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!

Bread + Beer

Coopers Pale Ale Damper and trying their 150th celebration ale, funnily enough named Thomas Cooper’s Celebration Ale

Whilst writing up my post for Coopers Pale Ale I stumbled across a recipe from the Coopers website for Damper. Bread beer, huh? Yeah, I’d like that.

First I had a couple of hurdles to overcome. One was not having any beer after a rather indulgent weekend so a trip to the local bottleshop soon fixed that. The second was a little more difficult – we don’t have a sieve in the house and neither did our local IGA. Damn. Whilst I was staring at a large tea strainer and wondering just how much patience I possessed (as a female only child the answer was unflatteringly clear); my boyfriend was juggling a packet of paper cups. It seemed like a decent solution – poke some holes and Bob’s your uncle! (and I do have an Uncle Bob).

After stabbing several paper cups with a variety of instruments – corkscrew, screwdriver, pen and sewing needle – it became glaringly apparently it wasn’t such a good idea after all. I continued on with the ingredients list and threw in rosemary picked fresh from our backyard and thickly sliced Spanish olives and, of course, a generous bit of Coopers Pale Ale. It was a strange thing to pour beer into a measuring glass so, for good measure I poured the rest of the 750ml bottle into two glasses for myself and my boyfriend.

As I write this the damper has another ten minutes in the oven so I thought I’d look into the origins of damper since I don’t much except some association with Australian Aborigines; I think I remember doing some sort of damper cooking thing as a kid at primary school. Wikipedia describes damper as “Australian soda bread” by mixing flour, water and milk (if available) and shoving it into the ashes of the camp fire. I figure since mine is in the oven it’s gotta have a fighting chance of being half decent .. surely.

Whilst at the bottleshop, reaching for a king brown size bottle of Coopers Pale Ale, I noticed the Thomas Cooper’s Selection Celebration Ale and just had to grab a 6 pack. Released in celebration of their 150th year, the Celebration Ale uses hops from Australia, New Zealand and United States and local malt. I hadn’t read a great deal about the ale but in my head I was expecting some sort of hybrid of their pale and vintage ale, instead it’s more of a hopped, sweeter and earthier pale ale with a nice deep red colour. As it warmed up in the glass all the flavours came together with really nice balance and medium body. A nice drop.

Just over an hour and 2 Cooper’s Celebrations Ales later …

Not a resounding success, it was still a bit doughy in the middle and perhaps being in a cake tin didn’t help it much either. I went a little overboard in the rosemary department but the olives were delightful. Looking at other recipes I think I can easily improve on the Coopers one by actually making a dough rather than a goo and do the whole kneading thing. We ate it anyway in a platter of marinated octopus, grilled chorizo, camembert and red capsicum dip.  Oh well, it means I will have to get some more Coopers Pale and try it again sometime …