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scallops and beef with beer

I’m doing a cooking workshop next month on cooking with beer and have been doing a bit of experimenting to find something that’ll work. This is an attempt at something simple. The steak sauce being not dissimilar to the 60’s bachelor piece d’resistance Steak Diane with a deglazing fluid having cream added. I don’t know how impressive beer being that fluid would be, personally I think the retrograde element would have been as impressive to potential dates as a quick tour of the Chiko Roll poster collection but who knows, maybe we’ve moved on.

The steak is a bit of beef fillet, seasoned and seared on all all sides then popped in a hot oven until medium-rare. The cast iron pan is deglazed with a glass of Emerson’s Oatmeal stout with some chopped spring onions and some rosemary and reduced. It was reduced by a about half but still a bit gappy and the rosemary didn’t fill so much as kind of loiter there wondering what was going on. Strained and then 100ml of cream whisked in and simmer for a couple of minutes. Much nicer but still I feel it’s a bit of a creamy cheat. The mushrooms we’re already in the oven, doused with a bit of stout, waiting for the steak to join it.

The cabbage is steamed until soft in a saucepan with a glass of Jarrah Jack’s Pale (a new local brewery down in Pemberton). A bit of crisped up speck mixed in and a sprinkle of carraway seeds. The carraway seeds weren’t all that helpful, amplifying the bitterness that was already there enough with the beer.

The scallops, and I like putting scallops on things, were the nicest surprise. I reduced down a little rasberry lambic and before it was about to vanish, put the scallops in. There’s that nice red caramelised look and the sharp sweet matches well with the fleshy sweetness of the scallops.

Dessert was (summon the insirational powers of Le Gavroche) a rhubarb compote made using Leffe Blonde and a vanilla bean and topped with a raspberry lambic sabayon. Sweet, tarty and luscious with a faint whiff of beer elements – go you 60’s bachelor!

AND: Steph is entirely not happy at the fact that only two blokes have shown up at the last 10 parties. I know the internet is the last place you’d find single guys but come on fellers. With the above and the fact I drank the uncooked beer in a fancy glass, it’s not strictly within the rules but this post is indisputably – Man Food.

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Ah huzzah! Holidays strech forth to the very end of January, kicking off with a frosty glass of Hoegaarden. Actually kicking off with a crisp and tarty bottle of Moss Brothers Semillon and a club sandwich for lunch but the vibe was harshed by an hour of project report knocking out. Nice numbers. Active verbs.

Expect much – dinners, cakes, music.

Enjoy some more of my chilly friend’s below. I think we have a Coopers Pale Ale with an italian sausage hot dog at home and then an Alpha Pale Ale at the Brass Monkey. Over.

hot dog and coopers

alpha pa at the monkey


Goulash and Spaetzle

I don’t really want to tell you how to live your lives, but with the weather the way it is, you should be spending your Friday nights eating goulash and spaetzle and drinking red wine and strong Belgian beer. Jo and Robbie made the goulash but my contribution was the spaetzle.

Spaetzle is the Swabian stuff you see on the right of the plate which, after a few, looks like orzo and is your best mate etc. Well worth considering as a DIY sauce-soaking carbohydrate option. As easy to make as pancakes and a happier value for time and effort than gnocchi.

It’s a simple thick batter made of:
two eggs, two cups of flour and one cup of milk.

For flavour:
a pinch of salt and pepper, a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and a handful of fresh thyme, basil, and parsley – finely chopped.

If you’re a gadget tragic, you could get a Spaetzle Press, but I used the stainless steel washing up gear container with holes in it to get an ahhhm similar effect. Get a pot of salted water boiling and let the batter drip in and scoop it out when it comes to the surface. It was finished in a pan with some/lots of butter and served with the kilogram of beef/kilogram of onions goulash. A very happy combo.

St Bernardus Tripel [Bonus Beer Nazi finishing move here!] at 8.5% is on the sweet side but it’s solid creamy consistency offsets any possible sickliness and leaves the impression of have bitten all the way through a large block of cheddar. Shiraz is better for decanting and easier drinking resulted in guitar-based hi-jinks. Go make your own fun.



bell-vue kriek
Sure there are those Fridays when it’s just me and a jar of chocolate body paint but in the end nothing says weekend better than beer. I’ve made a flickr tribute here and you might also like to check out Tokyogoat’s enigmatic pic.

Enjoy your weekend.


