What a pleasure it is to come across this traditional butcher in the heart of Lismore village, Co. Waterford. Michael McGrath is one of several generations to run this shop, now followed by son John. McGrath's is the kind of butcher you really want to find - nothing has changed here for many years, and aren't we just delighted it hasn't! You'll see the original meat racks and hooks behind the counter, where meat was hung long before refrigeration kicked in. You'll find traditional cuts of beef like 'housewive's choice', brisket, rolled rib and topside, palest pink new season lamb shoulder chops and other joints, plump, farm fresh chickens, home cured bacon and ox tongues. All are clearly priced, so anyone with a budget knows exactly how much it's going to cost before they start. If you want something cut to order - tell the boys how much you want to spend and they will know what size to cut your meat. It's just how it always was, and we hope, always will be. When you've chosen what you want, you pay at the original pay booth where the till has always been. Money never passes over the counter here - the butchers are there to practice their craft and you can watch them do so at the butcher's blocks behind the counter. Quite fascinating you will find it.
All of this is wonderful news for the art of traditional butchery. But perhaps the best news of all, is the fact that Michael has his own farm for beef and lamb, and a small abbatoir out the back of the shop, where animals are processed humanely, with consideration and care. Several fridges are for hanging and dry ageing meats on the bone - Angus beef gets at least 28 days to tenderise and develop intense flavour. YOu can tell by the deep colour it has been aged this way. Dark meat and a good marbling of fat indicates superlative beef. You'll find much of that here. Drop in next time you're in the area - you won't find another butcher's shop like this for miles around. We guarantee it.