Well, our beer tasting from the 23rd February was a great success, and I have been asked lots now for the recipes, beer lists and the produce we used. I thought the easiest way to let you all know would be a blog post with everything in.
We used the following producers for the tasters:
Brays Cottage : onion marmalade pork pies
Pye Baker : Binham Blue cheese and squash quiches
Peter’s Yard : sourdough crispbreads
Beers of Europe : The bottled beer selection
Smoked Trout Pate
250g hot smoked trout
250g cream cheese
250g butter (unsalted)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Blitz all the ingredients with a blender until you have a smooth consistency, season with freshly ground black pepper. You can serve as is, or even line a terrine dish with slices of cold smoked salmon and then fill with the trout pate, chill and then slice as a fancy pants starter. The pate also freezes really well.
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
600g mushrooms – mixed, I used a portabello and button. Use a varied selection to bring out the best flavours. Sliced
3 springs of fresh thyme – leaves only
Juice of 1/2 lemon
250g cream cheese
Grate of nutmeg
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, hen add the onion and garlic, allow to soften but not colour. Add in the mushrooms and allow to cook down. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Towards the end of cooking turn the heat up a little to evaporate off the mushroom liquid, you want a little left, but you don’t want them swimming in it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Blitz the whole lot with the cheese, lemon juice and nutmeg, check seasoning. Chill for a few hours before serving.
These would work well with cheese – so we matched them with the Pye Baker blue cheese quiches, and also white chocolate. We had some white chocolate buttons which worked rather well.
We tried these beers with a herb pork terrine.
750g minced pork – you’ll want minced belly ideally, something with lots of fat
250g pork liver
4 cloves garlic
150mls red wine
Good handful of chopped parsley, and 4 springs of thyme (just leaves)
10 slices smoky streaky bacon
Salt & pepper to season
Coarsely mince all the ingredients except the egg, wine and bacon into a large bowl. Mix in the egg and wine by hand, ensuring a good even mix. Run the back of a knife over each bacon slice as you ‘stretch’ it. Line a terrine dish with the bacon. Fill the terrine with the pate mix, and top with any remaining bacon.
Cover the terrine with foil and place into a deep roasting tin of boiling water (bain-marie) cook at 180 degrees (fan assisted) for 60 mins. Take the foil off and cook for up to another 30 mins until cooked through and turning brown. Allow to cool and keep in fridge for at least 24 hours for the flavours to develop.
This recipe was adapted from the Pate de Campagne recipe by Marc Frederic in Le Charcutier Anglais
To accompany these we had Brays Cottage onion marmalade pork pies and some dark chocolate truffles.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
250ml double cream
150g vanilla sugar
180g cacao – I chop this with a sharp knife rather than grating, it’s quicker and less messy
Cocoa powder, for dusting
I use Willies Cacao for this recipe. So heat the sugar and cream together until just before boiling and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the cacao. Mix thoroughly until the mixture has a gloss to it. Chill it in the fridge until firm. Once set, spoon teaspoon sized balls from the mix, and drop into a bowl of cocoa powder. Put the truffles back in the fridge until ready to eat. I sometimes pipe the mix into long thin sausages then chop up and drop into the cocoa as this can look more professional.