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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Recipe Requests - General / Anyone remember "Ireland's Restaurant" - Nashville
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    Anyone remember "Ireland's Restaurant" - Nashville

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    spice cook
    Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:02 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I live in Bowling Green, KY and wonder if you would remember an employee that worked there in the mid & late 70's. She knew a family that lived in my neighborhood at that time and they moved to another state. I have lost touch with them and believe that she probably keep in touch with them. I would love to get in touch with them and think whe might be able to help. Her name was Martha Mauck. I don't think that she stayed in Bowling Green when Irelands closed and that she probably moved to another one of their locations. Would appreciate any responce from you. Hope you liked Bowling Green when you were here.
    Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:19 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    The recipe posted in this thread on 16 May 2011 by Bearsbamagirl is essentially the same as the one posted earlier in this thread on 16 Mar 2009 by Bluesmith (see page 3). THAT IS NOT THE IRELAND'S RECIPE!

    I wasted a lot of money and time on that recipe, only to discover that it is the wrong recipe. You can read about my experiences in the last post on page 5 of this thread. Anyone who really wants the marvelous taste of Ireland's steak and biscuits as they were made in Nashville in the 1960s should ignore any recipe that includes Worcestershire or soy sauce.

    I don't know where that bogus recipe really came from, but it is not from Ireland's. Ireland's steak had no Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce in it at all. Garlic, oil, salt and pepper are the only ingredients besides steak. Ireland's also didn't use angel biscuits; they used small, liberally buttered regular baking powder biscuits.
    Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:36 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I know what was used, I used to be their food ,supplies sales rep.
    It was not sirlion, not ribeye, not prime rib. It was the best possible cut, yes, Prime- Filet Mignon. They were medallions. I was the person who introduced the butcher to Irelands who cut the medallions to spec. in thier slaughter house. They did this versus bringing whole tenderloin and cutting themselves so that they could retain consistency in marbleing and thickness of cut. the butcher/slaughterhouse was out of east Tennessee-Knoxville, Maryville somewhere in that area.
    They were simple on the seasoning/marinade- many think it was Alegra, soy, worchestershire- it was not. Those would kill the prime beef flavor. Remember, Irish cuisine was simple, but great natural flavor.
    Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:33 pm Groupie
    3rdday wrote:
    I know what was used, I used to be their food ,supplies sales rep.
    It was not sirlion, not ribeye, not prime rib. It was the best possible cut, yes, Prime- Filet Mignon. They were medallions. I was the person who introduced the butcher to Irelands who cut the medallions to spec. in thier slaughter house. They did this versus bringing whole tenderloin and cutting themselves so that they could retain consistency in marbleing and thickness of cut. the butcher/slaughterhouse was out of east Tennessee-Knoxville, Maryville somewhere in that area.
    They were simple on the seasoning/marinade- many think it was Alegra, soy, worchestershire- it was not. Those would kill the prime beef flavor. Remember, Irish cuisine was simple, but great natural flavor.

    I am really enjoying this thread. Also trying to conjure up what this dish looks and taste like. So, filet mignon medallion dusted with salt, pepper, garlic cloves/powder only and cooked. Then placed on top of flakey biscuits. Do I have this right?
    Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:00 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I have followed an earlier suggestion to marinate the medallions in oil (olive or vegetable) overnight with the garlic first, salting and peppering either before or after marinating, and the result is so close to what I ate at Ireland's many, many times in the 1960s that I was completely satisfied, and I have a very, very picky memory for tastes I loved. Whether the marinating can be eliminated or not I have not tried, but I will. If it can be skipped, it would certainly make the job a lot easier.

    But if you follow what I did as I described in my post at the bottom of page 5 of this thread, you will taste something so close to what I enjoyed there so many times that you might as well have been there yourself.

    I was only a customer, never an employee nor the confidant of a chef, as others who posted bogus recipes claimed, but I am telling you the truth. I can't imagine why anybody would NOT tell the truth about something like this, but I have learned here that they do it.
    Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:18 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Also, the biscuits must be generously buttered, and the steak is placed between the two halves of the biscuit, not on top, making a little sandwich.

    I don't know what you mean by flaky biscuits. They should be regular baking powder biscuits, which I would describe more as crumbly than flaky, but that may just be a difference in how we describe things. Made with plenty of shortening, I expect is what we both mean.

    At Ireland's they were small biscuits, no more than 1½" or maybe 2" in diameter, so it took about two bites to finish one off. That was a good size, because they were a little messy to eat because they were so buttery and crumbly (but soft, slightly crunchy on the outside but not at all hard). I have used Pillsbury Grands frozen buttermilk biscuits (NOT the refrigerated canned ones), and their taste and texture are fine (although a little too moist inside when baked as directed) but they're much bigger than Ireland's biscuits.

