Partizan

HB&B Sub Club - our May and June boxes revealed

We're on to it as usual... Forgot to post May's amazing All Killer No FIller line-up so here it is in all its glory (and one error where the designer forgot to swap out the descriptors) - Marble's Lost Your Marbles Forest Fruit is definitely not Bold - Roasty - Hoppy), along with June's equally awesome line-up. That too has an error - we missed the Cloudwater IIPA of the list which topped off the box in fine style. Sheeeesh.

We'll be more onto it this month, we promise. And we can also promise that this month's box is nothing short of SHOCK AND AWE. Sign up here - you can opt for a monthly rolling sub or save by signing up for a 3, 6 or 12-month period. You won't regret it.

May

June

The Beer Lover’s Table: Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse and Partizan’s Imperial White Russian Stout

Most people’s bucket lists comprise the exotic destinations they want to visit before they die. Mine, on the other hand, lists all the recipes I want to cook while I’ve still got the chance.

I mention this only because caramelised white chocolate has been on the top of that list for a long time. The concept is simple enough: place white chocolate on a baking sheet, bake it at a low temperature, remove it from the oven, and stir at frequent intervals until it’s gone the colour of toasted almonds or deep, burnished toffee. After caramelising, the chocolate is blended with cream; the result is like dulce de leche or salted butter caramel, plus a whisper of cocoa. Needless to say, it’s pretty phenomenal—and, as I’ve discovered, well worth the effort of preparing from scratch.

Once it’s made, you can store a jar of your caramelised white chocolate and use it however you’d like (I’d recommend pouring it over ice cream, spreading it on toast, or using it to top Belgian-style waffles). You can also sub it in for regular chocolate in a range of recipes—including this mousse, which I like to serve alongside Partizan’s Imperial White Russian Stout.

I think there are two different kinds of (successful) food and beer pairings: those which pair perfectly complementary flavours, and those which feature contrasting flavours which, when combined, can delight and surprise.

For me, this pairing falls in the latter category. Normally, pairing a sweet and creamy dessert with a less sweet beer can be problematic. But in this case, the mousse draws out the beer’s coffee notes and heightens its bitterness. In this way, an intense, 9% ABV imperial stout becomes an unexpectedly refreshing foil, contrasting the richness and sugar with each moreish sip. The effect is something like an affogato: the first shock of bitterness and sweetness together, the beauty of the way they meld together into a finishing harmony.

Caramelised White Chocolate Mousse
Serves 4

For the caramelised white chocolate:
200g high-quality white chocolate (containing at least 30% cocoa solids)
150ml double cream
1 pinch Maldon sea salt

Preheat your oven to 120 degrees C. If you’re using fèves or other small pieces of white chocolate, pour them in a single layer onto a clean baking sheet or Pyrex tray. If you’re using a bar of chocolate, chop it roughly into small pieces using a serrated knife, and pour onto your prepared tray.

Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir the chocolate with a dry spatula; the chocolate will be beginning to melt and clump. Spread it in as even a layer as possible, and cook again for 10 minutes, before removing from the oven and stirring with a clean spatula again.

Repeat these steps until the chocolate has baked for between 50-60 minutes total. By the end, it should smell nutty and caramelised, and its colour should be a deep toffee brown. Depending on the brand of chocolate you use, it may melt fully or may resemble drier crumbles; both work just fine, so don’t worry if the appearance is a little surprising.

Once the chocolate has finished baking, add it to a food processor, along with 150ml of double cream (ideally warmed to room temperature) and a generous pinch of Maldon sea salt. Blend for at least 3-4 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula, or until the mixture is thick and entirely smooth with no clumps. When finished, it should look like dulce de leche and taste absolutely divine.

For the mousse:
Caramelised white chocolate
2 large egg yolks
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
450ml double cream, divided (70ml, 230ml and 150ml)

Place the prepared caramelised white chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, add the egg yolks and the caster sugar, and whisk until the mixture is smooth and light yellow.

In a small saucepan, heat the vanilla and 70ml of double cream over medium-low heat until the mixture is simmering. Remove from the heat. Pour over the egg yolk and sugar mixture in a very slow but steady stream, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs.

When the egg mixture is fully incorporated, pour back into the saucepan and stir, over low heat, until it’s thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Place a fine-meshed sieve over the bowl of caramelised white chocolate, and pour the warm egg mixture over it. Stir until the mix is completely blended.

In a large bowl, add 230ml of double cream. Using an electric mixer, whisk until it has formed not-quite- stiff peaks. Fold half the whipped cream gently into the chocolate mixture until smooth; fold the remaining cream in until smooth.

Divide the mixture among four ramekins. Cover and chill for at least two hours, or until completely set.

