Friday, 24 June 2011

Beer Recipe: Chilli Con Carne the Dredpenguin way.

Everyone knows how to make Chilli Con Carne.

Everyone thinks that their Chilli Con Carne is the best.

I'm no exception ;-)

Dredpenguin's Chilli Con Carne
Serves 6

500g Lean beef mince
2 Beef oxo cubes
Zest and juice of a lime
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 Tsp cumin seeds
1 Tsp dried oregano
1 Large onion finely chopped
1 Large garlic clove finely chopped or crushed
1 Tbsp hot smoked paprika (use sweet smoked paprika if you want to tone the heat down)
1 Tbsp mild chilli powder
Small dash of chipotle Tabasco sauce
Large dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 Bottle Ale. I'm using Adanam's East Green.
2 Tins chopped tomatoes
1 Tin kidney beans  in water (drained)
1 Tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
75g Dark chocolate broken into pieces
1Tbsp brown sugar

1: Over a high heat, dry fry the mince with the chilli flakes, cumin seeds and lime zest, in a large pan or wok, until browned.
2:  Add crumbled oxo cubes and the dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. Continue frying for a minute or two.
3: Add the onions, garlic, oregano. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the chilli and paprika and stir.
4:  Add the bottle of beer, it will foam nicely to start, stir well and scrape any caught caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan.
5: Cook the beer and mince mixture for about 5 mins until some of the beer volume has reduced.
6: Add the two tins of tomatoes and stir well.
7: Add the two tins of kidney beans and stir again.
8: Bring to rolling boil for 5 minutes.
9: Add the sugar
10: Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and gently cook for at least another 30 mins. The chilli will improve with longer cooking but remember to top up some water to ensure it does not catch on the bottom of the pan. You are looking for a thick sauce.
11: 10 minutes before serving add the chocolate and stir in well as it melts.
12: At flame out add the lime juice.
13: Taste (you were doing so all the way through, right?) and season if required. If it needs more heat add some more chipotle Tabasco.

Will eat well with rice, tacos, baked potatoes, even pasta (make the sauce a bit more liquid as the pasta will absorb some of the water and the dish will end up dry). For perfection serve with a big dollop of sour cream and some chopped coriander.

It should taste smoky, meaty, rich from the chocolate, sweet from the tomatoes and have both a good chilli kick and a slight sharpness from the lime.

Goes down a treat with a nice strong IPA.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Photoblog: A Morning in the Rake.

Slightly off piste for my latest photoblog, on the back of some of my other photoblogs, Glyn asked me to come and take photos of the Rake Bar for their website. For obvious reasons I can't really put all the photos up here but here are a few of the out-takes. 

Nice sign - shame about the birdshit!

Chris and Daniel were the barmen for the day. Nice chaps and a good laugh...

...but perhaps not the most photogenic...

...any resemblance to Legolas is in the eye of a drunken hobbit.

When I arrived Glyn was working hard in his office.

 Some photos were nearly good....this one has the reflection of a pesky barman again!

The walls and posts are covered with some great stickers and posters.

However this one has been graffitied.  Can you spot where?

A decent shot, but it is keg lager so CAMRA would not approve.

The fridges in the Rake are things of joy and wonder....

...but the bottles don't look quite as good empty.

This is one of the most interesting shelves...except the Tusker perhaps.

One of the best beers around...and one of the worst taps.

 A delivery arrived mid morning with some awesome beers

and was used by some CAMRA regulars for an impromptu table...are you sure that is real ale, son?

"Oh well Glyn, I'm off to the Old Fountain" (true story)

The cellar makes for some interesting drops.

And some major pain to get the big kegs in.

A pigeon basking on the deck...right before Glyn aims a kick at it. (And missed before the animal-lovers out there get grumpy!)

Final couple of arty shots.

Good fun was had and some good pictures were taken, however these are being saved for the Rake website so won't appear here. Thanks to Glyn, Chris and Daniel. It was good to see how the bar runs for a few hours.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Photoblog: LABrats brewing at Brodie's.

The London Amateur Brewers (LAB), a bunch of keen homebrewers who meet monthly in London, were invited by James Brodie  to come and brew a beer at his brewery. Not surprisingly the homebrewers jumped at the chance. And here are some photos of the day.

The KingWilliam IV is the brewpub and hotel where all the action would take place. Though it was all locked up when we arrived.

Soon we got inside and and started an inventory of the grains and hops.

So off to the cafe for breakfast and discussions on the beer we were to brew.

Someone had to bring out the laptop!

Eventually we departed back for the brewery with two recipes - a Kiwi IPA and a hoppy US-style porter.

Discussions ensued and the IPA was ditched as too close to an existing product so LABrat Porter was born.

Eric the Brewer made some tweaks to the recipe to make it viable on the Brodie's brewkit.

John the brewery assistant looking a bit rock'n' roll.

Mash in starts...any resemblance to projectile vomit is purely coincidental. 

The mash tun was nearly full....

...time for a beer. Brodies Summer Special a 1.9% uber-session ale.

The main man arrives..."Hey am I late?"

13 brewers? The brewhouse was a little cramped.

First runnings onto the Warrior and Northern Brewer hops.

Sparging started and the runoff was very time to grab some lunch.

And take a few arty shots.

By the time I returned the mash tun was already dug out. What a shame!

Important equipment for mash tun cleaning are: Beer, Handleless Brush and Serious Boots.

One of 4 hop additions in the last 3 minutes.

This left about a foot deep of spent hops in the boiler.

That someone has to clean!

So James,  what did you think of the beer?

A very fine day was had by all. I look forward to trying the beer when it goes live in a few weeks time. A big thanks to James Brodie for inviting us along and to Eric and John for looking after us during the day.