All over the world Christmas is associated with cooking, baking, and eating beautiful food. Whether your family has a tradition of Christmas eve with a cheeseboard or 3 different types of potatoes for the Christmas dinner, food will always play a big part of the preparations and Christmas itself. Cavan is home to some amazing chefs, cookery schools, restaurants, hotels, and producers. Some of them have given us some great recipes that you can enjoy with your loved ones this Christmas. That mince pie will always taste better if you have made it yourself. Here are some Christmas recipes created in Cavan.

Virginia Cookery School’s Apple and Mincemeat Tart

Virginia Cookery School

This yummy tart is full of the smells of Christmas. Finola has adapted it from Nevin Maguires complete family cookbook.


2 egg yolks

225g plain flour

2 tablespoons of Icing sugar

100g butter

Cooking apples

3-4 heaped teaspoons of sugar

1 jar of mincemeat- high fruit content

Fine caster sugar to sprinkle


Watch the full method and finishing product here. For more amazing recipes from Virginia Cookery School just visit her website here. Pair this beautiful tart with some of Cavans Mood Ice Cream


Mince Pie Pinwheel from The Keepers Arms

Sheila and Bryan at the Keepers arms are well known for their beautiful Christmas baking this time of year. This recipe is a really simple and quick way to make your very own mince pies.


Good quality mince pie filling

1or 2 sheets puff pastry

1 egg wash


  • Roll out puff pastry in a rectangle shape
  • Layer pie filling evenly over the pastry, roll up half way on both sides
  • Slice 1inch thickness & brush with egg wash
  • Place on parchment paper, on cooking tray, cook for 10 – 15 min
  • Serve with crème fraiche


Barry Johns Roasted Pork Sausages and Vegetables

Sausages are so versatile to cook. This simple dish is a one pot wonder, prepare all the ingredients and pop it into to oven and cook! A perfect quick recipe to have on Christmas eve or St stephens day when you want a quick dinner.


8 Jumbo Barry John Caramelised Red Onion Sausages (you can choose any flavour you prefer from their gourmet sausage range)

8/10 baby carrots washed and left whole

3 mixed peppers chopped into chunks

3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into wedges

2 red onions peeled & sliced into chunks

Bulb of Garlic – cut the top and bottom off the bulb and separate the garlic cloves

(Goats cheese if desired)

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Italian seasoning or mixed herbs


Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Brown the Caramelised Red Onion sausages, remove from pan and cut into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl, add the chopped mixed peppers, sweet potato wedges, red onions, baby carrots, garlic cloves and sausages.

Drizzle in some olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper.

Place a parchment sheet of paper onto a casserole dish and evenly pour out the ingredients from the bowl.

Cook in a preheated oven until the vegetables are cooked through with a nice golden colour (make sure not to overcook them as they’ll be too soft).

(Add the goat’s cheese if desirable for the last 5 minutes of cooking). Serve straight away with some crispy baguette or garlic bread.


Milk Chocolate Cardamon Mousse with Coole Swan Cream

Coole Swan Dessert

This truly indulgent dessert is the perfect after dinner treat this Christmas. Easy to make and very pleasing on the eye to add a touch of class to the table this Christmas.


150ml Coole Swan

200ml Single Cream

4 Cardamom Pods (crushed)

200g Good Quality Milk Chocolate

2 Medium Eggs, at room temperature

10g Caster Sugar

250ml Single Cream


  • Chop the milk chocolate and place in a medium sized bowl.
  • Crush the cardamom pods and put into a pan with the cream.
  • Heat gently and set aside for 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
  • Reheat until almost boiling and strain over the chopped chocolate, discard the pods and seeds.
  • Don’t stir, leave to sit for 5 minutes then mix until glossy.
  • Pour into a large bowl and leave to one side until it cools to room temperature.
  • Separate the eggs, fold the yolks into the chocolate and mix until smooth.
  • In a clean dry bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, add the sugar, and continue to whisk until smooth and glossy.
  • Using a large metal spoon, stir a spoonful of whisked egg white into the chocolate, this will loosen the mixture so it’s easier to fold in the rest.
  • Gently fold in the remaining whites until the mix looks glossy without any visible signs of egg white.
  • Spoon the mousse into your chosen glasses and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • For the Coole Swan cream, whisk the cream until semi whipped. Add the Coole Swan and re-whisk.
  • To serve, take the mousses out 20 minutes before serving, spoon the cream on top and garnish with some chocolate shavings and mint!