    Other people have mentioned a dipping sauce, but if Ireland's served such a thing with the biscuits I never used it. The little biscuit sandwiches by themselves were so wonderful that they needed nothing else.

    They were always served with fries, very thinly cut, almost shoestring fries but not quite, made from fresh russet potatoes. They also were unique, but I haven't begun to try to duplicate them because they were good but not heavenly like the steak biscuits.

    Last edited by jmjm on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:31 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    And the steak medallions were cooked, not eaten raw after marinating. (Nobody has claimed that they WERE eaten raw, but we haven't mentioned the cooking in the last few posts.) The cooking is really the most challenging part in a non-commercial kitchen, because they need to be cooked very quickly at very high heat so that they end up seared and medium-rare, which is hard to do (for me, anyway) with something so small and thin, then placed immediately between a buttered biscuit and eaten.

    They were cooked on a griddle or in a pan, by the way, not over coals or a fire, so there was no smoky taste.

    And 3rdday is right about the cut. It was melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin, not some other cut. In my earlier post I said I used tri-tip, but that was only because I had wasted expensive (for me) tenderloin on the Worcestershire sauce recipe and didn't want to risk it again until I had the right recipe. After that I went back to tenderloin (although choice for me, not prime), and that's much better.

    The tenderloin I get has a much bigger cross section than Ireland's biscuits were, and I'm almost positive there was little or no overhang of the steak outside the biscuit, so they must have used smaller pieces or something. And until I came on this thread, I wouldn't have guessed they were medallions by the shape of the steak pieces, so I suspect they cut it roughly to fit on the biscuits and in some cases used more than one piece on a biscuit.

    As I remember it, a regular serving was five biscuits, which is about right with tiny biscuits like theirs, although there may have been a three-biscuit option for people with smaller appetites. But that was back in the glorious days when people cared very much more about how food tasted than how it might affect their health.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:17 am Groupie
    Lots of great information you are providing. I did not realize these biscuits were that small 1 1/2 to 2 inch diameter and normally 5 biscuit sandwiches per serving. What was the thickness of the medallions? I'm seeing 3/8 inch mentioned several times in this thread.

    So, this is what I have now: 3/8 inch thick medallion of tenderloin about 1 /2 to 2 inch diameter. Brush with oil, salt, pepper and garlic about 30 minutes before grilling.

    Place between regular biscuits. No gravy, sauce or anything? Wasn't this dry this way?

    I actually made sandwiches trying to copy several weeks ago reading this thread but I missed the smallness of the biscuits and mine were bigger. Also, I did not understand how thick the steaks were cut.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:22 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    You're forgetting the butter on the biscuit. That's what kept it from being dry - plenty of butter, so that it ran down your fingers and your chin when you bit into it - that plus the fact that the steak was medium rare and therefore juicy and unbelievably tender.

    The butter is at least as important as the steak and the biscuit: without it, these would have been good but not incredible. The biscuits also were not particularly thick - maybe ¾", or even just ½", without the steak inside - and the biscuit would be the only source of potential dryness. Each half of the biscuit was no thicker than the steak, and probably not that thick; so, assuming the steak was 3/8" thick, the biscuits would have been no more than ¾" thick, and probably closer to ½" thick, before being cut in half. The biscuit did not in any way overwhelm the steak.

    As I said, Ireland's may have served a dipping sauce with it as others have said, but I really can't imagine why, and if they did I never used it. Frankly, it's hard for me to imagine that I would have left anything they brought me untouched.

    There is the possibility that things changed somewhat during the decade or so after I ate there regularly before they went out of business, and they may have added a dipping sauce when they were expanding (foolishly, as it turned out) into other cities, suburban malls, etc. Lots of posters here evidently ate only at those other restaurants that I never knew existed until I read about them here. I only ever ate at the original Ireland's across Broadway/21st Ave from the Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, and mainly during the mid- to late 1960s when that was the only Ireland's there was.

    But even if they added dipping sauce later, I cannot believe that they ever added Worcestershire or soy sauce to the recipe, unless they did it at the very end and that's what drove them immediately out of business.

    You said to brush the medallions with oil, etc, 30 minutes before cooking; that is something I have never heard before. It might work; I just don't know. What I do - and what the others whose memories I trust have said Ireland's did - is to marinate the meat in oil and garlic for some hours or overnight before cooking, salting and peppering either before or after marinating. I may try the brushing, and it may be that the meat would taste the same as if it had been marinated, but I just can't verify that now.

