Prime Irish Shorthorn beef from the sprawling Glenarm Estate in County Antrim and other local farms was enjoyed at a lavish VIP dinner last week in the plush 1 Lombard Street restaurant, brasserie and bar at the heart of London’s vibrant financial district.
Presenting the local beef, which had been meticulously dry-aged in the world’s biggest complex of Himalayan salt chambers of pink hued blocks dating back 200-million years, was globally recognised meat expert Peter Hannan, the entrepreneurial owner of the acclaimed Hannan Meats in Moira, County Armagh, one of Northern Ireland’s most progressive beef processors.
The company provides its premium meats to other top restaurants and hotels in London, other parts of Britain, Ireland and Europe.
Peter is also one of the greatest champions of local food and drink and has helped many smaller producers to success in Britain.
“It was a really special occasion which gave me an opportunity to brief diners about how the beef they were enjoying was aged by us and sourced from the award-winning farms, including on the Glenarm Estate,” Peter explains.
“I also presented Northern Ireland as a world class food destination to a discerning audience in London.
“I was delighted to be working with good friend James Holden, the restaurant’s very talented and respected head chef.
“James has featured our steaks on his menus for some time,” he adds.
They worked closely to create the special menu for diners at the event to experience the distinctive flavour of Himalayan salt aged beef.
He outlined how the salt chambers help to produce the succulent, tender and richly textured beef and lamb which has won a string of international taste awards, including the coveted Great Taste Supreme Champion title twice – the only local company to win the prestigious award on two separate occasions for meat products.
Hannan Meats is also the most ‘decorated’ meat business in Great Taste.
The company has also won a series of Blas na hEireann Irish National Food Awards and Steak Challenge Awards.
He gained an MBE for his outstanding contribution to the local food industry and economy.
In addition to beef from the estate, Peter has developed a partnership with 70 other Glenarm beef producers in Northern Ireland. The farmers breed the cattle to his exacting specifications, ensuring that the animals graze on clover-based grass.
Having tried different varieties of natural salts for ageing beef, Peter chose Himalayan, which at 98.7 per cent is one of the purest.
The salt chambers create the perfect atmosphere for maturing premium meat. They also inhibit the bacteria that decomposes meat. To demonstrate this, the oldest cut of meat has been inside the chamber since April 1, 2015!
Outlining the ethos of the restaurant, James says: “Our menus are all made up of seasonal fruit and veg from local growers, fresh fish from British shores and upmarket meat from small-scale yet award-winning producers such as Peter Hannan.”
The restaurant’s a la carte dinner menu, in fact, has a highlighted section for “Peter Hannan’s Mighty Marbled Steak” and features ribeye-on-the-bone for sharing between 2/3 diners at £94.50; 200g fillet steak at £49 and 250g sirloin steak at £35.
The restaurant proclaims “all our beef is aged for 30 days in a Himalayan salt chamber and comes from native breeds in Ireland”.
The stylish restaurant says it is committed to “working with only the very best of British produce, using sustainable and local ingredients”.
Enjoying the gala dinner were top chefs, food lovers, financiers and leading food journalists.
It was the first in a series of events in Britain at which Peter will feature his range of meats from Shorthorn animals grazing lush, clover-rich pastures here.
Peter will be presenting the beef at a similar event in Newcastle-upon-Tyne later this month and then at a special Glenarm Dinner in the iconic Fortnum and Mason store in London’s Piccadilly in May, an event which has included leading entertainers, actors such as Stephen Fry and Liz Hurley, and food writers of the standing such as the Daily Telegraph’s Xanthe Clay.
Peter is a long-standing supplier of meats to Fortnum and Mason’s food halls and restaurants.
He has also helped other artisan producers to win business with the high-end store, a magnet, in particular, for international visitors to London and a long-standing supplier to the Royal Household.
With over 40 years in the trade, Peter is passionate about quality and tasty meat. He has raised the bar for meat on menus across Britain. What he doesn’t know about meat is simply not worth knowing.
The Lombard Street dinner was billed and promoted widely in London as ‘An Evening with Peter Hannan’ and promised to showcase “some of the finest beef from the world renowned producer”. Which it did.
It has already led to highly positive features, for instance in major global publications such as Luxuriate Life.
The spectacular venue, a former bank, is described as “Not just a restaurant: A piece of London’s history”.
It’s the place “where the City meets for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.
The imposing restaurant is full of character and situated in the heart of the financial district in an historic Grade II-listed banking hall next to Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor, and directly opposite the Bank of England.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.