Cooking with beer: ale and hearty ideas | Life and style

After we posted an article saying that there was more to cooking with beer than steak and ale pie, there were calls for a recipe – and plenty of great
reader suggestions in the comment thread. We listened, and here Gerrard Mitchell offers up
two of his go-to beer recipes. As chef and owner of beer smallgoods producer Beersine, he’s got a reputation for using ingredients from the start to the end of the brewing process, as well as the beer itself.In a twist on béarnaise, white wine is replaced with beer
for a beernaise sauce that’s perfect for steak, asparagus or grilled fish and accompanied by pressed potatoes in the cooler months or a fresh coleslaw
as the weather warms. A quality beer pairing is
a must. Big IPAs such as Epic’s Hop Zombie (8.5%), a bold Imperial
IPA or Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo (7.2%) are an ideal pairing for
contrast. If you favour a drop with a lower ABV, an easier-drinking IPA
like Feral Brewing’s Hop Hog (5.8%) is a good option. Amber ales such
as Two Birds’s Sunset Ale (4.6%) complement rather than contrast, taking
the pairing in a different direction.Beer-brined brisket is a hearty dish that repays the time put into its prep.
Rich malts of a brown ale or stout complement the dish. Nail Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout (6%), Nøgne Ø’s Imperial
Brown Ale (7.5%) or an old-school English option like Samuel Smith’s
Taddy Porter (5%) are all a good starting point. For contrast, try the
likes of Chevalier’s Biere
de Garde (7.5%). While pairing is very much a matter of your own taste, thinking about the match ultimately leads to a better experience. We are
well-versed at matching wine with food, and beer is no different. What would be your pick?Beernaise130ml American-style or India pale ale (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Torpedo recommended)1 shallot, diced6 black peppercorns1 bay leaf50ml malt vinegar3 egg yolks125g butter melted over boiling water30ml American or India pale ale (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Torpedo recommended)Reduce 100ml of the beer with the
shallot, peppercorns, bay leaf and vinegar by two-thirds, strain and reserve.
Put the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl with reserved vinegar mix. Using a whisk, beat carefully over simmering water until light and airy and
ribbons form. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly add melted butter
to the yolk mix until thick (do not add milk that has separated from
butter). Carefully add the remaining 30ml of beer. Mix, season with salt and pepper and serve with steak, asparagus or grilled fish. Beer-brined brisket and cauliflower cheese

A hearty dish: beef brisket and cauliflower cheese. Photograph: Jessica ShaverBrining:2kg of beef brisket, preferably grass-fed and local150g dark malt, available from home brew supply stores100g salt400ml water330ml dark beer (Brown ale, Porter or Stout. Feral Brewing’s Smoked Porter or Coopers’s Stout recommended)Warm water to approximately 65 degrees Celsius, stir in malt and leave for 1 hour covered, then add salt, beer and allow to cool. Place beef in brine and refrigerate, ideally for 2 days. Remove from brine.Cooking:2 star anise1 stick of cinnamon30g Szechuan peppercorns30g coriander seeds200g dark malt660ml dark beer (as above)5 cloves of garlic5cm chunk ginger50g goji Berries (recommended but not essential)Place the brisket in the above ingredients in a casserole dish, cover tightly and
cook on 130 degrees Celsuis for approximately 4.5 – 5 hours or until tender. Allow to
cool slightly in cooking juices.Cauliflower100g butter1 onion, sliced thinly2 cloves garlic, chopped100g flour300ml Smoked ale or strong India pale ale (Feral’s Smoked Porter or Hop Hog, Schlenkerla’s Märzen or Mountain Goat’s India Pale Ale recommended)800ml milk300g blue cheese400g cheddar, grated1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and lightly boiled in salted waterOver a low heat, melt the butter with onion and garlic. When soft add flour and cook to a light brown. Slowly add the beer
then milk bit by bit, stirring continuously. Then add blue cheese and
half the cheddar. Put the cauliflower in a baking dish and pour over the white sauce. Top with the remaining cheddar and bake on 180 degrees Celsius until golden
brown. Serve:Slice your brisket into generous serves, drizzle over some of the cooking liquor and serve with cauliflower and a citrus salad.

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