Deep Fried Brie With Moran’s Red Onion Marmalade

The perfect starter at the Christmas table or as a party food option for the guests.


Wheel of good quality Brie


Egg wash

Bread crumbs

Moran’s red onion marmalade


  • Source a good quality cheese – for example, brie – from your local farmers market.
  • Cut into portion sizes.
  • Crumb each piece, using flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs.
  • Heat a deep fat fryer and carefully cook each piece.
  • Drain on a piece of kitchen towel.
  • Serve with Moran’s Red Onion Marmalade and a nice glass of wine.
  • Enjoy.

McNean restaurant– Neven Maguires stuffed roast goose with braised red cabbage

We shared this recipe in our last blog on Autumn recipes but its so good we decided to share it again. One of Cavan’s favourite chefs produces some amazing recipes made with local ingredients. This one is for the more adventurous cook for a special occasion- like Christmas day!


  • 6kg or 12lbs- ready goose, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp of redcurrant jelly
  • 1 tbsp ruby red port or red wine
  • Finely grated rind of 1 orange

For the stuffing

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 350g of sausage meat
  • 75g of fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g of walnut halves chopped

For the red cabbage

  • 1 head of red cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 50g of smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of light brown sugar
  • 300ml red wine
  • 300ml of apple juice
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Madeira Jus or red wine sauce to serve


  • To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the apples and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened and golden. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Once cool, add the thyme, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, cranberries, and walnuts, stirring gently until evenly mixed. Season to taste.
  • Preheat oven to 200C (400F), Gas mark 6. Place the goose on a rack set over a roasting tin. Pour over a full kettle of boiling water, then drain off the water from the roasting tin. To stuff the goose, start at the neck end where you’ll find a flap of loose skin: gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack in two-thirds of the stuffing inside as far as you can go and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap under the goose and secure it with a small skewer. Rub all over with salt.
  • Press the remaining stuffing into the base of a 225g (8oz) loaf tin and set aside. Weigh the goose and calculate the cooking time, allowing 15 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 15 minutes – this goose should take about 3 1/2 hours. Place in the oven to roast, draining off excess fat every 30 minutes or so and after 1 hour reduce the oven temperature to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. Continue to cook, still draining the fat off every half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the red cabbage, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a high heat. Add the bacon and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the cabbage, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the cabbage is well cooked down, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the cabbage starts to catch on the bottom. Add the vinegar, sugar, wine and apple juice. Give a good stir, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the apples and spices and cook gently for another 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally. Season to taste and keep warm over a low heat.
  • Remove the goose from the oven 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Warm the redcurrant jelly, balsamic vinegar, port or wine and orange rind in a small pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the jelly dissolves and then cook for 4-5 minutes until syrupy. Brush all over the goose. Return the goose to the oven with the reserved tin of extra stuffing and cook for the final 30 minutes until completely tender. Transfer the goose to a serving platter and cover with foil, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Spoon the cranberry and apple mixture into a warmed bowl and keep warm.
  • To serve, garnish with roast goose with the thyme and bring to the table. Turn the tin of extra stuffing on to a warmed plate. Carve into slices and arrange on warmed plates, discarding any excess fat. Add some of the stuffing to each plate with the roasted apples and braised red cabbage.

Richard Corrigans Soda Bread

Richard Corrigan’s Irish soda bread is a family recipe, passed down the generations, and is now used in their own kitchen at Virgina Park Lodge. This bread is heavenly fresh out of the oven and smothered with salted butter or topped with crab or salmon for fool-proof canapés. And if you have anything leftover (not likely), toast it the next day to have with a hearty breakfast. Perfect for Christmas canapes or to enjoy as part of the Christmas morning breakfast.


250g plain flour
10g salt
15g sodium bicarbonate
150g wholemeal flour
150g jumbo oat flakes
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp black treacle
500ml buttermilk


  • Heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking grease.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then mix in the honey, treacle, and buttermilk, working everything together lightly with your hands until you have a loose, wet dough.
  • Flour your hands, shape the dough into a round and lift it onto the baking sheet. Cut a cross in the top. As the loaf cooks it will help to separate it into quarters.
  • Put it into the oven and bake for around 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack, drape a damp cloth over the top and leave to cool.


This Christmas why not try a new recipe with local food? Make a concerted effort to source your Christmas ingredients from local producers or suppliers and do your part to keep money circulating in the local economy. If you are not lucky enough to be from Cavan then check out all our producers here to see where you can order their produce from. Have fun this Christmas with a recipe created in Cavan!

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