Simon’s 8 Course Dinner matched with Beer

Kris: I have been cooking for guests a lot lately (not that I’m complaining, I love it). It was a treat to be invited to an 8 course dinner, hosted by Luke and cooked by his friend, Simon. It was Simon’s first visit to Tasmania, so he was inspired to use some local produce as well as what is growing in Luke’s garden. His style of cooking is close to my heart; Local, fresh and in the company of good friends. He is a great cook and is our first honorary Ambersandwich guest chef. I haven’t included all of his dishes, but below is more than enough to whet your appetite.

First Course was smoked eel, served on a crouton with pea, salmon roe and dill flower. I chose the Le Pere Jules Poire to match with the dish. It has an aroma of sweet, ripe pears and has a zippy lemony finish. It was an ideal match, the pear is a classic match with eel and the acidity cut through the oiliness of the fish.

Caroline: The Le Pere Jules is a pear cider, a bit sweet with a lemony finish and very delicious. It was a great match for our ‘amuse bouche’ which was so delicate, it was nice that the cider didn’t overpower it.

Kris: Next up was Beetroot, Plum, peas, olive powder, oregano and zucchini flower. I thought the Belgian classic Saison Dupont would be a great accompaniment to this recipe. It’s earthiness and subtle sweetness complimented the beetroot, peas and the olive powder. The tartness of the beer added a bit of zing to the dish.

Caroline: Beetroot is something that isn’t eaten very much in the States, but it has quickly become one of my favorite vegetables! It just tastes so fresh and earthy! The ‘olive dust’ was also a great earthy component. One of our friends at dinner detested olives until she tasted these! That’s how good it was!

Above –  Hot smoked ocean trout, tarragon oil, pea veloute, charred cucumber, marscapone and chive flowers. We decided beer or wine would over power the dish, so we enjoyed it as is.

The next dish we decided to match with beer was Chicken, Cauliflower puree, burnt leek, cabbage, almond crumble and lemon myrtle. My pick of beers to match was the Badger Golden Champion (brewed by Hall and Woodhouse) from the United Kingdom. It is an English style Summer Ale brewed with elderflowers. It is slightly sweet, nutty and very floral. It was a match made in heaven, and an awesome summer beer; definitely a highlight for me.

 A lager and lemon granita was a fantastic palate cleanser in between dishes. We added some fresh mint leaves from the back garden to the granita and topped it up in the glass with some Monteiths Bohemian Pilsner.

Caroline: Granita is a fancy term for snow cone. Delicious, beer snow cone.

Kris: Stewed peaches, nectarine, chocolate, blueberries, blue goats cheese emulsion, nougat and beetroot granita was a perfect end to a long and thoroughly enjoyable night of eating and drinking.

Thanks again to Simon for putting together such an amazing menu.

Caroline: There’s nothing better then a long dinner shared with friends! After 8 courses, a couple bottles of wine and beer, and 5 hours of fun we were all ready to be rolled home and fall into a food coma! Thanks again for dinner Simon and Luke!

Roasted Quail with Moo Brew Saison

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 %.

Roasted Quail 

(Serves 2)

2 Quail

1 slice of  bread

100ml Cream

6 dates

50 g walnuts

1 tsp finely sliced garlic

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2-3 sage leaves

4 potatoes

fresh rosemary

A handful of fresh spinach

3 cloves finely sliced garlic

salt and pepper

olive oil

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.