An evening of steak and beer

Richard attempted to enjoy the evening more
than me. He failed heroically.

A couple of weeks ago I got invited along to L’atelier des Chefs’ in London for an evening of, you guessed it, steak and ale tasting. Specifically a bit of a guide on matching two of my most favourite things together. A lot of people would probably choose to drink a nice red wine with steak (or beef in generally for that matter). Personally I often go for a nice ice cold lager but I am a bit into my ale, so when Quality Standard Beef and Lamb, the people behind the quality assured mark, invited me along to experience the work of a top chef and the beers matched with 8 different cuts of beef by Richard Fox, AKA the Beer Chef, it seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down. So I didn’t turn it down and decided to go.

It’s an irony that we have the best quality steak in Europe, in so far as Quality Standard beef can’t come from old milk cows or cows that have experienced the joy of motherhood, unlike the vast majority of European beef but until fairly recently the butchery of our meat meant we had plenty of gristle and different muscles in some of the steak cuts. Nowadays, with steaks like the hanger, flat iron,Picanha and bistro, you get a whole range of different flavours from your steak, and that obviously lends itself well to being wedded to different types of beer.

Mr Fox was quite a fan of IPA’s- out of the selection he made, almost half were some form of (I)PA, ranging from a Worthington’s White Ale to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Tellingly, the strongest flavoured steak cut, the hanger, was paired with a trappist ale, the Westmalle Dubbel. The pale ales and craft lagers worked better with the lighter flavoured steaks like the fillets and so on.

Cooked to perfection, even though I do say so myself

Luckily for me, I got the chance to take a couple of cuts home and put into practice what we’d been taught (which included some tips on cooking the perfect steak).

I was pretty pleased with the results, a nice rare rump with a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord to wash it down was a perfect end to a Saturday night that saw us skiing up in Milton Keynes for most of the day.

If you want to find out more or look for some tasty recipes, have a look at Simply Beef & Lamb. It’s choc full of recipes and interesting information about meat. It’s important that we understand what we’re eating; I’ve always been a keen advocate of ethically sourced produce and would rather eat less of something that’s better quality than a huge old slab of something that’s cheap. Maybe that’s just me and I’m out of step with others, who knows but I know what I like and like what I know.

I’m off on a cheese and ale evening tonight, organised by one of my local chums, so beer can really be drunk with anything. And no, you don’t need to have a beard to enjoy a good ale!