Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog: January 2014

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Favourite Pubs: The Sheaf View

Set comfortably next to the wonderful Heeley Millennium park and community orchard, The Sheaf View is undoubtedly one of the best pubs in the city of Sheffield. Opened in its current guise in 2000, it is a true institution for real beer - if you want a pub with fine real ale, great whisky and a smashing pork pie, then look no further.

The bar consists of eight hand pulls, with a mix of local regular beer, including Kelham Island - Easy Rider and Acorn - Blonde, and up to 6 six guest ales, always with a dark beer and sometimes the glorious addition of a higher strength ale.

Along with these cask beers, they have a selection of continental lagers as well as a few wheat beers, fruit beers and draught cider.

While the Sheaf View doesn't have a kitchen so there is no hot food, it often has a great selection of sandwiches, ranging from corned beef to polish sausage, and a staggering array of crisps and other bar snacks. The aforementioned pork pies are approaching legendary status.

Behind the bar is a mighty whisky selection consisting of over 100 bottles of Scotch, Irish and Bourbon, which caters for all budgets and palates. There's also an extensive range of other spirits to suit even the fussiest drinker. Pretty much the only thing you can't get is a cup of tea.

The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly - cosy in winter, but with a lovely beer garden showcasing a fantastic view of Sheffield on the warmer days.

Best of all, it just so happens to be our local.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Slow Beef Stroganoff

Traditionally, a stroganoff is a quick dish to make, however as most recipes advocate the use of fillet steak it is also quite expensive. Whilst this cut does have a lot of flavour, you can still get excellent results from a cheaper stewing steak, with just a little more patience.

500g diced stewing beef
250g mushrooms
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch chilli powder (depending on tastes)
1 glass of red wine
500ml beef/chicken stock
125ml sour cream
Big splash of Henderson's Relish (or Lea and Perrins if you aren't lucky enough to live in Sheffield!)
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and boil the kettle for stock.

The first thing to think about is achieving a tender meat, so firstly place the cubes of beef evenly across a plastic board. Cover with cling film, and using a rolling pin attack the meat with stress reliving whack after thwack, then dust the severely tenderised pieces in plain flour ready for browning.

Use a heavy set casserole dish to brown the meat, making sure you do this in batches as you want a good colour on the beef. The pan should be hot enough so that a good sizzle emanates from the beef but also not so hot that it burns. Remove the meat to a bowl, then on to the mushrooms. Chop them in half so that they are about a similar size to the pieces of meat.  Make sure the pan is still hot, so that the mushrooms brown without releasing their juices. The mushrooms will start to pick up some of the singed beefy bits off the bottom of the pan, and turn golden on their edges - at this point remove them and set aside with the meat.

Next, in the same pan, but on a slightly lower heat, fry the onion and garlic with a little oil and the tomato puree until softened, adding the spices around 5 minutes in.

When the onions are softened, add in all the the meat and mushies, stir and add a glass of red wine. Give the bottom of the pan a gentle scrape to release any meat relics left behind from the previous steps. Add enough stock to cover the meat and bring to the boil, then when everything is up to temperature put the whole lot in the oven for around 1 hour and 20 minutes (although you could leave even longer if you wish).

The meat will now be nice and tender. To finish, remove the meat and mushrooms from the pan and bring the sauce to the boil. As this begins to thicken, slowly add a paste of flour and hot water to the sauce and stir continually until the flour is integrated. Add the sour cream and reduce the heat then taste for seasoning, adding a splash of Henderson's Relish as well as salt and pepper.

Bring everything together and heat to a simmer. Serve with boiled rice and fresh chopped parsley.

This dish would also work well cooked the day before and reheated on the hob.



Friday, 3 January 2014

Review: Smoke Sheffield

As you may have noticed, we like our meat, and BBQ'd meat is surely the greatest. So when we heard about a new chain of restaurants, Smoke, launching their first outlet in Sheffield, we had to go and try it out.

From the outside the wafting aromas of meaty smoke entice, before becoming a fresher wood scent as you enter the restaurant. Instantly you can see from where the smoke emanates: a round open BBQ grill and kitchen forming the focal centrepiece of the restaurant.

Along with the woody whiffs, we were welcomed to the restaurant by Adam, our server for the afternoon, who was helpful and friendly throughout - we even got pre-meal story time to tell us more about the foundations and background of the restaurant.

While we perused the menu, we nibbled on complimentary BBQ popcorn, which was delightful - smoky, warm and full of flavour. The brisket came recommended, so we went all out, ordering brisket, brisket chili, and burnt ends (of brisket).

The brisket was already a favourite piece of meat: a large cut marbled with fat that keeps the meat melting in the mouth - even after the fifteen hours of cooking overnight it was still moist and succulent, with a soft intricate flavour of wood smoke. The light singe on the edges of the meat added a good crunch. This was all served with chips and a winter slaw consisting of red and white cabbage with a watermelon dressing.

The burnt ends were excellent: hearty chunks of flame-licked brisket, all smothered in a home made BBQ sauce that set the meal (metaphorically) ablaze.

The chili, whilst not overwhelmingly meaty, was really tasty and filling (and let's be honest, we didn't exactly need any more chunks of meat). The jalapeƱo corn bread muffin which accompanied it was incredible, and came with butter and honey to serve. Laura even got a bonus muffin to take away, which was in her lunchbox to bring a bit of joy to the first day back at work after the festive period!

The dessert menu also looked great, but our brisket-overload put paid to any plans for s'mores! Still, it's a good excuse for a return visit.

With a number of further Smoke restaurants planned across the country over the next few years, this US-BBQ idea is clearly a concept which is taking off throughout the UK. Smoke does it very well, and it's great to see what will hopefully become a flourishing chain take its fledgling steps.


L and J

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Honey Bourbon Roast Ham

So if there are any better things to be eating this time of year, or any time of year really, than sweet alcoholic meat, I have yet to find it. Ham is one of the greatest meats as it can be eaten hot with roast veggies, warm as part of a buffet with a couscous and salad, cold with pickles or on sandwiches.

The first step is to boil the ham for 20 minutes per 450g. There are a number of options regarding how exactly to boil the meat - you can add a simple veg mix: leeks, onions and carrots with peppercorns and star anise, or boil in a few litres of coke or even ginger beer: the latter add a lovely sweet flavour through the meat. Once the ham is hot inside (test this with a skewer), remove the ham from the pot and allow to cool a little for the next step.
If your ham has a skin you will want to remove it as the texture will be rubbery and unpleasant - however, leave a layer of fat as this will render a little in the oven and intensify the flavour. Score the fat and into that rub mustard, then a mix of brown sugar, orange and chili flakes. Stud with cloves. Over the top, pour a mix of whisky and honey, and pop into a hot oven for about twenty minutes. Don't forget to baste it with the whisky honey that comes off the ham.

Perfect on its own as the centrepiece to a special occasion, or alongside a bird for a feast of a Sunday dinner.