Monday, 24 April 2017

Something a Bit Special #20 Cooking with Battledown Brewery Beers

Battledown Brewery has recently moved to a new abode in Dowdeswell Park, allowing them to produce much more beer than ever before.

They have a trio of regular beers including Original, Amber Ale and Pale Ale, which they asked me to try. Now, I couldn’t refuse, but what exactly is a pregnant woman to do with a box of beer? Well one thing’s for sure, I wasn’t about to let Kingsley drink it all to himself. So, I came up with the ingenious idea - and I’m rather modest with it too - of using them in a recipe, so we could both share in the enjoyment. I’m not entirely sure whether you’re allowed to cook with alcohol whilst pregnant, so please, no one burst my bubble; I daren’t look at Google.  

There are so many dishes you can use beer in, but one of our favourite is Carbonnade Flamande. We first tried this Belgian casserole on holiday in Lille, and new instantly we would be replicating it at home. We tested a few recipes before we found one by Nigella that really hits the spot. I’ve included a link to the recipe here.

Carbonnade Flamande is a very rich dish, but by cooking with Battledown Brewery beers, you get an even deeper and more intense flavour. I had read the tasting notes before using these beers, so based on those, we used a mix of the Amber Ale which is a rich golden ale, with a spicy and slightly citrus finish, and also the Original which is a medium-bodied deep amber beer, with malt and fruit overtones as well as a balanced bitterness from the hops. Yep, now you can see how we got so much flavour into this casserole!

Traditionally, this dish would be served with slices of gingerbread, which adds a lovely sweetness to the rich and deep flavours, so if you can get your hands on some or fancy some more baking then I’d highly recommend this. For something slightly easier, whip up some creamy mash and buttered greens and tuck in. 

Whether you drink these straight from the bottle or cook up a feast with them, I can promise that Battledown Brewery beers will be a hit.  

Have you got a favourite recipe using beer?

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