- Cooking

Boozy Bites – Cooking with Alcohol

The late, great TV Chef Keith Floyd was seldom seen without a glass in his hand. ‘I love to cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food’ – not Floyd but W.C. Fields. Alcohol adds exciting dimensions to cooking, flavour for one and through its evaporation, literally lifting the aromas within. Cheers!


Beef & Guinness Casserole


In a large flameproof casserole dish or pan, brown 800g of chuck or braising steak cut into large chunks. This is best done in batches, setting each batch aside when browned. This done, put 2 diced onions in the pan with 150g of smoked bacon lardons.

As the onions soften, add 2 grated cloves of garlic and return the beef. Stir in 2 tbsp of flour and 1 tbsp of our smooth Classic English Mustard combining the ingredients to cover the chunks of beef. Now add 3 chopped carrots and 3 chopped sticks of celery with a couple of pinches of mixed herbs.

Pour in 1 bottle of Guinness and a beef stock bouillon, topping the liquid up with water to just cover the contents. Cover and simmer very slowly for 2 hours. Still simmering, remove the lid, add 2 tbsp of Brown Sauce (you can only do this with ours because of the grownup sweet dates and aromatic spices) and 3 tbsp of Tomato Ketchup.

Finally, add a good knob of butter, turn the heat up and reduce the liquid for 10 minutes or so. Serve with a champ having stirred a spoon or two of our Creamed Horseradish through the potatoes first.

Pork & Perry


Peel, core and quarter 2 pears and put them into foaming butter with a pork chop each. Brown the meat for 2 minutes each side, add a splash of perry (pear cider, to keep the pork moist) and pop the pan into a medium oven for 15 minutes.  Remove the pork and pears from the pan, wrapping them in foil to keep warm and moist.

In the same pan (careful, the handle will be very hot) add a good knob of butter. As this bursts into bubbling life, add 1 finely diced shallot for 4 or 5 minutes then 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of our wholegrain Cider & Horseradish Mustard.

Stir the contents to a quick roux with a wooden spoon then pour in 350ml of Perry and a chicken stock bouillon. Let this simmer and thicken then let it down, thin it out, by adding water (a little at a time). A drop of cider vinegar will balance the acidity as you season and taste the gravy.

Plate up the pork and pears served with a good creamy mash and the Perry Gravy.

Coq au Vin


This French classic traditionally uses a whole rooster and two bottles of red wine to cover its jointed carcass.

However, our simple version uses chicken thigh joints (thigh and leg on the bone, skin on). A lovely big pan with a well fitting lid is perfect to soften 1 or 2 sliced onions and browning the joints (one each) in a butter / oil mix. Now, if you can do it safely, flambée the chicken with a glass of cognac.

When the flame dies off, add 2 good tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard.

Open a full bottle of Claret or good Vin de Pays d’Oc, pour a glass then empty the rest of the bottle into the pan with 2 chicken stock bouillons, topping the pan up with water to cover the meat. Pop about 200g of smoked bacon lardons into the pan and as it starts to boil, turn the heat right down, lid on and simmer very gently for 2 hours.

After an hour and a half, remove the lid, turn the heat up to a livelier simmer for the last half hour adding a really good knob of butter, lots of Tomato Ketchup and a punnet of button mushrooms.

Drink that glass of wine you poured earlier as you prepare the vegetables – again, mashed potatoes and simple French beans.

Beer Braised Bangers


We’ve saved the best (and the simplest) ‘till last.

Pop your sausages into a roasting tin and the oven at 200C / Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes. This will part cook them to finish off in the sauce, which you make now.

Slice a large onion to soften in butter for 5 or 6 minutes. Use a frying pan as you’ll be adding the sausages later. Stir 2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of wholegrain Cider & Horseradish Mustard into the buttery onions, making a roux.

Now, a bottle (500ml) of beer – try a Butty Bach from the Wye Valley, translating as ‘Little Friend’ it’s a good buddy to British Bangers. Pour this into the roux, stirring to absorb the flour and mustard, add 250ml of chicken stock and simmer to thicken.

Add the sausages to the boozy gravy for 10 minutes and serve.

Ordered, Delivered, Enjoyed



Enjoy the Taste of Stokes

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