Aussies across the country have geared up for a month’s worth of celebrations. To inspire those who are putting menus together and finalising the all-important shopping lists for the big occasions, our mates at Australian Beer Company, brewer of Australia’s favourite lager, Yenda Crisp, have put together a food matching guide, showcasing the ultimate Aussie food and drink concoctions you can impress your family and friends with during the festive season but not limited to.’
‘Beerologist’ Sam Johnstone and ‘Ciderologist’ Heath Baker have compiled their top tips of how to best pair your favourite festive drinks with stylish food plates. They give you a taste of how to pair iconic Aussie duos this season, building menus around refreshing home-grown beer and cider.
According to Johnstone and Baker, there are 3 golden rules when matching beer or cider with food:
1. Complement – look to match the intensity of the dish with the intensity of the beer or cider
2. Contrast the different flavours in the food with those in the drink.
3. Cut and cleanse – refresh your palette at the end of a meal, this can be done in various ways, either through the carbonation of the beer, the bitterness, the sourness and even the alcohol.
“When you get food matching right, you’ll be rewarded with a real burst of flavour that will take your meal to the next level. For example, if you’re having a spicy Thai curry for dinner, pair it with a just as intense pale ale, whereas if you’re having a delicate fish, go for a drink with a lighter crisp taste,” adds Baker.
Food Pairing Guide
Seafood always works well with a lager as the fresh fish flavour complements a crisp tasting lager, and, let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with beer battered fish and chips! From salt and pepper squid to bugs, lobster or prawns, seafood is the perfect match for a light and refreshing lager. The zesty, tropical fruit aromas of Yenda Crisp come from the addition of a new variety of hops called Vic Secret. It’s what gives Crisp its modern Aussie twist, and these grapefruit and pineapple aromas make it a perfect partner for fresh prawns, oysters and sashimi, all our favourites for that alternative Aussie Christmas spread on a 40 degree day.
Typical ‘dude food,’ that’s fried or crunchy with a salted finish matches well with a Golden Ale. A full-bodied beer, Yenda Golden has a malt driven sweetness with a more biscuity, toffee character coming through. It’s earthy and floral aroma is best suited to fried chicken, and also makes it a good match for some pre-dinner salty snacks, especially good old Aussie macadamia nuts or a packet of chips.
English-style Pale Ale also has a malt-driven sweetness that means it’s well suited to rich meat dishes, so try this one with your Christmas ham. The sweetness of the Yenda Pale will contrast with the richness of the ham, creating a perfect flavour balance. It’s all thanks to the harmony created by the malty, biscuity flavour of the beer and the Maillard reaction, that’s the chemical reaction that takes place between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavour. So it works equally well if you’re opting for turkey or pork this festive season.
Crisp and refreshing ciders like Pressman’s are perfect to end a meal and cut nicely with a cheese or fruit platter. The fresh and tart apple flavours of the cider will also pair beautifully with a Pavlova. Or if you’re opting for the traditional Christmas pudding, the roasted malt of a sweet stout or a milk stout style beer are the perfect alternative to a bottle of sticky wine as the beer flavours contrast the pudding well, rather than more layers of sticky. Or another tip is to try a big barley wine – the high alcohol will also do a decent job of cutting through the richness of that Christmas pud.
Aussie Beer Damper
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 good pinch of salt
1175 mls of Yenda Pale
Place the flour and salt into the bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour the beer in the middle. Get your hands dirty and combine ingredients together until the dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead gently for a few minutes. Place in pre-heated camp oven for approx 35 minutes or cook in a 190 degree oven for 35 minutes.
Tipsy Bondi Clams
24 Little Neck clams, cleaned and rinsed
3/4 cup of water
3/4 cup Yenda Crisp
6 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli
Juice of one lemon
Place all ingredients except lemon and parsley in a large covered pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and remove clams as they open. Chuck away any clams that don’t open after 10 minutes. Stir the parsley and lemon juice into the liquid. Add the clams back and gently coat all the clams. Serve with crusty bread.
