Pan fried prawns and Picante Yorkshire chorizo

Thursday, September 20, 2012
I've been eating a lot of chorizo lately, namely Yorkshire Chorizo, and cracking stuff it is too. You can currently get a hold of two varieties, original and picante, the former being high quality fatty cuts of pork and seasonings including loads of smoked paprika that is cured and air dried, the picante is the same but with added cayenne for heat and spice.

The picante is my pick of the two for cooking with as the added seasoning seems to help maintain a strong chorizo flavour once cooked - the original is the better of the two uncooked though, sliced and eaten alongside a beer. (Both can be eaten uncooked safely though).

One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to use chorizo is with prawns in this classic tapas style dish.

Simply pour a glug of olive oil into a large non stick pan and add as much sliced or chopped chorizo as you fancy. Cook on a low heat to allow the red tinted fat time to render out, then crank up the heat and throw in some raw peeled prawns and a good twist of black pepper and a little salt. Stir fry for a minute or so until the prawns are cooked and coated in chorizoey goodness.

While the prawns are cooking drizzle some sliced bread (I like sourdough but ciabatta or even French stick will work fine) with a little olive oil then griddle until lightly charred.

To serve tip the lot into little tapas dishes (or any small bowls) so that the oil reserves at the bottom for dipping and serve with piles of bread and a big green salad.

Beer-wise, something sweet but hoppy is the way to go. An American red ale or something like Magic Rock Rapture or BrewDog 5am Saint would work great great.


You can buy Yorkshire Chorizo online here:


Summer Wine Half Wit

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Lets just get something out of the way straight off the bat. Summer Wine make puckeringly bitter beers, it's their trade mark and personally I love 'em. If you don't like bitter beers then you probably won't like a lot of Summer Wines beers.

This beer is no different, but it's also one of the most elegant beers I've drank from Summer Wine. Yes it's bitter, but it's also got a real depth of hop flavour and a great interplay between sweet malt, citrussy hops and funky yeast character. Magic Rock's Clown Juice is an obvious comparison, but for me, Half Wit is by far the better beer.

The aroma is yeasty orange, boiled sweets, and a touch of sweet pine. The flavour has that signature bitterness with just enough sweetness to calm your tongue down, before a final onslaught of orangey, citrusy hops and a little bit of barnyard funk which sticks on the tongue in the finish.

There's a truckload of hop character in this beer. A good minute after I've swallowed I can push my tongue against the roof of my mouth and the bitterness returns.

It's got a funky yeast character but it doesn't taste anything close to a wit, more like a Belgian yeast IPA, but do you know what? I don't care. Its a fruity, resinous pine and citrus hop hit with an edge of Belgian yeast. The bitterness will kick your arse but if you like big hop flavour and lots of bitterness, you'll love this.

I want more.


Peter's since 1969 and Breukelen Bier Merchants - Brooklyn, #NewYork

Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Deciding to spend our last two days in Brooklyn was one of the best moves we made, the only problem was that we liked it so much we wished we had longer. That said, we got there before lunch the first day and didn't need to leave until late the next, so managed to squeeze in some excellent food and beer in a short space of time.

Our first day in Brooklyn was the one bad weather day whilst we were in New York (the photo here was taken on the second), with some seriously torrential rain threatening to ruin the party. Luckily it was still pretty warm and there's lots of great places to duck into for refuge, just like the place we ate a late lunch, Peter's Since 1969.

Peter's is a Southern home style restaurant that's all about comfort food made well and served in a relaxing environment. Their menu consists of specialities such as rotisserie chicken alongside more American staples like meat loaf and collared greens. We went on the recommendation of the house and opted for the meat loaf lunch special, which came with two sides (we went with mash and collared greens), creamy sauce, gravy, corn bread, and a soup or salad for around $7. Stunningly good value, delicious and filling food to boot. Perfect wet weather fare.

They also have a few decent beers on tap, I think I drank a Brooklyn seasonal of some sort, again for a good price of under $5, but to be honest I was concentrating on the food.

After an afternoon spent perusing vintage shops trying to find a decent leather wallet which fits British notes (me) and some denim jean shorts (the missus, I swear) a beer was very much on my mind. Breukelen Bier Merchants was the next port of call, firstly because I wanted to see if there were any interesting bottles I'd missed that I wanted to buy to take home, but secondly because their happy hour runs 4-7 and offers every draft beer at $3 a pint. That's very, very cheap.

Plus they don't fuss over abvs: Any beer, any strength, one pint, $3. Would this ever happen in the UK? I doubt it.

I jumped straight in at the deep end with Firestone Black Rye IPA at 8% abv. Did I mention it was $3 a pint?

This was a great black IPA with sweet ripe mango and light cocoa in the aroma, fruity and lush in the initial taste before a flood of dark malt and then a long bitterly resinous finish. Lovely stuff and very drinkable for 8% too.

I did have a few more beers but we had got chatting to some locals and I stopped paying attention to the beer too much, though I remember all but one beer being excellent (the American Wit wasn't great if I remember rightly).

Breukelen Bier Merchants is a great place to hang out and we ended up staying for the majority of happy hour, which still left us enough of the evening to get around some more places which I'll be writing about in my next post.

Oh and my post on Brooklyn Brewery is still to come too.