In our latest episode of #Drink we had the pleasure of having three beer loving friends with us. Two chefs, Gunnar Jensen from Mathallen in Tromsø and Rolv Bergersen from Bergen and one sommelier who also loves to cook, Ove Svendsen of Don Pippo-fame. Our challenge to them was to taste a whole lot of Belgian beers and find out what food would go well with the beers. A challenge they happily and eagerly accepted. So, we ventured off to the best beer country in the world Belgium.
We visited six breweried: 3 Fonteinen, Rodenbach, Duvel-Moortgat, Brasserie de la Senne, De Glazen Toren and De Kroon. Our guys tasted themselves through a loooong list of beers and then they were ready for their time in the kitchen!
We travelled to the wonderful Hotel Boskapelhove just outside of Brussel. A beautiful farm that has been made into a fine hotel. Here our friends in Bapas, Karl van Malderen and Isa Van de Ven, had made ready a fantastic table of great produce. The best Belgium had to offer.
If you want to know more of what Karl and Isa do check out their website www.bapas.be. They have made it into a science pairing beer and food and their website is good start if you want to find inspiration for the next time you want to cook with beer.
Our three chefs were well pleased with the ingredients they had in front of them and set about making this menue.
Here are the recipes:
Crostini with eel
Marinate the eel (you can also use smoked herring if you don’t have the eel) with grated ginger and kriek vinegar for half an hour (Use cherry vinegar if you don’t have kriek vinegar). Finely chop equal parts of tomatoes and shallots. Spread tomato and shallot on the crostini, lay the eel on top and sprinkle on a little bit of olive oil. Finish with some coarsely ground black pepper.
Beer pairing - Duvel Triple Hop Citra
Crostini with Mushroom
Marinate finely chopped onions in raspberry vinegar and sugar for 20 minutes. Sauter mushrooms in butter, soy sauce and some Liefmans Goudenband (or another sour red/brown ale). Spread some mustard, not too spicy, on the crostini, and top with the sautéed mushrooms and pickled onions.
Beer pairing - Brasserie de la Senne Jambe de Bois
Fry a piece of sirloin in a dry pan. Finely chop some onions. Place on a thin crostini, sprinkle over with olive oil, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and lemon juice.
Shrimps in Gueze mayonnaise
Make the mayonnaise but replace the vinegar and lemon juice with Oude Geuze from 3 Fonteinen. Open an oyster and finely chop it into small pieces. Spread the mayonnaise on a crostini and place the shrimps and oyster on top.
For both the tartar and the shrimp the beer paring was the same:
Beer pairing - Rodenbach Alexander
Plaice fried in butter
Peel asparagus and blanch with butter and salt. Make a syrup with Oude Geuze, kriek vinegar and sugar and put the asparagus in the syrup before it goes cold. Make a hollandaise sauce. Fry the fish in a pan with plenty of butter!
Beer pairing - De Glazen Toren Lentebier and De Kroon Delaveux
Rabbit in Geuze
Fry the rabbit in butter until it gets a nice crust. Then sprinkle over some flour. Put in a boiler with a lot of Oude Geuze (remember to drink some yourself!) and simmer. Add chopped onions, leaf parsley stalks, bay leaf, some fresh thyme and whole black pepper. Add potatoes, carrots and parsley. Boil until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add a generous amount of butter at the end.
Beer pairing - 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Pickle mushroom in vinegar and syrup. Sauter it in butter with a little soy sauce and raspberry vinegar. Sauter finely chopped shallots, reduce with some Rodenbach Alexander, montér with butter. Panfry the pork tenderloin.
Beer pairing - Rodenbach Charactere Rouge
Reduce the beer with some sugar and finely chopped mint. Put in a freezer. Stir crème fraiche or sour cream with vanilla, sugar, lime zest and lime juice.
'Beer pairing - Liefmans Yell'oh
We had the pleasure of tasting all of these fine dishes and our favourite was the pork tenderloin with the Rodenback Charactere Rouge. All in all we have to say that the Rodenbach brewery really impressed us on this trip. It makes a lot of beer, but with an exceptionally high quality all over!