Kris: I was lucky enough to score a growler of Moo Brew Saison Du Moo, on the day of kegging at the brewery. It seems only fair to match a dish with this great interpretation of a classic Belgian style beer.
Saison is a traditional farmhouse ale style (Saison means season), which was brewed in the french speaking region of Belgium. It was brewed in Autumn or Winter to be consumed in Spring and Summer by farm workers who were entitled up to 5 litres per day. Because of the poor quality of water, Saisons would give the farm workers the hydration required to make it through the day.
Caroline: Imagine that, what if your job gave you beer instead of water to get through the day? Personally, I think that would work wonders for customer service….
Saisons were generally around 3 % alcohol. Modern interpreations are around 5-8 %.
1 slice of bread
50 g walnuts
1 tsp finely sliced garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 sage leaves
A handful of fresh spinach
3 cloves finely sliced garlic
salt and pepper
2 cups of good quality beef stock
1 tsp gelatine
4-5 tasmanian pepper berries (or substitute peppercorns)
Kris: Our garden may be small, but we are starting to harvest more than enough produce to cook with. I decided to use some of our potatoes and spinach in this dish. There is nothing more satisfying than growing and cooking your own food.
Roughly chop the dates and walnuts
Place them in a bowl
Tear the bread and add to the bowl with the sage leaves and thyme
Add the cream and garlic
Season with salt and pepper and combine
Add a little more cream if needed to make a wet stuffing
Stuff the quails and tie the legs together to hold in the stuffing
Place the beef stock, gelatine and pepper berries in a saucepan and simmer until thickened (I do love making beef stock and jus from scratch, it just takes many hours to make. This is an easy way to make jus when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands)
Pre-heat an oven to 180 C
Wash and quarter the potatoes
Steam until tender
Rub olive oil into the skin of the quails and season with salt and pepper
Seal the skin of the quail in a fry pan on medium heat
Place in a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes(You can pierce the quail and if the juice runs clear they are ready)
Fry the Potatoes in olive oil with the garlic and some fresh rosemary until golden
Season with salt and pepper and toss through the spinach
Season with salt and pepper
Re-heat the jus
Serve the quail on top of the potatoes and spinach
Pour over the jus
Kris: Saisons are quite versatile when it comes to food matching. They work well with spicy food, mexican food, poultry and rabbit. The Moo Brew version has a nice citrus character, as well as balanced sweetness, peppery spice and subtle hop bitterness. It was a great match with the quail.
Caroline: I am not usually a fan of this style but I did really enjoy the Moo Brew Saison. It was a perfect match with the Quail.