Easy Beer Focaccia
Makes 1 loaf
3 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt flakes
40g brown sugar
1 330ml bottle Vale Brewing pale ale*
1/3 cup olive oil
Pinch sea salt flakes to serve
Handful fresh rosemary to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Once combined, add Vale Ale and mix to a stiff dough.
Line baking tray with baking paper and lightly oil the sheet with olive oil. Push the dough out flat onto the tray. Use your fingertips to make some indents on the top of the dough.
Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and scatter with rosemary leaves.
Place in oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. When tapped, bread should sound hollow.
Serve immediately while hot with lashings of butter.
Alternative preparation suggestion: Using the prepared dough, roll into rustic long sticks.
Can be rolled in sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt flakes or cracked pepper if desired.
Place on a paper lined baking stray and bake till golden and crisp, approximately 10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container ready to use on your cheese boards and platters alongside spiced beer jelly.
Spiced Beer Jelly
Makes 6 jars
2kg Granny Smith apples
2 330ml bottles Vale BREWING pale ale
5 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole green cardamom pods
2 whole star anise
Remove any stems from the apples and chop into eighths, do not peel and core.
Place into a large deep saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes until apples are soft.
Strain the apples through a fine sieve and collect all the juice, press gently onto the apples with the back of a wooden spoon.
Filter and collect the juice again by pouring through a fine sieve lined with a new chux or cheesecloth. Discard any sediment in the cloth.
Measure 3 cups of the juice and put in a deep saucepan. Add Vale Ale, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and star anise and bring to the boil. Cook on medium high for approximately 30 minutes.
To check the set consistency, place a saucer in the freezer while the jelly is cooking and then put a little of the jelly onto the saucer and allow to cool. It should hold its shape when cold. Continue to heat until desired set texture is reached.
When happy with the set, strain the jelly to remove the spice debris. Spoon into sterilised jars immediately and seal.
Serve with a matured cheese, crackers and a glass of crisp Vale Ale.
Beer & Soy Braised Beef Sliders Served With Asian Slaw
Sliders – Serves 4
4 beef short ribs, on the bone
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
3 tbsp coconut sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 330ml bottle Vale BREWING pale ale
12 mini Brioche buns or slider rolls
Handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve
*Spiced beer jelly makes a great relish alternative on the sliders
¼ wombok (Chinese cabbage), finely shredded
1 red apple, cut into julienne strips, skin on
1 small carrot, cut into julienne strips
½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 140°C
Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof heavy based roasting pan on the stovetop. Add the short ribs and brown on both sides.
Turn off the heat, add the garlic and ginger, sprinkle the coconut sugar over the ribs.
Pour the Vale Ale and soy sauce into the pan.
Cover the contents with a piece of baking paper and then cover the pan tightly with foil, making sure that no steam can escape. Place into preheated oven and cook for 3 hours.
The short ribs should be deliciously unctuous and falling apart when finished. Sit to cool. Shred the meat with two forks and set aside. Reserve ½ cup of the pan juices and use when reheating the meat.
To make the slaw, toss cabbage, apple, carrot, coriander and spring onions together in a bowl. Dress with Kewpie mayonnaise and season to taste.
Serve the shredded beef, Asian slaw and warmed rolls in bowls to assemble at the table or assemble the sliders ready to serve If taking to a picnic or friend’s barbecue.
*All recipes can be substituted with any beer of your choice (although flavours may change).
Recipes and styling Chris Stephan