HB&B Blog — Claire Bullen

The Beer Lover's Table: Cheeseburger Tacos and Beak Brewery Déšt Pilsner

Beer Lover's Table Claire Bullen Lager Pilsner The Beak Brewery

The Beer Lover's Table: Cheeseburger Tacos and Beak Brewery Déšt Pilsner

It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s gloomy and lockdown restrictions mean we’re all stuck in our homes even more than we otherwise would be at this time of year. In other words, the conditions are perfect for making cheeseburger tacos. Cheeseburger tacos might sound like some outlandish Taco Bell special, or the kind of stoner fare that would inspire Harold and Kumar to go on a night-long quest, but they weren’t dreamed up by craven fast food marketers or spat out by some unholy junk-food algorithm.  Instead, they were born in Mexico City. Later, chefs like Alex Stupak (of the now-shuttered...

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Wine & Food Killers: Brothy Braised Lamb Shanks and Noodles with Mas Foulaquier Les Indiennes 2018

Claire Bullen France Grenache Red wine

Wine & Food Killers: Brothy Braised Lamb Shanks and Noodles with Mas Foulaquier Les Indiennes 2018

When I started writing this column, the January blues were crashing into spiralling COVID-19 case numbers and deeper lockdowns, but I took hope from the fact that there is surely light at the end of the tunnel. I set out to write about how, in the absence of other options (and with the awareness of the privilege of having dependable shelter and enough food and income right now), it is best for us all to slow down and find relief in warming, home-cooked food and a good bottle of wine and a blanket nest on the sofa. That was the...

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The Beer Lover's Table: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies and St Bernardus Christmas Ale

Beer Lover's Table Belgium Christmas Claire Bullen St Bernardus

The Beer Lover's Table: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies and  St Bernardus Christmas Ale

There is no better December beer than St Bernardus Christmas Ale. Redolent of winter spices and dried fruit, this 10% quadrupel is well-suited to festive indulgence. It’s become such a cult favourite that, as I recently learned from fellow beer writer Eoghan Walsh, it’s even got its own themed Christmas jumper. (Santa, if you’re listening: Send me a medium?) Last year, I decided to take a page from Black Axe Mangal chef Lee Tiernan and pair St Bernardus Christmas Ale with deep-fried mince pies. But this year, I looked overseas for inspiration. In a normal December, I’d be hopping on...

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Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

Claire Bullen Italy Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Sparkling wine

Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

This Thanksgiving, I roasted a chicken instead of a turkey. I reduced the myriad sides down to two dishes – crunchy, golden roast potatoes and green beans with shallots and pistachios. In lieu of the classic dessert spread, I made one single pumpkin pie for the two of us, which we shared over the course of days. And I was much happier for it.  2020 is forcing us to celebrate our holidays differently, to downsize and to cut back. There is much to mourn in that, much painful loss to try to digest. But there's a small culinary upside in...

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Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand Wilder Satz 2019

Claire Bullen Germany Natural wine Natural Wine Killers

Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand  Wilder Satz 2019

I've been making a lot of fried rice during lockdown(s). I'm sure I'm not alone. It’s not just that fried rice is cheap, fast, flexible and made using basic pantry ingredients, it's also entirely comforting, can be eaten for any meal and does an admirable job of sopping up the prior night's beer. No fried rice I make is the same, but generally I'll add soy sauce and sesame oil, hot sauce and ginger, garlic and fish sauce; I might eat it with salmon or tofu or vegetables, or just on its own, satisfyingly spiced and glistening with oil. Despite...

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