The man behind WA's beer food specialists Beersine, "Mitch" Mitchell, is back at the place where he first began playing with beer and its ingredients in the kitchen. We wrote about his return to The Monk in Freo as part of something of a dream team recently.
He tells us that it's got his creative juices flowing again, although for his second recipe for us he's plumped for an old favourite. It's his beerified version of the classic Béarnaise sauce. It's one he enjoys using in a variety of formats and with a variety of dishes too.
Over to you, Mitch...
Béarnaise / beernaise is quite possibly one of my favourite sauces to go with meat, asparagus, chips – or all of them! It’s pretty much just egg yolks and vinegar with clarified butter and tarragon – plus a splash of beer, of course. Leave out the tarragon and you have hollandaise which, if you’ve ever had Eggs Benedict, Florentine or Royale is the sauce over the top.
I also love stirring a strong chilli sauce or chopped kimchi through it for pork chops / belly strips that I’ve cooked on the BBQ. It’s an extremely versatile sauce that seems a bit tricky at first but really isn’t that hard. Just make sure all your equipment is nice and clean.
My recipe below is a simplified one that uses the least amount of equipment. You’ll need a metal or ceramic bowl, whisk, saucepan and a ladle.
- 3 egg yolks
- 25ml vinegar
- 25ml water
- 150g unsalted butter, melted with any white solids that are floating on the top removed
- pepper and salt
- tarragon, if you can’t find you could substitute some chopped chervil, chives, dill or parsley
- splash of a local pale ale or IPA
Fill your saucepan with water to approximately one quarter full and place on heat to a gentle simmer. Place egg yolks, vinegar, water and pepper in bowl and put over simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
By whisking constantly and not allowing the mix to get too hot, the mixture should fluff up and start to thicken or, in chef terms, ribbon stage. You can make scrambled eggs fairly easily so be careful not to allow too much heat to get to the mix.
Once your yolks have thickened, remove the bowl from the saucepan and place on the bench on a tea towel. Bit by bit, add the melted butter to the yolk mix; don’t use any of the buttermilk that’s at the bottom. Once all the butter is in you can adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and a splash of beer. I make mine fairly peppery and there’s a bit of a vinegary kick but you can adjust it to your tastes any way you like.
Once you’ve made your sauce the only thing left to do is cook your steak. The cut and whether you want it rare or well done is up to you; of course, I’m going to say rare but each to their own.
When it comes to choosing your meats for any occasion I believe in organic, free range / pasture-raised, grass fed; no antibiotics or growth hormones for me if possible.
The beef in the photos is from Blackwood Valley Beef who, in my opinion, is one of the best producers out there. His cows would have to be some of the happiest I’ve ever seen, even licking me through a car window. If you’re interested in the health benefits of grass fed as opposed to grain, and want to get into the nitty gritty, then give this a bit of a read.
The cut in the photos is skirt or flat iron, which I adore, but I’m also a rump or scotch fillet lover as well.
Serve with some potatoes, salad, beans or just the beef if that’s your thing. I’d wash it down with a smoked porter, brown ale, rauch or a big juicy IPA.
Mitch's pairing suggestions:
- Feral Smoked Porter or Blackman's Arthur Smoked Porter
- Nail Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown Ale
- Mornington Peninsula Brown Ale
- Epic Hop Zombie or 8 Wired Superconductor
Photos by Jessica Shaver Photography
Check out Mitch's recipe for the dessert he paired with Nail's Clout Stout at Good Beer Week 2015 here.