    The 3/8" thickness sounds about right. It was interesting reading what 3rdday (whom I believe) said, that Ireland's got the medallions pre-sliced from their supplier to insure uniformity. But, as I said before, I don't remember that the medallions even looked like medallions, or that they were exactly the same diameter as the biscuits; I don't even remember them as being circular. That would have seemed to me like something that came out of a factory, like McDonald's hamburger patties. The steak on the Ireland's biscuits did not seem to be prefabricated in any way.

    I would have guessed that they cooked the medallions whole and then quickly cut them up into relatively irregularly shaped pieces to put on the biscuits, in some cases ending with a couple of odd leftover pieces on a biscuit. They very definitely seemed to have been assembled very quickly and by hand, with all the intriguing irregularities that would produce: oddly-shaped pieces of steak, not centered exactly in the biscuit, etc.

    I don't suppose the shape of the steak matters at all as far as taste goes, but presentation is important to the experience of eating, and the presentation of these little marvels was decidedly more haphazard than precise. It looked like the whole dish had been thrown together in about three seconds, which is probably not far from the truth given the huge volume of business they were doing and the lack of patience in their customers.

    Speaking of presentation, they were always served in smallish (8 x 10" or so) oval baskets on top of a bed of the fries, never on plates, as I remember it. That easily may have changed later as a result of the expansion, but that's how it was in the 60s at the original restaurant. Beer was the normal beverage to drink with them.

    Also, the restaurant was dark, but not the sophisticated candle-lit darkness of a fancy restaurant (whether they had candles I don't remember). It was very informal, always noisy, smoky (cigarettes, not cooking) and packed with mostly college students. That's how it was at night, which is when I nearly always ate there. It may have been different, more brightly lit and with a different, less raucous clientele, at lunchtime.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:27 pm Groupie
    Perhaps the tasty little biscuits were made with WhiteLily or Southern Biscuit flour.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:57 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Maybe. I don't remember either of those brands' being available in Nashville stores at the time (personally I've never heard of either of them), but since Ireland's would have bought their flour wholesale they may have used one of them. Maybe 3rdday knows, since he or she was involved in purchasing supplies at Ireland's, although maybe only with regard to meat.

    I can't imagine that the brand of flour would have made much difference in the taste of the biscuits. Maybe so if the biscuits had been eaten alone by a flour connoisseur, but with the savory meat, the relative smallness of the biscuits, and the generous application of butter, there wouldn't have been much room for ordinary eaters to detect subtle differences in the flour, if there even were any differences.

    I think whether they used lard or vegetable shortening would make more difference than the brand of flour, and I don't have any idea which kind of shortening they used, or whether they used buttermilk in the biscuits or not.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:20 pm Groupie
    icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif I am going to recreate this tonight. Meat is now thawing on my counter and ready to start on biscuits. Thanks for the info on liberal brushing of butter on biscuits. I'm skipping on french fried potatoes tonight though and going for Ceasar salad with croutons. Thanks for such wonderful memories of your favorite food.

    I have one such food I remember so well too and mine comes from all places a military base, an Air Force Base in California, cafeteria that served my favorite foods in my teen years. It was tacos, but not any tacos. These were fried with meat mixture already in it much like Jack and Box, but better tasting.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:23 pm Groupie
    BTW Peachez, I ordered White Lilly online and I have it now so I'm using that to make the biscuits.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:46 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I don't mean to be controlling, but the butter is not just brushed on liberally; a large dollop of butter should be put between the two halves right after splitting them and before inserting the steak. (And it was normal salted butter, not the weird unsalted stuff lots of people use nowadays.) Butter was not only brushed on the top of the biscuit, but the inside was filled with butter so that it flowed out from the biscuit when you bit it. It was messy finger food, although when you ate the biscuits over the basket the butter dripped onto the fries, so none of the goodness was wasted.

    This is a food for people who love delicious food; it definitely is not a food for people concerned primarily with their health. There were no people like that fifty years ago as far as I know, except maybe Adelle Davis and her disciples. If you're uncomfortable eating that much butter, or eating salted butter, you may want to do something different with your steak, because if you skimp on the butter you won't be tasting what Ireland's served.
    Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:51 pm Groupie
    I made two sizes of White Lilly biscuits as you can see. One is 2 1/4 inch and another 1 7/8 inch. The smaller one seems quite small - maybe 1-2 bite only.

    Here you can see how the sizes stack up.

    After about 9 minutes at preheated 500 degree oven

    You can see the bigger sized one here at 2 1/4 inch - I would think this is about 3-4 bite one for women and maybe 2-3 bite for men

    Starting on filet of tenderloin - I read it's supposed to be around 3/8 inch thick - that's quite thin. Here I'm starting out at about 3/4 inch thick:

    If 3/8 inch thick, I'll have to pound some more. Will show the results when dinner time.
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