Beer can be the magical ingredient
Foodies were keen on clever sliders
Christchurch is a hugely resilient city on the path of a major transformation. They have taken a major disaster and are using it as a powerful opportunity to revitalise and remodel this once beautiful garden city.
I have much admiration and respect for the people of Christchurch and was thrilled to be invited up there recently to perform a cooking demonstration at the New Zealand Beer Festival. I was a little dubious at first, concerned that the 11,000 strong crowd may not be too interested in watching cooking demonstrations. I assumed they might prefer to be sampling the vast numbers of ‘‘god’s golden nectar’’ on offer, but thankfully I was wrong!
The crowd was full of eager participants, many of them keen foodies.
Cooking with beer can elevate a dish from something great, to something truly special. It is a hugely versatile ingredient . . . from the fizz in a batter, the tang in a bread, to an ingratiating flavour in icecream. With its complex chemistry and different levels of hops, malts, yeasts and flavours, beer becomes even more complex when cooked.
Be careful, however, as cooking and reducing beer for too long can cause the hops to leave a bitter taste throughout your dish.
To avoid this, either choose a beer lower in hops, add a contrasting sweeter flavour to your dish or add the beer nearer to the end of cooking. This will retain freshness of flavour and minimise bitterness.
The Boundary Road ‘lemon and lime’ lager I have used here is a perfect match for this Mexican inspired dish.
Mexican Cardrona Lamb Shank Sliders with Chipotle Mayo and Slaw Prep Time: Cook time: Ingredients
15 mins 3 hours 2 teaspoons paprika 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 2 cloves garlic crushed 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 brown onion sliced 1 bottle Boundary Road Lemon Lime Lager 1 cup of beef stock 2-3 lamb shanks 16 soup buns or slider buns
1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 500 ml canola oil or a vege-based oil 1 clove garlic crushed 3-4 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I use La Morena brand from New World) 1 tablespoon lime juice
white cabbage thinly sliced 1 carrot grated
red onion thinly sliced 1 good handful fresh coriander sliced
Pre heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Place the paprikas , cumin, coriander, salt, 2 cloves crushed garlic, brown sugar and oil into a bowl and mix into a paste. Smear thoroughly over the lamb shanks.
Take an ovenproof dish with a lid, heat on a medium high on the stove. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides. Remove shanks and set aside.
Place onions into same dish and fry for 3-4 mins until softened. Pour in stock to deglaze pan and stir to lift the delicious flavours off bottom of pan. Place lamb shanks back in and pop in the oven for 2 hours turning the shanks once or twice. Now pour in the beer and replace in oven for a further hour.
Meanwhile, place all the eggs, garlic and lime into blender and blend well on medium speed.
Keeping the blender on, slowly pour in oil to create the mayonnaise. Next pop in your chipotle peppers and blend.
Add salt and pepper to taste. If it is a little thick, add a dash of warm water to get desired consistency.
Combine all ingredients for the slaw in a bowl. Mix through desired amount of chipotle mayonnaise.
Remove shanks from the oven. Gently lift from the dish. Shred the shanks with two forks. Place a little mayo on the slider bun, put in meat then slaw and they are ready to serve immediately.
Mexican Cardrona Lamb Shank Sliders with Chipotle Mayo and Slaw.