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Pick 1#:Craft Beer & Food Pairings: for Christmas & the Holiday Season: Dark Malt & Steak

The Christmas Holiday Season is so busy & “full on” –  can be a bit daunting with food, drink and celebration overload.  When we created our  blog Simon & I decided we wanted to focus on local makers & suppliers. As the interest in craft beer continues to grow it provides great inspiration to discover, find out more, taste & write about it. In New York, we are big fans of @deciccosbeer in Westchester County that have a phenomenal range  – thanks to Brendon O’ Brien for all your expert advice helping us pair beers & hard ciders for Thanksgiving & July 4 holiday festivities (see 3 previous posts).  Over in London,  we now have Jason,  Lee & the team  @BeerAsylumPinner, in my home village. With over 350 bottled beers, rotating draughts of 4 that change weekly to enjoy in-store, or growlers to take away, there is a great range from both UK & Worldwide not easily found in London.  Lee picked out some great beers for me to pair with food so I shall be sharing these recipes over the next few weeks.  Here is pick #1.

Salopian Vertigo Beer - a match for the Christmas Holiday Season

Salopian Vertigo Beer – a match for the Christmas Holiday Season

Vertigo  beer (7.2% abv) from @SalopianBrewery in Hadnall, Shropshire is a dark, full bodied yet very smooth aromatic beer with a lovely malty, rounded taste-  slightly chocolatey in characteristic. I decided to keep it simple & pair it with a seared Sirloin steak for a meal that  is quick to  prepare  – just the thing if you are rushing out & about.

Seared Marinated Steak Recipe (serves 1)

  • 1 good quality aged steak – I used Sirloin from my local butcher
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil  – I used Hillfarm rapeseed oil from Suffolk
  • fresh thyme, rosemary, bayleaf – from my garden
  • freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
  • Dijon mustard (optional)
  • knob of butter or dairy free spread (optional)
Steak marinating

Steak marinating


  • Marinade the steak in 1 teaspoon of oil & herbs, season with black pepper only , no salt at this stage, leave for ideally 20 minutes so steak is at room temperature before cooking
  • Steak Searing

    Steak Searing

    Heat a frying pan to medium hot for a few minutes, add 1 teaspoon of oil & steak (minus bayleaf)

  • Cook for a few minutes each side until a good caramelised colour – I like my steak medium rare (3-4 mins).
  • Sear the edge with the fat layer for flavour & presentation
Steak seared - now leave to rest

Steak seared – now leave to rest

Season with salt and add a knob of butter/dairy free spread to baste which gives a great flavour & colour.

Very important to remove the steak from the pan & rest for 5-6 minutes for maximum taste & flavour, and so you don’t get the steak juices bleeding onto the plate.  I serve my seared steak with some Dijon mustard, steamed spinach & broccoli and roasted cauliflower – but would work well with sweet potato fries! Vertigo beer could also be paired with Simon’s Sweet N’ Sour Beef & Squash Stew. It would also work with dessert: a mince pie or even a choc chip cookie  would work with its chocolatey, malty notes and smooth finish.

Vertigo beer and seared steak – a great match!

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