I have made no secret of my love for Brew Dog beers. Ever since I first tasted one (at the *Tipped Winter BBQ, below), I have been truly dedicated to ‘sampling’ them – every single one in the range, repeatedly. They are so unique and interesting, I wanted to step things up a little and try my hand at a bit of food matching or, as I ended up, using them as an ingredient in a recipe. This is the first of my two culinary experiments with the beers, both quite different and both pretty damn fine. I might publish the other one next week when it’s raining again, it’s that kind of recipe.
The Punk IPA is the beer I find most drinkable on an ‘everyday’ basis – if I was challenged to a session on Brew Dog, this would be my weapon of choice. Described as a ‘post modern classic pale ale’, it’s bitter and malty enough to be interesting and yet it has a subtle, playful fruityness. I thought the best way to harness this fizzy beast and its punky tang would be in a classic beer batter for fish.
Apart from the fact I made the batter a little too thick, the goujons were seriously tasty. The flavour of the beer really comes through, without overwhelming the fish (I used plaice) and they are wicked dunked into a punchy home made tartare sauce. I was too lazy on this occasion to make chips but really, the goujons are practically begging for them. As an added bonus, I also went some way towards conquering my fear of deep frying – probably not a good thing for my waistline, although experimenting with triple cooked chips is clearly more important than worrying about a few extra pounds, so watch this space.
If you don’t live near a Brew Dog stockist, fret not – you can buy online.
Plaice Goujons with Punk IPA Batter (based on a Hugh-FW recipe, here)
4 plaice fillets, each fillet cut into three lengthways (skin removed)
200g plain flour
250 – 300ml Brew Dog Punk IPA beer (I used 250ml and it wasn’t enough)
Salt and pepper
Groundnut oil, for frying (+ 2 tbsp for the batter)
– Sift the flour into a bowl, add 2 tbsp of groundnut oil and whisk in the beer gradually. Hugh-FW says to stop when you have the consistency of ‘thick emulsion paint’. Make sure there are no lumps by beating well and then rest it for half an hour or so.
– Heat 10cm depth of oil in a saucepan. To test if it’s ready, drop a cube of bread into the oil – it should brown in 2-3 minutes.
– Dip the fish into the batter then lower into the oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time and then rest on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
1 egg yolk
1.5 tsp white wine vinegar
1.5 tsp mustard
100-150ml groundnut oil (depending on how thick you like your mayo)
1 tbsp chopped cornichons
1 tbsp chopped capers (I like the ones packed in salt, just make sure you give them a good rinse)
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
1/2 small clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
– Put the egg yolk in a bowl and mix in the crushed garlic, mustard and a good pinch of salt.
– Using a small whisk to mix, begin by adding the oil a drop at a time, making sure it is well incorporated before adding the next. As your mayonnaise starts to thicken, you can start adding a little more oil in each time, again making sure it is well incorporated. If you are not confident with making mayonnaise, it is worth remembering not to underestimate how slowly you need to add the oil. When you get more of a feel for it then you know how much is too much. If your mayo splits, just start with a fresh yolk in a clean bowl and add the split mixture gradually to it. This should bring it back.
– Mix in the remaining ingredients.
* A massive awesome thank you to Joel and Charles from Tipped for showing me the way of the Brew Dog!