Topvar Lager


From Slovakia. A strong malty greeting makes one think of germanic pilsners rather than the lagers here but the clean and refreshing finish reminds us to not be so hasty in judgement. Tempting as a sessional, if a little bloating. At $24 a carton at the drive-through across from Ikea, Osborne Park, it represents exceptional value. With a few of these barely matching the cost of the taxi flag-fall and superfluating dressing up and teeth brushing, they are a compelling deal for the single man.



Busy, gotta go look for this book which has gone missing here. John’s taking up the slack for me. John?

The sun is straight overhead. There isn’t enough shade to fit under a dog. The threshing machine clanks in a cloud of choking yellow chaff-dust… Then you let cold Ballantine Ale Emu Bitter rill into your parched throat like spring rain on the dessert. Smooth malt and hops…

Hotty Hot Hot Hot Reader Matt Voerman kindly let me know that the annual Chilli Festival is on this weekend at the picturesque retreat of Araluen Botanic Park. Family foodie fun to be sure and more. boawwwwbaddowdowdowdydowdabowdowdiewdadow



Into the undersprung oversteering Mitsubishi Lancer rental and upwards out of Dover. Winding inland past orchards along the Huon river which opens out into a long channel that feeds into the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, defined by cattle filled Bruny Island. Turn down at the apex made by Huonville with Mt Misery flanking the left. Stop in at Panorama Vineyard. Disappointed with the whites and the pinot but found the merlot suitably smooth and full bodied. Along the Huon River, mandatory stop at Eggs and Bacon Bay and then around Port Cygnet, past Mt. Grosse and then stopping for cheese. Firstly, Grandvewe is a terrible pun, beneath even me but their cheeses are excellent. All good, the manchego interpretation, the sheeps cheese pecorino, pungent brie, and creamy roquefort. Dried mutton sausages were an inspiration.

pattycakebandebay ketteringsteaksando

Lunch called. Stopped at the flash and new Peppermint Bay resort but crowded so settled for the Kettering Oyster Bay Inn. View. Steak sandwich not up to Quairading Roadhouse standards but flathead is a much underrated fish. Round and back picking up a couple of $3 bags of cheeries and forgoing the 50c bags of donkey poo.


Home to Dover to cook up some scallops and prawns. Scallops* cooked in Cascade Export Stout – not too bad at all.


*Update: For scallops in stout, marinate scallops in white wine for 15 minutes, fry up garlic and a small amount of chilli in EVOO, do two sauteed batches of scallops (just a handful or the temperature will drop too much) and then run out of white wine. Notice glass of stout in hand, add scallops to EVOO sizzle a little and then add a splash of stout and allow to reduce as scallops are just cooked.

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Beer Dinner

About to party like it’s Chimay ’99

A beer dinner party sounds novel or sends predictable signals: curry, counter lunch, pork scratchings. It shouldn’t. Beer has sophisticated and distinctive taste characteristics and is a liquid that has long been used in cooking. I have no idea why but it may have something to do with localised beer dominance or the fact that countries that excel as beer producers have relatively poor cuisines and vise versa. Not naming names here.

The dinner (held on the 13th) was a great food and drink pairing exercise, putting the beer minds of Robbie and Graham to busy work. This was the result.

Following starters of Blue Cheese and Hoegaarden White Dip served with Hoegaarden White by Rhonda. Followed by (pictured) Fullers ESB Onion Soup served with with Bitburger by me.

Aventinus Scallop Coins served with Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier by Sonya.

Vension Shanks cooked in Rodenbach Grand Cru with a Barley and Mushroom Timbale served with 3 Monts by me.

Walnut Aventinus Ice Souffle with Crème Anglais à l’Orange served with Swan Stout by Veronique

Cheese Platter had with 1999 Chimay Grande Reserve by Rhonda with the cellaring discipline of Graham.


Well to get the mea culpa out of the way, the weak link was the shanks which were mostly undercooked – an overcrowded roasting tray, an insufficiently hot oven, and a tight schedule. My fault entirely and were it not for the lure of the Chimays, I would have offed myself there and then. The rest were excellent. You may have tried most of the beers and the ones you haven’t, do so. None are more expensive than a very very average bottle of wine. I was too busy fussing or drinking for tasting notes so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

It’s a very heavy evening. We tried to hold it back to around 5% earlier one but from the 3 Monts on, it was serious booze territory and the men folk were dropping like flies. Smaller glasses maybe.