Beer and Lime Marinated Salmon
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Yenda Crisp
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons diced red peppers
2 tablespoons lime zest
fresh ground black pepper
Mix ingredients and pour marinade over the top of the salmon. Turn pieces several times to coat and put in the fridge overnight. Heat BBQ and grill fish for 10 minutes until fish flakes in the middle. Serve hot with diced bell pepper, lime zest and pepper
Beer soaked Christmas pudding
Take one Christmas pudding
200ml of Yenda Pale
3 tablespoons of rum
Juice of one small orange
Once you have steamed the pudding, remove the covering and let cool. Feed the pudding every few days with the rum, beer and orange mixture. On the day of serving, cover with greaseproof paper and foil and steam for two hours to heat through. Serve with cream and brandy butter.
2 packets cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Yenda Pale beer
One dollop of ranch salad dressing
2 cups shredded cheese
Pretzels to serve
In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients. Serve with the pretzels or chips
Beer and butter poached lobster roll
2 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Yenda Crisp
2 kilos of fresh lobster meat, chilled
2 tablespoons of the best mayonnaise
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus more if needed
4 hot dog rolls
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Poach the lobster in unsalted butter and beer. Cool. Cut and tear the lobster meat closely checking for bits of shell. In a large bowl mix the meat with the mayo, coating evenly.
Chill. Heat the BBQ and brush melted butter over the hot dogs. Toast on the barbie until golden brown. Use more butter if you like. Fill each roll with the lobster mixture, sprinkle with chives and squeeze lemon over the top. Serve immediately.
This one is for the keen cook! Time 24 hours for brining and then 4-5 hours. Serves 16- 20 people.
Unsmoked boneless ham, weighing about 5kg
2 tbsp each coriander and fennel seeds
2 tbsp cloves
2 star anise
8 juniper berries
750g demerara sugar
300g sea salt flakes
250g pot Dijon mustard
For the stock
6 carrots, peeled
2 heads celery
3 onions, halved
1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved
5 bay leaves
1 bunch parsley
100ml Pressman’s 100% Apple Cider
1. For the brining: take all the spices for the glaze and toast them in a frying pan until they begin to release their fragrance. Grind using a pestle and mortar, then tip into a food processor with the sugar and blitz everything together to make a spice mix. Tip two-thirds of the mix (reserving the rest in a sealed plastic container) into a large pan with the salt and 5 litres of water and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. When the mix has cooled, pour it over the ham and leave in the fridge to brine for 24 hrs.
2. After 24 hrs, wash off the brine. Place the ham in a large pan with the stock veg, herbs and vinegar. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 3 hrs, topping up with water as necessary. Turn off the heat and leave the ham to cool in the stock.
3. Heat oven to 220C. Remove the ham from the stock and cut away the top layer of fat and skin. Score the fat in a criss-cross and brush with the mustard, then pack on the reserved spiced sugar. Roast for 35-40 mins until the glaze has completely caramelised and become sticky. Allow the ham to rest for at least 10 mins before carving.
Christmas pork with Pressman’s Cider gravy
4kg pork lion rolled and skin scored
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sage leaf
500ml of Pressman’s 100% Apple cider
500ml of chicken stock, hot
25 grams salted butter
25 grams flour
.1. Heat the oven to 220c
.2. Score the skin of the pork loin with a sharp knife, careful not to cut through to the meat. Rub in olive oil and sea salt.
.3. Put the pork, leeks and carrots into a high sided roasting dish, and pour in cider and stock. Roast uncovered for 30mins.
.4. Remove from oven and wrap the tray tightly with foil, return to oven. Reduce the temp to 150c and roast for 4 hours.
.5. After 4 hours remove the foil and place back in the oven at 220c for 30mins.
.5. Remove the pork from the tray and set aside to rest.
.6. Keep the liquid from the tray. You can keep the veg and serve or discard!
To make the gravy
In a small saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, once melted stir in the flour and make a ball. Get your whisk ready. Slowly pour the liquid from the tray into the saucepan and whisk like you have never whisked before, make sure there are no traces of the flour/butter ball. Keep adding the liquid until you get the consistency you want. Less liquid for a thicker gravy. Serve alongside the pork.
You don’t drink wine straight from the bottle so why do you for beer? Always drink your beer from a clean glass, never straight from the bottle. By drinking from the bottle you lose most of the aroma and enjoyment from beer. Pour the beer into a clean glass and you will immediately notice the aroma from the Hops and the malt character.
Looking for a great Christmas gift for a beer lover? Get them some glassware, and make sure they hand wash and air dry them to keep them in top shape.