treasure, very much like the traditional Irish pub.But that’s a fact you don’t tend to realise until you go abroad and find yourself really missing them.

Ranelagh’s Village Butcher is a fairly new addition to the locality as it has been open under the current management of Michael Madden and Sarah Kelly for just over a year.But already it’s a place you’d miss if it wasn’t there.

Michael Madden, The Village Butcher, Ranelagh

Michael Madden

It’s all about value, choice and a sense of community.This is a bright,modern butcher shop where you can buy superb bread, eggs, fish and vegetables as well as meat.And where the owners use Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with their growing band of customers.

The modern approach has its limits, though. When it comes to beef, The Village Butcher is proud of its traditional approach. In the past, all beef was aged before it was sold. In recent times, some of the bigger food stores dispensed with this method. Not so, Michael and Sarah – they know that by dry aging their beef for 28 days it provides the optimum taste and flavour.

Drop into the shop and Michael, who has worked in the butchery trade for more than 28 years, is always happy to provide advice on how best to cook their wide range of lamb, chicken and beef. The Village Butcher’s pre-made options are great, too. Favourites include Chicken in White Wine with Tarragon and Pink Berries – especially popular right now in January when two pre-mades are on offer at €10.

Veg at The Village Butcher, Ranelagh

Village Veg

Michael and Sarah are big supporters of in-season, fresh Irish food.That’s why you will find the Arun bread range on their shelves and an amazing selection of vegetables and salad stuff from top Dublin growers such as Brendan Guinan, known for supplying top quality produce to chefs across Ireland. The latest addition to their range has a distinctly coastal theme loads of lovely samphire plus a range of sea vegetables from Wild Irish Sea Veg,a company based in Caherush, West Clare.

The Village Butcher’s operating hours are attractive, too. The shop opens at 8am Monday to Saturday and from 10am on Sunday mornings. That’s nice and early but even better for those Luas commuters on their way home and in search of the makings of a meal, The Village Butcher stays open until 7pm Monday to Fridays – closing at 6pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays.

The Village Butcher, 121 Ranelagh Village.

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