When ready to serve, whisk the remaining 150ml of double cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Top each ramekin with a dollop of whipped cream for good measure.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up Partizan's Imperial White Russian Stout while stocks last in store or at our online shop

The Beer Lover’s Table: Harissa Roast Chicken and Partizan Lemon & Thyme Saison

Everyone needs to have a good roast chicken recipe in their back pocket. It’s one of the single most soulful, satisfying things you can make; it’s quick enough not to be a faff, but worthy of special occasions. Its aroma is the distilled essence of hospitality. You’re safe, and the world is a good place, when there’s a chicken in the oven.

Though simple is often best when it comes to roast chicken, I also like mine with a bit of spice. Like harissa, a chilli paste by way of North Africa. Made with roasted chillies, spices, and – in this case – rose petals, it’s a little bit smoky, quite hot, and deliciously complex. Harissa is the star of this marinade, alongside zingy lemon, garlic, and honey.

There are certain beers that go well with food, and then there are those that taste even better with dinner on the side. For me, Partizan’s Lemon & Thyme Saison falls squarely into the latter category. On its own, this sessionable 3.8 percenter is light of body and easy-drinking, and has a good deal of lemony sharpness; its flavour profile already suggests culinary potential. But in the company of this chicken, its sharpness is traded in for balance and roundness, its light body made a refreshing counterpart, its lemon flavour perfectly matched.

As soon as it gets cool enough to turn your oven on, then, make this your plan for dinner – it’s a perfect, seasonal bridge of a recipe.

Harissa Roast Chicken

1 whole chicken (around 1.7 kilos)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1.5 lemons
1.5 tsp sea salt
3 tsp honey
1 tsp ground coriander
3.5 tbs rose harissa paste
2 tbs olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

First, spatchcock or butterfly your chicken. If you haven’t used this method before, it takes only a couple of minutes to prep, and it leads to a much better bird: by pressing the chicken flat, it cooks more evenly – no more over-cooked breasts and underdone thighs here – and much more quickly (a dinner party advantage).

To spatchcock your bird, take a very sharp knife or a pair of sturdy kitchen shears. Remove the backbone by snipping or slicing along both ends of the spine (save this bit and make a very delicious homemade stock). Once the spine has been removed, place the bird, breast-side up, in front of you, and press on its breastbone with your hands. You should hear a small snap, and the chicken should flatten. Here’s an instructional video, should you want a visual guide.

Place the bird on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined tray. To make your harissa marinade, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Use two-thirds of this marinade to coat both sides of your bird, working some underneath the skin, and reserve the last third to use as a serving sauce. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least three to four hours, or up to a day.

When your chicken is ready to go, heat your oven to 200 degrees C. Cook the bird for 35 minutes, rotating halfway through so it cooks evenly (you may want to check for browning at around 25 minutes – if it’s looking dark, you can tent loosely with foil while waiting for it to finish cooking). After it’s out of the oven, stick a knife into the thickest part of the thigh and, if the juices run clear, you’re golden.

When the chicken is ready, quarter it and drizzle over the remaining harissa sauce. I also served mine with a bowl of Israeli couscous salad on the side.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. And pick up some delicious Partizan Lemon & Thyme Saison via our online shop...

Matthew Curtis's No More Heroes XVII – Partizan Lemongrass Saison

Some beers are just made for food. Some are even made with ingredients you’d associate with cooking as opposed to brewing. Then there are some beers that go as far as using food itself as an ingredient.

Take the boys from Northern Monk, for example. They recently teamed up with The Real Junk Food Project to brew a saison that includes leftover pastries and pears as ingredients. It sounds bonkers, but this beer is actually using ingredients that otherwise would have gone to waste. I was fortunate enough to swing by the brewery when they were making it and can’t wait to finally get a taste.

Saison is a great style to use as a blank canvas for more unusual ingredients, perhaps because of the way the dry and tangy saison yeast strain provides something for these flavours to lean on. Bermondsey’s Partizan has used the saison as its own carte blanche to go mental. Alternative variants of its saisons include a lemon and thyme infused recipe that almost tastes more like a marinade than a beer, and one that attempts to mimic the flavours of the classic negroni cocktail.

The one I’m drinking today is flavoured with lemongrass and it’s arguably one of Partizan’s best beers. The incredibly light body balances the snap of saison yeast with delicate flavours of lemongrass, which are followed by a bone-dry finish. As you’d expect it’s exceptional with food, particularly fragrantly spiced Thai curries or Vietnamese noodle soups. It’s also surprisingly decent with roast chicken as it is with hot wings in buffalo sauce.

 

Music Pairing: A Flock of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)
Tonight at the shop we’re hosting the next installment of the live tasting that was inspired by these posts. Getting Away With It is our homage to some of our favourite 80s electronic tracks and a chance to enjoy some kickass beers in good company. If you’re quick you can probably still snap up a ticket.

