Keeping it real … Real Ale
Throughout growing up there was a few beers that stayed with me over the years, among such beers was the likes of Dark Star Hophead, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Oakham Citra, Duvel, bottles of Adnams Broadside and St Austell Tribute. There are many more that hold many memories for me and recently I have been revisiting some of those classics and finding that even after years of hop abuse I am still enjoying these beers.
St Austells have just launched the breweries biggest ever marketing campaign to support Tribute, its flagship beer brand. Tribute was originally brewed by St Austell’s head brewer Roger Ryman to celebrate the total eclipse of the sun in 1999 but in 2001 was made one of the core range beers. Since then it has grown into one of the UK’s best-known cask ales. The new marketing campaign is spearheaded by the words “Quality speaks for itself”, Jeremy Mitchell, marketing and communications director at St Austell Brewery said: “The theme of quality is at the heart of the new campaign and it celebrates all the attributes we’re proud of: ingredients, process, taste and consistency. Whilst Tribute has continued to outperform the cask ale category, we know it’s a fiercely competitive sector and we want to keep Tribute at the front of the pack.”
I love tacos and burritos, I think I could seriously eat them every day of the week! Although it is easy to just pop to your local supermarket and buy a pack of soft taco’s or wraps, I have always wanted to make my own from scratch. So, to take inspiration from Tributes new marketing campaign I wanted a recipe where I make some tacos of real quality. Of course, this plan was to make those tacos with beer and Tribute was a perfect pick, especially as it is easily found in most supermarkets for others to give this a go themselves.
Tribute Beer batter & Cornflake Crunch Cape Hake Beer Tacos with Avocado Crème
Tribute Batter & Cornflake Crunch Cape Hake
Quick Pickled Red Onions (Optional)
This recipe is easiest done in a few stages, the first two you can do up to a day before but best to do on the same day at some point. Start with the easiest part, the avocado crème. Scoop your avocado out and slice into pieces so easier to mash, you can either mash in a bowl till it becomes smooth or put it in a blender. Once the avocado is a smooth mash put two heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt, a heaped tablespoon of sour cream and the juice of a lime in with the avocado mash, either mix well with a fork or use the blender till it all combines. You can store this in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar up to 48 hours.
If you want to make the pickled red onions (you should!) then thinly slice up three onions while bringing the cider vinegar, red wine vinegar and any extra spices you want to throw in, to the boil. Put the onions into the mason jar and when the vinegar mix is boiling put into the jar, let it cool down then place in the fridge. These quick pickled red onions should last in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
You can make your beer batter at any time during the day and leave it in the fridge to chill. In a large mixing bowl, whisk beer, flour, cornflower, salt and cayenne pepper. The batter should be smooth with no lumps and not to thick when it drips off your whisk.
The beer tacos will be messy, make sure you have a large clean working area and lots of flour to hand. Weigh your ingredients, in a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Then add the beer, with your hands combine the mixture till it stops sticking to you and forms a large dough ball. You will most likely have to sprinkle more flower over the dough at times or event adding more beer if you think it is too dry, adjust till you feel the dough is the correct consistency. Split the ball into small golf ball size dough balls and leave to rest of a clean towel for 15 minutes.
Spread flour over your work service so the taco balls don’t stick to the service, also rub flour on your rolling pin. Roll out the taco balls into small taco shapes, you want them to be not to thick but not too thin. For those who are perfectionists try and find a bowl that is about the right size for tacos, use this to cut out your taco shapes, or if you want to be creative you can try to shape it yourself. Don’t stack uncooked tacos on top of each other as they will stick together.
Once all the dough has been turned into tacos heat up a frying pan, one by one put the taco in the pan and heat each side for 30 seconds, you don’t want to overcook the taco, if you do when you fold the taco it will break. Do this for all the tacos, store the tacos in a zip up bag and leave them in a cool dry place, when you come to eating your tacos then reheat them in the microwave for 10 seconds each taco (i.e 60 seconds for 6 at a time etc). This will be good to eat for another 24 hours after cooking.
Chop any other taco ingredients you want to add to the taco, lettuce, red cabbage, pickled red onion, chilli, coriander. I went for pickled red onion, coriander, tomatoes and lettuce.
To cook the fish you will need to pour vegetable oil, about half an inch deep, into a deep frying pan or saucepan and put on a medium to high heat. In a food bag smash up the cornflakes with your hands, this should be fairly easy and you want a mixture of fine crumbs with some larger cornflakes. You want to be as organised as possible so on your work surface line up the beer batter, then the bowl of cornflakes crumbs and then an empty plate.
Put your oven on a low heat just warm enough to keep your first batch of fish warm while cooking the second. Slice your fish into strips, with your left-hand dip the fish into the batter, bring it out the batter and let any excess batter drip off, place the fish into the cornflakes bowl and with the tip of two of your right-hand fingers push the fish into the breadcrumbs, turn it over and repeat, then place the fish on the empty plate. Repeat this till you cover all the fish. The oil should be hot enough to fry the fish now (test this by dropping a bit of batter and cornflakes in and if it starts to fry in about 45-60 seconds without burning quickly then its ready), carefully and gently (with kitchen tongs preferably) place the fish into the boiling oil, fry each side for 3 minutes. Cook in batches of 6 (depending on the size of your pan you don’t want it over packed), once the batch is cooked, give the fish a shake and get rid of any dripping oil then place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat till all fish is cooked.
Plate up all your different ingredients and stack your taco with the fish, salad and avocado crème and enjoy with friends and a nice glass of Tribute.
Disclaimer- I was sent a box of Tribute free of charge, although this has not changed my opinion on the beer or recipe.