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.
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.
- 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
- Heat the oven to 180℃.
- In a large, hob/oven proof pan/casserole dish, add the oil and heat on the hob over a medium heat.
- Add the celery, carrots, onion and bay leaves.
- Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes until they’re just starting to soften but not colour.
- Add the beef and evenly sprinkle over the flour.
- Mix thoroughly to coat the meat and vegetables in the flour and to absorb any oil.
- Add the bottle of beer and the chopped tomatoes, along with salt and pepper to season.
- Stir to mix thoroughly then bring to the boil.
- 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.
- The meat should be flaky and the sauce unctuous and thick.
- Serve with buttered mashed potatoes, green vegetables (kale or savoy cabbage) and some steamed carrots.
- Enjoy with a glass of cold Krombacher Dark beer!