Krombacher Beer – Slow Cooked Beef Shin Recipe

IMG_5550

23rd April 2017 celebrates St.George’s day in the UK but it also sees the celebration of the 501st Anniversary of the Reinheitsgrebot (also known as the German Brewing Laws or German Purity Laws) which is the oldest piece of food and drink law in the world; dating right back to 1516.  It states that only 4 ingredients may be used in the production of the beer; hops, malted barley, yeast and water. Therefore there are no additives or preservatives allowed to be added to the brew, ensuring the beer’s purity, taste and quality.  This also means that the beers are suitable for vegetarians/vegans as there are no animal products used to ‘clear’ the brew.

Krombacher is the largest brewer in Germany, and is the biggest family owned and operated brewery within Europe. Their beers have been made exclusively in Krombach since 1803, and are produced in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516.  Water is obtained from 48 wells, all within a 3km radius of the brewery, which is soft and low in mineral content making it perfect for brewing. Along with summer barley, Siegel hops and its own speciality cultivated yeast, it makes Krombacher beers be seen as the taste of its’ homeland.

It was first imported into the UK in 1987 and is growing in popularity here, where the range currently includes the Pilsner, Hell, Dark, Wizen, Radler, Low Alcoholic Pils and Low Alcohol Wizen.  You can find Krombacher in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels throughout the UK, as well as from Majestic Wines, Beers of Europe and Noble Green Wines.  The low alcohol variations are also available from Dry Drinker.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

Having been sent some of Krombacher’s beers and challenged to pair food or prepare a recipe to go with it, I created a deliciously rich, slow and succulent, beef shin cooked in their Dark beer recipe.  A quick call to my local butcher on Friday to place an order for some beef shin to collect yesterday morning and I was set for the challenge to create this tasty dinner for my family.  If you take the generic food groups, I almost managed to get this made with only 4 ingredients: vegetables, meat, grain and beer, along with a little bit of oil and some seasoning.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

  • 15ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g beef shin, cubed (ask you butcher to do this for you)
  • 15ml / 1tbs plain flour
  • 500ml Krombacher Dark beer
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper to season
  1. Heat the oven to 180℃.
  2. In a large, hob/oven proof pan/casserole dish, add the oil and heat on the hob over a medium heat.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, onion and bay leaves.
  4. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes until they’re just starting to soften but not colour.
  5. Add the beef and evenly sprinkle over the flour.
  6. Mix thoroughly to coat the meat and vegetables in the flour and to absorb any oil.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

  1. Add the bottle of beer and the chopped tomatoes, along with salt and pepper to season.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

  1. Stir to mix thoroughly then bring to the boil.
  2. Cover with a lid and place the pan/casserole dish into the oven to cook for 3-3½  hours, removing the lid for the final 30 minutes if you need to reduce and thicken the sauce further.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

  1. The meat should be flaky and the sauce unctuous and thick.
  2. Serve with buttered mashed potatoes, green vegetables (kale or savoy cabbage) and some steamed carrots.

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

  1. Enjoy with a glass of cold Krombacher Dark beer!

Beef Shin in Kromacher Beer

This is a collaborative post.

Baked Pear & Amaretto Cheesecake with Del Monte

img_4662

If you’re of my generation (40 something and rapidly heading towards 50) you’ll probably remember the Sunday tea time treat of tinned fruit and evaporated milk that you used to have.  It’s not something you tend to see too often now though.  However tinned fruit is not just tasty and convenient, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.  A product no longer confined to just grabbing the tin opener, opening the tin and pouring the contents into a bowl before smothering it with evaporated milk or ice cream; or simply just placing a ring of pineapple on to your gammon steak; you can use it in many different recipes, to prepare delicious food without the faff and fuss of having to peel, slice and prepare it yourself.

Del Monte canned fruit

I’ve adapted a baked cheesecake recipe that I use and have incorporated a tin of Del Monte pears which pair perfectly with almonds and Amaretto for an added depth of flavour.

Del Monte canned fruit

Base:

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 8 Digestive biscuits, crushed

Cheesecake:

  • 400g Philadelphia Cheese
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 410g Del Monte tinned pears, drained
  • 3 Eggs
  • 60ml Amaretto
  • 15g Ground almonds
  • 75g Caster sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC (170º Fan).
  2. Line a 20cm / 8” spring form tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the butter, add this to the crushed biscuits and mix together thoroughly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Pour this biscuit mixture into the base of your prepared tin and press down evenly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Place in the fridge to cool whilst you prepare your cheesecake filling.
  2. In a food processor, add 150g of the drained pears, the Philadelphia and mascarpone cheeses, the eggs, Amaretto, almonds and the sugar.  I find that using my Kenwood food processor makes this an incredibly easy and quick process
  3. Blitz these together until smooth.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Drain the remaining pears from the juice and cut into approx. 5mm pieces.
  2. Stir the pear pieces into the cheesecake mixture to evenly distribute.
  3. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base in the tin.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Bake in the oven for approx. 40 mins until the top has started to colour and there is still a very slight ‘wobble’ in the middle of the cheesecake.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in there, with the door slightly open until it’s cooled completely. (Leaving the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven allows it set fully and prevents it from cracking).
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve, cut in to small slices.

Del Monte canned fruit

I was sent a selection of canned fruits from Del Monte along with a gift voucher to purchase additional ingredients with to develop this recipe. 

Review – Patak Chicken Tikka Masala

img_3744

In a hurry?  No time to cook from scratch? Need a quick and tasty dinner cooked straight from the freezer?  Yes, sometimes we all do!

Although I’m not normally one to buy ready meals, sometimes we all have to make sure dinner is on the table quickly if we’re in a rush, and the other night was no exception. As I was late in from work, and rushing to get out the door again, it called for me to have a ‘quick on draw’ dinner.  Luckily, Patak’s had sent me one of their new range of frozen Chicken Tikka Masala ready meals to review so I could get this out of the freezer, into the microwave and on the table in a matter of only 10 minutes, which was hardly time to get changed and ready to go out again!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

The packaging says it’s medium strength, however I personally think it was quite mild. The chicken was lean and stayed succulent in a generous portion of sauce and the pilau rice stayed in individual grains and not a gloopy lump of stodge. The smell was so tantalising that my husband appeared and miraculously managed to have a fork in his hand to dig in and share my dinner; the cheeky boy!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

As the mother of a son at Uni, I think this would also make a perfect freezer filler for him during study time when the books are calling and there is less time for him to cook his own curry from scratch.

At 550 Calories per pack, it’s possibly a little higher than I would normally eat, however the saturated fat at 3.4g made it a less of a guilt and more of a pleasure and much more of reasonable calorific intake than a take away curry would.  I’d certainly buy a couple of these as quick stand by dinners for my freezer.

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

Thanks to Patak’s PR company for arranging to send me a sample to review.