Try at least one course with a matched beer and consider using beer as a key ingredient in a course. Identify the model plane in the picture and discuss its contribution to ending WWII.


To Rhonda and Graham for hosting and to Mark at the International Beer Shop for his enthusiasm and wisdom and an apology for calling him Rob for the past 6 months.


One tokyo goat feeling pleased with things a few years back at a Belgian Beer Bar in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The beer. Thinking thinking. Wine match is for venison is usually a shiraz, so I’m thinking something that adds punch without getting too caught in that heaviness of a stout. One book recommends a white wine for veal shanks but it might get lost in there. Especially if I’m adding a brown beef stock. Thinking ale but Michael (no) Jackson thought for game a lambic (too weak) or a stout (not acidic enough) and he ended up with an old Flemish Ale. The International Beer Shop suggested a Rodenbach Grand Cru. Good.

Got home and tested it as I was curious as to what would happen to it with heat. I tried a small amount as was, then simmered for a few minutes and tried and it, and then reduced it to half. “As was” was strong sharp flavoured, suggesting the berry flavours of lambic. With simmering a bit of the flavour dropped out, but then consolidated with fully filled taste experience – the berries still there but very stock like.

This is going to be The Melvins

For the soup, I was thinking a kind of potato and pale ale jobby but too much thinking on the sideshow so just went for the suggested beer spin on French Onion soup with Fuller’s ESB standing in for half the stock.

Just In:Wooooooooh! My new camera!!!! Come hither postman!


Aventinus wheat-doppelbock

Aventinus wheat-doppelbock Brian finds flavours that I couldn’t if I had a map and a torch. It’s good. Wheat and high alcohol content says treacle dipped in honey but it’s not, a lot of character without that stickytongued p-hah. Brian says drink it alone. True. Don’t want to have to share these things. I’m thinking a perfect weekend evening starter. Get the BA levels nice and peachy and then just keep nudging it along with some lagers. Which is what I did.

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Never made a terrine before and I think it has something to do with the reason I don’t make many cakes, the intrinsic fussiness of presentation. On the plus side, the variety of possible ingredients allows a large range of thematic interpretations. I had considered doing one that resembled the layers of the earth but decided that I’d make an Irish one for an Irish friend’s 30th and work over an old favourite. The party was postponed a week but the terrine went on.

To tell the truth, I can’t be arsed writing everything down but here’s a sketch – if you want more details, you know where to find me.

Beef and Guiness Stew as here but without the spuds and the addition of the aromatics – leek (ermm Celtic heritage), carrots and celery. No red wine (not irish) or beef stock (didn’t want to use commercial stock).

The spuds were to make their own layer and were thinly sliced and steamed above the bubbling stock above. The idea was the fumes would infuse into the potatoes like damp smoke. Did it work? Exceeeeeeeeeeeedingly subtle.

Lamb and Kidneys

Oven roasted slowly and moistened with the above stock. Shredded when done.


French jiggery pokery that I couldn’t really see the point of but when Le Cordon Blue at Home says do it, then you do it. The stew was strained and the beef shredded and the stock returned with a new round of aromatics and egge whites that were to capture rogue impurities. Strained after half and hour and still bits, so it was all twice strained through a tea towel. Reheated later with 1 tbs of gelatine.


Had a great plan to pipe a mashed potato Celtic design but this was downgraded to the famous and much toasted, I’m sure, Ley Line Following Potato Circles of County Cork with a green, sweated-in-butter leek background. Then the lamb and kidney, a layer of potatoes, and then the beef, and filled with aspic (barely enough).


Taken over for Sunday arvo beers. I was impressed with the dots against the green even thought they’d somewhat randomised. Carving was a disaster and I think it may have called for some kind of drop saw or high tech laser. THIS WAS NOT HOW IT WAS MEANT TO BE. The taste, fine but not knock your socks off, maybe a few veal bones in the soup may have helped. Enjoyable. yep that’s it. Looked at the residual pile of meat and jelly and it made me not think of the Emerald Isles but Pal. Presentation – pah!

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Monteith’s Summer Ale

Wooh! I can get back to Friday beer specials.

Down at the IBS and saw this bit of alluring marketing for Monteith’s Rata Honey & spice flavoured Summer Ale from NZ.

This uniquely different beer is real summer refreshment with a spicy zest

It’s a gorgeous day here, I was sold. Rob at the shop suggested Thai but I just heated up some vege curry puffs.

