BrewDog Dinner Part 3: Paradox
Food and Beer: Beer and Food: Food and Beer: Beer and Food.
In the next instalment of the BrewDog Dinner series, Mark Dredge from the amazing blog www.pencilandspoon.blogspot.com creates some killer Paradox dishes and pairings.
Let's go imperial now: Paradox Smokehead and Paradox Isle of Arran. The Smokehead is smoky, salty and earthy, with some sharp berries, bitter coffee and dark chocolate. The Isle of Arran has dark chocolate and roast coffee, subtle spices (ginger), smoke, berries and cherries and a creamy wood character. They are both great with strong blue cheeses and chocolate (milk and dark). And how about beer floats? Pour your stout and add a scoop of ice cream on top for a fun dessert. I found that both Smokehead and Isle of Arran were great with coffee ice cream and Isle of Arran also worked well with vanilla. (While we're here, Chaos Theory and pineapple ice cream was a winner and try RipTide with banana ice cream).
Similar principles apply to the Smokehead as they do to Storm, and in fact Smokehead is great with sushi and with the smoked salmon salad (it's actually a fabulous beer with sushi and fish). I made a cracking venison and Smokehead pie, but easy on the beer. Also, the flavours work with banana and nuts, so how about a banana and nut flapjack, maybe with some dark chocolate in?
Paradox Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran is very dessert friendly. As this beer is a real Scottish treat then try it with a cranachan, or even better add a little of the beer into the cream to replace the whisky. The sharp raspberries and the chocolate depth in the beer are great together, the cream and stout match up and the oats are a clever bridge between the beer and the dessert - this was a great combo (the Smokehead is good with cranachan too, but don't make it with the beer as the earthy barrel qualities come through, not the roasted grain). Chocolate puddings are a winner. Also, bread and butter pudding packed with vanilla custard and raisins (booze-soaked raisins are even better) or dark chocolate. Or a chocolate and raspberry brownie. Yum. I tried a peanut butter and jam sandwich with this and that was super-cool; bread, salty peanut butter and sweet jam mixes with the spice, chocolate and cherry sweetness in the stout and it was fantastic.
In the next installment we will learn how to seduce with Speedball so get those candles looked out and find yourself a date!
Mark has also provided us with his amazing recipes. Here are the Paradox ones. The others will be up shortly!
A Scottish classic so what better to serve with a beer made in Scotland and aged in barrels which contained a Scottish whisky. Cranachan works well with all the Paradox beers. The Isle of Arran you can actually add to the cream instead of the whisky, if you are so inclined. Smokehead works best if you use a smoky whisky in with the cream. I add a little chocolate on top to work with the chocolaty depth of the stout.
- 100g oatmeal
- 1 pint double cream
- 200g fresh raspberries
- Icing sugar or Scottish honey
- Whisky or Paradox, a tablespoon (or more!) per portion
- 50g dark chocolate
In a dry pan cook the oatmeal until it is golden and nutty, but be careful not to burn it. Set aside to cool. Whisk the cream, adding a little icing sugar or honey and either the whisky or the beer, until it is thick. Blitz most of the raspberries in a blender, add enough icing sugar or honey to sweeten, then add the whole raspberries at the end. Then just layer them up in a large glass and grate chocolate over the top.
Venison and Smokehead Pie
This takes the meat-and-beer-pie idea and gives it that BrewDog stamp. Smokehead works perfectly with the richness of venison because it has that chocolate and roasted depth and an earthy smoky quality which really pairs well with the meat. This is a brilliant pie, and not your average steak and ale job.
- 1 kg venison, haunch or neck
- 4 onions, or the equivalent weight in shallots
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
- 250g chestnut mushrooms or field mushrooms
- A couple of carrots
- A few rashers of smoked bacon or lardons
- 150ml Smokehead
- 500ml good beef stock
- Tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons of redcurrant jelly
- Plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- A couple of bay leaves (count them in and count them out)
- Butter or oil
- Puff pastry or shortcrust pastry, homemade or bought in, plus extra flour for dusting
Turn the oven to 150C and pour out the beer and set aside (pour the rest into your glass and sip while cooking). Chop your venison into chunks as large as you desire (I like them big). Into a freezer bag add a few spoonfuls of flour and some salt and pepper, then drop all the meat in here and shake it all around so the pieces are covered.
Chop the onions and fry over a low heat in oil and/or butter. If you can, use a casserole which will sit on the hob, if not use a big saucepan and transfer to the baking dish later. Chop the garlic finely, the carrots into thumb-nailed sized cubes, the mushrooms into bite sized pieces and the bacon into thin strips. When the onions are soft and golden add the garlic, carrot, mushrooms and bacon and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring so that they don't ‘catch' and burn. When they are soft, take them out of the pan and put to one side (this removal isn't an essential stage but it makes the whole thing easier). Turn the heat up, add more oil and take the meat. Shake off any excess flour and throw into the pan, browning it all over.
Once brown add the redcurrant jelly and tomato puree to the pan. Cook for 1 minute and then return the onion mix. Stir and cook for another minute. Then add half of the stock, stirring and scraping the base of the pan to pick off all the caramelised bits. Then add the beer. If you need more liquid then add more stock (unless you want more beer flavour, which you might). Pop in the bay leaves and adjust the heat so that it bubbles very gently for about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as required (a little squeeze of ketchup might lift the flavours, if you need it). Then transfer to the oven in a covered dish (tin foil is a good enough lid) and cook for an hour until all the meat is tender and juicy. Once done, remove the bay leaves.
Allow to cool and when required (it'll last happily in the fridge overnight, and in fact it'll probably get better) fill a deep pie tin to the brim and roll the pastry over. Some people prefer to have a fully enclosed pie, in which case just roll the shortcrust pastry into the bottom of the dish, add the filling, pop the lid on and then bake. For both it will take as long as it takes the pastry to cook - around 40 minutes at 200C.
Banana Nut Flapjacks
Flapjacks rock. They rock out especially hard with Paradox Smokehead. The beer is great with bananas, brazil nuts and dark chocolate and so the Banana Nut flapjack was born. That's the beauty of creating dishes to work with particular beers - you can engineer them specifically to suit the drink. These are also great with a cup of tea.
- 200g butter
- 50g dark sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
- 250g porridge oats
- 2 (over-) ripe bananas
- 50g dark chocolate
- 50g brazil nuts
- Pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 180C and butter a small square baking tray. Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar, honey/syrup and salt and stir until all dissolved. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the pan. Pour in the oats and coat in all the sweet bananary, buttery juices. Finely chop the nuts and chocolate and stir these through. Pour the mix onto the baking try and flatten out (resisting the temptation to eat it all now!) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cool slightly before cutting into slices.