As a part of our Amazing Food & Drink behind the scenes series we visited with chef owner Danny Millar at Stock Kitchen & Bar. This amazing restaurant and bar are located above the historic St George’s Market ensuring they have access to amazing local produce right on their doorstep. We talked to Danny about the importance of local produce, the food they serve at Stock Kitchen and the amazing cocktails mixed up and served at the bar. Read on to learn a bit about this great Belfast restaurant and how they are making the most of the vibrant market below.
The Importance of Local Produce
Chef owner, Danny Millar knows great food and during his career in the culinary industry he has gained an appreciation for quality produce. He spoke to us about the ease of cooking with a good quality piece of fish, cut of meat, or variety of vegetable.
Danny likes to cook simple food which doesn’t cover up the flavours of its base ingredients instead letting them truly shine. His food is flavourful and well designed to show how food the produce is. Of course this is why he has such an amazing location.
St George’s Market is packed full of amazing local fruit and vegetables, as well as local seafood and loads more. Danny has the ability to simply grab some local produce and design his menu around what he knows is in season for Northern Ireland. This way he knows he is getting the best so that diners can eat the best.
Fish Casserole at Stock Kitchen & Bar
With the wide variety of seafood available from the downstairs market it is no wonder that there is a fish casserole on the menu at Stock Kitchen & Bar. We started our visit with Danny picking out some of the freshest fish we could find at the market.
The casserole at Stock Kitchen starts with the amazing crab and fish bone stock that is created in-house. This stock is rich in flavour after being cooked and reduced for 24 hours. The fish used in the casserole is a variety of different types available at the market including John Dory, Hake, Monkfish, mussels, and turbot. These fish are fried biggest to smallest to ensure even cooking, with the mussels being added last. Seasonal vegetables are added along with lemon juice for acidity to really round out the dish.
The casserole is served on a slice of sourdough bread. This piece of bread soaks up all the sauce and juices of the dish leaving a delicious soaked bread at the end for you to enjoy.
If you want to learn more about local seafood to Northern Ireland, check out our article on Carlingford Oysters.
Irish Wheaten Bread at Stock Kitchen & Bar
Wheaten bread is an Irish classic and goes great with soups or a bowl of stew. Stock kitchen put a twist on the classic using Franciscan Well Stout adding a complexity and depth of flavour. The stout is also joined by treacle and mustard to make it truly unique.
The process of mixing together a wheaten bread loaf is simple as pulling together all your dry ingredients then adding the wet ingredients. Depending on the time of year and humidity your dough will need different levels of moisture to form a nice dough so add your wet ingredients in a little at a time to avoid making the dough over-wet.
Once the dough has a thick porridge consistency you can place it in a loaf tin to bake for around an hour. To try it for yourself, check out the video for full instructions and measurements.
French Martini at Stock Kitchen & Bar
Stock Kitchen & Bar also have full license so if you want to pop in for a drink, you can. If you do why not try this twist of a classic served up by their in-house bartender.
The French Martini is a mix of:
35mls Grey Goose Vodka
25mls Crème de cassis
60mls Pineapple Juice
25mls lime juice
10mls sugar syrup
Once placed in the jigger the mix is shaken for 10 to 12 seconds to produce the foamy texture which will give the cocktail its head. This foamy texture is often created using egg whites in cocktails but for a non-egg alternative pineapple juice has similar proteins which create the beautiful texture the same way. The cocktail is then poured into a chilled coup glass to serve garnished with dried rosebuds and grated white chocolate.
Coconut Margarita at Stock Kitchen & Bar
If you are looking for a tropical coconut infused margarita, perfect for a summer afternoon or anytime really. This drink is also a great one to try at home as it only contains three ingredients and tastes amazing.
The Coconut Margarita is a mix of:
60mls 1800 Coconut Tequila
60mls Lime Juice
Dash of Agave Nectar
The Agave nectar comes from the same plant as the tequila helping blend the flavours together beautifully. After shaking the ingredients together for around 10 seconds they are poured over ice. The cocktail is then garnished with coconut sugar and a lime wedge. The perfect cocktail for the margarita lover in your life, why not try it at home to impress or take them to Stock Kitchen and see how the professionals do it.
Stock Kitchen & Bar Belfast have an amazing location, from stunning Victorian architecture to the fresh local produce of the market below. Chef owner Danny Millar understands the power of great produce and what it can do for your food. Their dishes are varied and delicious and will have you wanting to buy your own produce to try their style of cooking at home. Stock Kitchen is a great venue for some food and drinks with family, friends, or anyone you think needs a great food or a tasty cocktail. Why not visit them next time you are at St George’s Market then head downstairs and grab some of the best produce Northern I