Andwell, Goes Well with Thai
Andwell Brewing Company, located in the hamlet of Andwell, South East Hampshire, is a family business, run by Adam Komrower and his wife, Helen. Brewing its first beer in October, 2008, Andwell has gained a reputation for producing high quality craft beers.
One of these beers of distinction, which was also a hit at the recent Food Meets Beer Festival at Borough Market, is the Pilsner Hops. Brewed in the traditional Czech-style of a pilsner, this beer is given a kick when it is dry hopped with the Japanese hop Sorachi Ace (hey, it has ‘ace’ in the name, it must be pretty good). Originating with British brewers centuries ago, the term dry hopping used to refer to adding hops to the cask shortly before it was shipped off to the customer. Nowadays, dry hopping refers to any hop addition after the wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer or whisky) has been cooled. These additions can be done in the primary fermenter, in the secondary or by adding hops directly to a keg. Dry hopping adds fragile aromatic oils that are normally lost in the boiling process, and Andwell’s addition of this ace Japanese hop gives the beer a brightness and citrus zing. It is a flavoursome and summery beer and we think it works a dream with Thai food.
Thai food is all about getting the balance of flavours just right; the acidity, the sweetness, the saltiness. Thai recipes should only ever be used as a guide, becasue this delicate balance of flavours will depend entirely on your palate, as the inherent qualities and flavours of ingredients vary constantly – sometimes limes are rather sour, therefore your sauce may need more sugar to counteract this etc.
Here is a simple Thai Beef Salad recipe that compliments the fresh citrus notes of the Andwell. Ready in no time at all, it makes for the perfect summer supper. The jewel-coloured hunks of tender juicy beef in this salad, set off the gorgeous jungle greens and make for stunning visuals. Remember we eat with our eyes first.
Ingredients – Makes two portions
- splash of olive oil
- 300g beef fillet
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 2 handfuls of watercress
- 1 Spanish onion thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
- 1 handful of coriander, chopped
- 1 handful of roasted cashews and peanuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 red chillies, diced
- juice from 4 limes
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoom soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
1. Make the dressing by crushing the garlic and chilli together in a bowl then add the lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and honey. Mix well and set aside. Make sure you taste it and see if the flavours are well-balanced. There shouldn’t be one predominant flavour quality, but all three: sweet, salty and sour. If it is overly sour for example, add more honey. If it is sweet, add more sourness from the lime or saltiness from the soy/fish sauces.
2. Splash some olive oil onto the beef and sear in a hot pan. Cook it as little or as long as you wish. Beef is always best served rare to medium-rare in our opinion, but if you’re a well-done kind of person, then the door is over there. No, no, just kidding. When done to your desired level, rest it for as long as you have cooked it, then carve into slices about 1/2cm thick.
3. Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl, add the warm beef and then dress. Enjoy with a frosty Andwell and feel a little smug at your skills.
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