I’ve been experimenting with making beer-cheese sauce lately, it all started with a compulsion to create a beer infused version of a classic Sussex Smokie, a smoked haddock based dish. I soon discovered the joys of a beer infused cheesy dip though. This is thick, rich, silky and too damn moreish for it’s own good. The bitterness in the beer is balanced by the dairy, but this will of course depend on the beer you use. I opted for a home-brewed bitter, but any mid-strength traditional ale would work just as well. If garlic isn’t your thing, the biscuits can be flavoured with something else, try chilli, but play around- part of the fun is in the experimenting.
Beer Cheese Dip
50g Plain Flour
100g Grated Cheddar
1 Heaped tsp Smoked Paprika
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium-low heat. As soon as the butter is melted remove from the heat
Add the flour, little-by-little, to create a roux. Whisk continually until the mixture resembles a paste. Return to the heat and cook out for 2 minutes to remove any floury taste
Add the milk little-by-little, and then the beer, continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth
Add the cheese and paprika and combine Cook down for ten minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Garlic, Herb & Parmesan Biscuits
100g Plain Flour
30g Grated Parmesan
1 Heaped tsp Garlic Paste
1 Heaped tsp Dried Italian Herbs
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C
Line a baking tray with baking parchment
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and, using your hands, slowly bring the mixture together to form a dough.
Rest dough in the fridge until cool
Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness like that of a pound coin
Use a pastry cutter to cut out biscuit rounds
Place the biscuits on the baking tray, separated slightly and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden
Allow the biscuits to cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself, but I found this combo to be best when served warm, with a cool beer to hand.