The Sebright Arms Homebrew Project

Friday, April 26, 2013
Now this is an interesting idea.

The Sebright Arms Homebrew Project is a fancy name for a simple yet excellent idea - effectively a string of collaborations with specially selected brewers who come and brew something exciting on the pub's nano sized kit.

The first beer out of the blocks is Pure Evil Black IPA, a collaboration between the Sebright Arms and the excellent Redchurch Brewery, with stunning label art provided by local artist Pure Evil.

I couldn't make the launch of the beer last night but the lovely chaps at the pub sent me over a bottle to try anyway, which is pretty nice of em, and what a bottle it is! Just look at that label.

This sort of forward thinking, beer-incorporating-art type stuff can only be good news for beer in my eyes - especially when it comes to attracting new, younger drinkers to the world of good beer.

Most importantly, The Sebright Arms is an East End pub that recognises, along with a string of other bars across London such as the Exmouth Arms near Russell Square and the Black Heart in Camden, that you don't have to be housed in a disused portacabin and serve exclusively cans of Red Stripe to be cool.

Oh, and I can't wait to see what this little beauty tastes like, but more on that to come....



My ultimate chimichurri steak sauce - paired with Kernel Pale Ale

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Remember me? Things have been a little bit quiet on here of late. A new job and a move down to that-there-London (in my line of work it was almost inevitable) has meant the blog has fallen by the wayside, but I've been spurred into action by a stonker of a dish that I really want to shout about.

The star of this post is my take on the classic Argentinian sauce-for-steak-or-other-grilled-meats, chimichurri. Essentially a sort of south American pesto, the key ingredients of this sauce are fresh parsley, garlic, salt and olive oil, but my version also includes a finely chopped red chilli, dried oregano and red wine vinegar.

Served spooned over a flash fried or barbecued steak it is quite simply stunning. The parsley infused olive oil just works so well with the charred edges of the meat and the heat of the raw garlic and chilli, combined with that little bit of vinegar, cuts right through the fatty richness of the steak. It's one that really needs to be tried to be believed. (I ate it with rump steak and some cous cous cooked with chicken stock and chickpeas).

It goes without saying that your steak should be aggressively seared then well rested.

How to make the chimichurri

To make my chimichurri (this makes enough for two decent sized steaks) finely chop two cloves of garlic and a large sized medium heat red chilli, then add to a pestle and mortar along with a good grind of coarse sea salt and grind to a smooth paste. Next add a good pinch (about half a teaspoon) of dried oregano, one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, one of cold water, three to four tablespoons of good olive oil and a good handful of finely chopped curly parsley.

Stir to combine and season to taste before leaving to infuse and meld for half an hour or so. It should be fragrant, salty and have a nice bit of heat in the aftertaste, but shouldn't blow your head off. No one flavour should dominate.

The beer match

There are some big flavours in this dish so you can go fairly big with your beer choice too - A hop forward beer works well with fresh chilli (not so much with spices) but you also want something with just a touch of malt sweetness to sooth out the heat.

I went with a fruity, juicy yet bitter Kernel Pale Ale Columbus and it worked really well. The citrus and pepper of the hops dovetail nicely with that chilli and garlic, but there's also a fresh almost grassy side to the beers flavour profile which works well with the parsley and olive oil.

The beer match was good, the steak sauce is amazing. You have to give this one a try for your next BBQ.