Risotto + IPA

Cooking with beer is still something of an undiscovered land for me. I am aware of it and have read about it but have only dabbled with it at home. However, you have to start somewhere.

“If there’s liquid in a recipe, it might as well be beer”
Paul Mecurio “Cooking with Beer”

Cooking with beer is still something of an undiscovered land for me. I am aware of it and have read about it but have only dabbled with it at home. However, you have to start somewhere.

So when I found myself running out of stock whilst cooking risotto it made sense to throw some beer in there. I was drinking James Squire IPA at the time so almost two bottles of that went into the pan.

IPA wasn’t the ideal addition to the dish as it added a bit too much bitterness to what was essentially a soft flavoured risotto served with rosemary lamb french cutlets. Perhaps a nice rich amber ale with more malt sweetness would have matched better to the spanish red onion and red capsicum. But that’s the great thing about beer, experimenting with it and seeing what works beautifully or, in same cases, what could work better.

Spanish Onion, Red Capsicum & IPA Risotto
Rosemary & Mustard French Lamb Cutlets

Spanish Onion, Red Capsicum & IPA Risotto

Spanish Onion, cut into wedges

Button Mushrooms, thinly sliced

Red Capsicum, thinly sliced

2 cups Aborio Rice

Chicken Stock and James Squire IPA

Rosemary & Mustard French Lamb Cutlets

Fresh Rosemary

Seeded Mustard

Garlic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Leave to marinate and cook to medium rare on hot pan

The Final Product
Risotto & French Lamb Cutlets with James Squire IPA

Epic Larger + French Lamb Cutlets

Since my last trip to the International Beer Shop, my boyfriend and I have been slowly making our way through the stash of great beers. We decided to crack open the Epic Larger and cook up some French Lamb Cutlets for dinner which we had marinated in what you may call an “overdose” of seeded mustard and rosemary.

Since my last trip to the International Beer Shop my boyfriend and I have been slowly making our way through a stash of great beers. We decided to crack open the Epic Larger and cook up some French Lamb Cutlets for dinner which we had marinated in what you may call an “overdose” of seeded mustard and rosemary.

Some time ago my boyfriend had the idea to make yorkshire puddings when I was cooking a beef stew for dinner. We soon discovered yorkshire puddings was essentially flour, milk and a heck of a lot of oil. No wonder they tasted so good! We decided we’d try making them again for the lamb and tweaked the recipe slightly to use less oil and more butter. The result was even tastier and highly addictive; we’d made little ones using a very shallow mini-muffin tin and by the end of the meal the full dozen were gone.

Our sides for the lamb cutlets were a salad and some hash browns, keeping it simple but very tasty. Hash browns seem to fall into that ‘irresistible’ category of foods that if I see them I just have to have them; that list currently also includes pork belly, sweet potato and prosciutto.

Dinner was seriously tasty. The lamb cutlets were perfectly cooked and there is something really great about eating with your hands and off the bone, almost like it enhances the whole experience by getting your hands dirty! The marinade had plenty of garlic and the new organic seeded mustard we had bought made us realise that not all mustards are created equal.

Epic Larger not only has a great name but is a pretty great beer. Epic Beer comes to us from New Zealand  and according to the website the name has three references – epic flavours and aromas, the epic journey it takes to get to New Zealand and the epic challenge in breaking through a beer category that’s dominated by a couple of big names and a reputation that’s connected to beer-guzzling fat guys scratching themselves on building sites. The Epic Larger is an Imperial Pilsner, so basically take your run of the mill pilsner and make it bigger … do this a few more times and that’s kinda what we are talking about. I love the marriage of flavours in this beer, drinking a lot like an American Pale Ale in terms of big hops but there is a definite crisp, light, pilsner mouth feel about it. It’s a little on the sweeter side with fresh citrus and tropical notes together with pronounced bitterness. I can now add this to the growing list of Epic beers I have enjoyed.

We sat down to dinner and it might not have been the epitome of beer + food matching but had a really yummy meal and a fantastic beer …

Epic Larger
8.5% abv
70 IBU
Malt – Weyermann Pilsner
Hops – NZ Pacific Jade, NZ Kohatu, US Liberty, US Tettnang, US Santiam

Mustard + Rosemary Marinade

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic

2 large garlic cloves, finely diced

Handful of Rosemary

2 big-ass tablespoons seeded mustard

Yorkshire Puddings

We made ours in a mini-muffin tray so they were little and cute however it was somewhat of a dangerous exercise with a decently high risk of being burned by hot oil. I am sure there is a better way to do this but so far we are unscathed …

1 cup plain flour

1 cup milk

1 egg

Put a blob of butter and some oil into each pocket in the tray and put into a hot oven. Meanwhile whisk together egg and milk, gradually adding flour. Whisk lots and lots. Put a spoonful into each pocket once it’s sufficiently/scarily hot. Try not to burn yourself with hot oil. Return to oven for a while and look in on it careful, you’ll soon know when they are ready!