Friday, 11 July 2008

....SHARK on Exchequer St

A few days ago a 6ft shark was thrown off-course and into a net off the south-west coast of Ireland - it eventually wound-up on Exchequer Street in Dublin city centre.

Thanks to the IRISH AVIATION AUTHORITY I got to share that same shark (or as RONAN KEATING says share-shum-shark) with PAULINE MAGUIRE who was in town on a flying visit from MANCHESTER ART GALLERY.

What's the IAA got to do with shark? Well Pauline and I were suffering from wild schedules and - in a break with tradition - couldn't swing-it to meet face-to-face before her return flight. Then everything changed when the IAA stepped-in to announce their radar system was in melt-down and suddenly, along with thousands of others, Pauline was trapped in Ireland (missing JASON's performance-piece in PROJECT SPACE LEEDS). That left me with the pleasure, once-again, of hosting my old friend. She picked me up at the studio and we sauntered around the corner to FALLON & BYRNE to top-up on treats (both dying to chill with some home-cooking after a hectic start to the week).

This is where the shark (eventually) comes back into the script. Though the IAA are doing a fantastic job (!!!) it would be unfair to give them full credit for our unanticipated evening at home. In fact FALLON & BYRNE - in particular their butcher - played the stellar role. He clearly has his ear-to-the-ground because, within hours of the 'shark-call', he had JAWS spread-out on the block downstairs and had convinced us to take a few steaks home for the pan.

Though it's wildly popular in many other parts of the world shark is rare around these parts so there's little or no market here. Shark is a juicy, firm-yet-tender meat with a hint of sweetness. We pan-fried on med-to-high and simmered a two-inch-thick steak for 4 mins each side ..reduced to low and left to simmer for another few mins. The flavour is spectacular so keep it simple and don't distract with herbs. At the very most serve with a wedge of lime on the side, maybe serve with sugar-snap peas or raw baby spinach (save the lime for that).

Get yourself to Fallon & Byrne on your way from work this evening, there's very little left and I'm going back for more.

Exchequer Street, Dublin 02
priced at something like €15 per kilo