First thing I noticed was a whiff of ginger like drinking home-brewed ginger ale and then the actual taste was well within the parameters of normal larger in bite. Perhaps a little peppery but very little honey. It’s really really good. Four different malts! If you try one beer this summer etc.



‘allo can you go

Much discussion about authenticity on this one but authenticity is a much more contrary beast than some would have you believe. There is petty authenticity and great authenticity. Wear the right mirkin buckle at a Mediaeval Fayre and it’s bouquets. Run a sword through Sir Gallahad, brickbats.

I’m not channelling poor Marseilles fisherfolk here so it’s what looks good at the fish shop in the three categories of shellfish, firm fleshed, and soft fleshed. Had in my company, authentic French woman, Veronique, who had the requisite three categories of a french name; the ability to pronounce rouille; and willingness to put up with me going haw haw haw haaaaw. We chose

Blue Manna crabs and Crayfish legs

Fillets of King Snapper and Mangrove Jack

Whole Whiting and Garfish

Dinner would be good. At Tate Estate on newly upholstered chairs and Kiwi Robert was going to the International Beer Shop to get a selection of fine beers.

C’est une tables

6 seeded and chopped tomatoes; two chopped onions; half the whites of a leek; 8 small cloves of *pounded* garlic; a sprig of fennel; a bay leaf; three sprigs of *bruised* parsley; three sprigs of thyme; and a piece of orange peel.

On top of this goes the


Then with the firm fleshed fish on top of this and a cup of olive oil; salt; pepper; and crumbled saffron. All covered with the quick and easy fish stock I’d made with the whiting and garfish bones. Extra water to cover.


We had about four cookbooks open but settled with the Larousse Gastronomique version. I’ve got 643 recipes requiring the aromatics to be sauteed first so this wouldn’t be 644. Just cover, turn the heat on and get it boiling. The boiling is important as it blends the oil in properly. After 9 minutes put in the soft fleshed fish and cook for another 7 minutes. It should take no longer than 15 minutes in total.

Served in bowls with simple bread and rouille.

The meal

Great mussel starter. The bouillabaisse’ stock was superb, especially with the hint of saffron. The crayfish legs were no great shakes but the local crabs topped it. Heavy duty beers were in action all evening. A Spanish beer, Alhambra Reserves 1925 that was more Belgian than Belgians – 6%. Hoegaarden’s as breathers, and the Leffe Brune and the Leffe Radieuse. A great Spanish Basa 2003 Blanco – no citric stilettoes here, smooth with a hint of olives. Hey, how tight are the Dead Kennedys? Didn’t make it to the other one – off my game.

Next Month: Duck a L’orange! Rescued from the 70’s.

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Liquid Goethe. Tastes of smoked speck, quirky magnificent.

The elaborate process of bringing this to us is detailed at World of Beer


Augusta Trip Beer Omnibus

In no particular order:

Mac’s Blonde

A very good thing from Nelson New Zealand. I didn’t get to try this properly last time as I gave my 6 pack away out of embarrasment over my tempremental alternator to kind jumpstarters. I’m very leery of flavoured beers but this is really another way of sharpening up a wheat beer like the lemon in Redback. It’s a great beer and fills a very specific taste gap. Ash got the observation of the week award by saying it reminded him of cider. Perfect if you’re looking to avoid “Oi’ve got me a brand new combine harvester” comments.

Super Paladin Doppio Malto

Can’t find any info for this on the web but it is pretty special. Dark bronze and smooth, no bitterness but the last drop of it brought great sadness. Not cheap but as it comes in a champagne bottle, I’d be thinking of allocating a bit of the Crowny budget at ritzy mostly male dos in lieu of sparkling white.

Rationalisation notes: not to refer to as beer; good sparkling -similar; Champagne-bargain; special occasion; prior good deed; incurable illness.

Bootleg Brewery

The beer you can see in the corner next to the Beef and Raging Bull pie is the sharp and refreshing Wills Pils – easily the best of the locally made pilsners. From there it was hearts of darkness territory with the dark, darker, darkest of Tom’s Brown Ale, Raging Bull and a limited release Stout. All were very smooth with the stout seemingly radiating darkness. I had no idea the Raging Bull was 7.1% which should give you an idea of the quality of its body.

The site of the brewery is fantastic and allows parents to drink beer and watch their kids wallow in the temporary marshlands. Enjoyed my pie in the sun greatly and only regretted not being fast enough to nick some of the chorizo and squid and that it closed at 4:30pm.


Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbeer. This one’s to Bill – happier times.