Did you know that Belgium is a very important market for Irish agri-food products like beef, lamb, seafood, snack products, dairy products and beverages? Nothing better than some Irish beef or lamb chops on your barbecue!
Pictures Bord Bia
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, which influences its climate, Ireland is the westernmost country in Europe. Did you know that about 80% of the surface of Ireland is covered with pasture, that is the largest area in Europe. The patchwork landscape of green meadows is home to 6.8 million cattle and 5.1 million lambs under extensive natural conditions. Good meat quality that is.
Export to Belgium
Exports to Belgium are estimated at 208 million euros in 2015. The Belgian consumer remains loyal to Irish products and Belgium has become the sixth partner of the Irish food industry in the euro zone. At the forefront of these exports are dairy products followed by meat. Indeed, in 2015, Belgium imported no less than 6,740 tonnes of beef and 3,580 tonnes of Irish lamb, much appreciated by Belgian consumers thanks to its taste qualities from traditional breeding. In the world of catering, we find these quality products on the map of many starred restaurants.
Irish lamb, much appreciated by Belgian consumers thanks to its taste qualities from traditional breeding. In the world of catering, we find these quality products on the map of many starred restaurants.
Livestock and sustainable development
Sustainable development issues have become a priority in Ireland, especially as the island has important natural assets to offer to the consumers food products that meet their expectations. Ireland can therefore only be more than happy with the results of the first European survey published on the carbon footprint of agriculture in Europe in February 2011. The survey shows that Irish breeding is one of the most more respectful of the environment in Europe. It has the lowest carbon footprint for milk, poultry and pork and ranks 2nd for beef and lamb. These good numbers are the result of natural pastures, which have the advantage of providing animals with adequate nutrition and to carbon capture.
In addition, an image study of Irish lamb in Belgium, conducted by GFK in 2013, shows that 70% of Belgian lamb consumers identify Ireland as a producer and 40% consider that Irish meat is of superior quality to that of other origins. This confidence is favored by the values of naturalness to which the consumer spontaneously associates Ireland: ‘beauty of nature’, ‘meadows’, and ‘green landscapes’ are the three terms most often mentioned. According to a recent study by Occurence in Belgium, the reputation of Irish beef is excellent. It is the preferred imported meat of Belgians and a third of consumers consume it regularly.
The main assets of Irish beef
Small in size, Irish beef is renowned for its docility and resistance to harsh weather conditions, allowing it to be fed naturally on grass almost year-round.
Its meat, rich in vitamin A, carotene, conjugated linoleic acids and unsaturated fatty acids due to the way it is grown on the grass, has a unique grain finesse and tenderness. These numerous assets give Irish beef a constant quality all year round, and have allowed it to be selected as official meat at the 2013 Bocuse d’Or by the organizers of this prestigious French culinary competition.
Lamb and Irish beef is available for the public in the following Belgian stores: Aldi, Crossroads, Cora, Colruyt, Delhaize, Intermarket, Lidl, Makro, Match, Rob, Renmans
More info Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) www.bordbia.ie
Marinade with beer
25 cl of Guinness type brown beer
2 soup spoons of sesame oil
1 clove of garlic
5 sprigs of oregano
2 laurel leaves
20 g of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt
0.5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
0.5 teaspoon of Espelette pepper
Peel the garlic clove and chop it finely
Chop the oregano
Pour the brown beer into a salad bowl or freezer bag and incorporate all the ingredients.
Mix well to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
Add the meat to marinate for 1 to 4 hours.
Take the meat out, drain it and cook to your satisfaction on the grill.
Irish whiskey marinade
12 cl Whiskey
12 cl of balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
white, green and black pepper
Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Then in a large salad bowl, add to it until you obtain a homogeneous mixture, the whiskey, the vinegar, the soy sauce, olive oil and the cloves.
Season your meat on both sides with 4 berries and salt. Pour your marinade into a resealable plastic bag and add the meat. Stir and handle the meat from time to time to marinate the marinade. Marinate your meat between one hour minimum and 24 hours maximum.