Wishing, by the wonderful A Flock of Seagulls, made our shortlist but didn’t make it into our final six for the night. So what better way to celebrate this great track than to pair it with this eclectic saison from Partizan. I think you’ll find it works as well with this track as it does with a steaming bowl of chicken pho.

You can find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, and Good Beer Hunting, and on Twitter @totalcurtis. And you can get Partizan Lemongrass Saison delivered to your door via our online shop.

New stuff in store: 11 December

Deck the halls... with shedloads of beer. Here's what's in your Christmas stocking this week.

  • Glorious new 750ml sharing bottles, including Anspach & Hobday's White Coffee Milk Stout, Wiper & True's Winter Ale Abbey Rye and Vocation's Naughty & Nice Chocolate Stout (also now in can too).
  • We went a bit overboard on Bristol breweries this week, knowing how much you love them. From Arbor, we've got their Grifter APA, Breakfast Stout and Basta Rosse, a red ale brewed with Italian brewery Mezzo Passo. We also see the triumphant return of their Yakima Valley IPA, one of the most-requested beers we've ever had. From Wiper & True, we've got Amber Simcoe Steam, Small Beer #13 and Sorachi Ace IPA in addition to the 750ml Winter Ale Abbey Rye. Be quick, these won't hang around.
  • On a South-East London stylee, we've got Partizan's delicious 300th Brew, Don Biere de Garde, as well as Late Knights' roasty Penge Porter and the return of the ultimate shirk, rest and play beverage, Deserter IPA.
  • Also from within the M25, say hello to Big Smoke Brew Co's sublime Underworld Milk Stout and the return of Weird Beard's Duke Of Dank Red IPA. (The clue is in the name.) A little further out, Siren's Pompelmocelo is a delightfully tart grapefruit IPA that will definitely put a pucker in your pint.
  • Brewdog has launched its annual Prototype series, where you get to have your say on which beers should make it onto their core line-up. We've got two this week: Milk Stout (see a theme here?) and Black IPA
  • One final Christmas beer joins the ranks: Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, a hoppy, sprucey, malty amber ale.
  • And finally - because: Star Wars - we've re-upped on Northern Monk's It's A Trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Beery Advent Calendar - Beer 7: Partizan Lemongrass Saison, 4.4% (SE London)

Each night at 8pm, we'll post a blog about the day's hand-picked beer in our Big Beery Advent Calendar - why we love the brewery, why we've chosen the beer, why we think you'll love it too. Feel free to comment below or have your say on Twitter.

Partizan says: Not much.

We say: Andy from Partizan inherited the Kernel's old kit back in 2009 and he and his team have been cooking up great short-batch beers in Bermondsey ever since. We’ve stocked this from the very day we opened and we’ve never met a dish it doesn’t like. Lightly perfumed, floral and zesty, it’s a perfect accompaniment for food, and a knock-out match for Thai curry. (Try it for yourself at Peckham’s own Begging Bowl - it gets the full HB&B seal of approval.) Also: kudos to Alec Doherty for the amazing label design. Every label tells a story and no two are the same.

New stuff in store - 24 September

  • Jen had a fantastic day at Beavertown Brewery for Rainbow Day last weekend - seven UK breweries collaborating with seven US breweries to create some incredible brews. We've been lucky enough to get our hands on three of the Rainbow beers this week - Siren & Surly Brewing's Blue Sky Blue Sea seaweed & cloudberry gose, Partizan & Prairie's Real Time Saison and - arriving Friday - the beer that won the day for Jen, Hawkshead & Crooked Stave's stunning Key Lime Tau. Be really, really quick to get your hands on these beers (three-beer selection packs available from Friday). They won't last long.
  • We've also brought in a bunch of Omnipollo beers which were the hit of the recent London Craft Beer Festival. HOW good do these sound - Noa Pecan Mud Pie Imperial Stout, Bianca Mango Lassi Gose and Smoothie 411 IPA brewed with wild strawberries. rhubarb, vanilla and lactose?! Best believe they taste as good as they sound.
  • Hail to two new local heroes on the pale/session front - Brick Brewery's Peckham Pale Ale and Gipsy Hill's Hepcat Session IPA. Hepcat has been going gangbusters in both bottle and on flagon-fill so you'll be pleased to hear we've stocked up on another keg to keep you going over the next few days. The Brick pale has just turned up while writing this - looking fly in jaunty orange...
  • From Bermondsey way, Kernel's London Brick Red Rye Ale was so popular on flagon-fill last week that we've brought in 330ml bottles. You're going to love this beer.
  • Oh yeah, and Gunnamatta's back!