Cooking Class: All hail ale

An intoxicating concoction of hops and barley, beer may be the secret ingredient that will upgrade your summer cooking.

Salmon Salad with Guiness (photo credit: Yoram Asheheim)
Salmon Salad with Guiness
(photo credit: Yoram Asheheim)
There is nothing new about cooking with beer. In many cuisines it is a tradition as old as drinking it. In some ancient cultures it was even believed that cooking with beer was a way to bring “healthful food” to the people. Still, in Israel, not many use beer in cooking at home or in restaurants.
But as beer lovers now enjoy a rich variety of better-quality ales, both imported and brewed in micro breweries around the country, it may be the time to try infusing recipes with this intoxicating concoction of hops and barley, in an effort to enrich everyday food.
The Temple Bar chain of Irish pubs in Israel, gathered a few of the leading chefs and asked them to create a beer-based menu. The result was a special menu that will be served in the Temple Bar pubs until the end of this month. We selected a few of them that may be tried at home.
Tzahi Bukshester, chef and owner of the Black chain, offers a salad with salmon and Guinness. Leon Alkalai invented a chicken-liver pâté with the red beer Kasteel Rouge.
Haim Tibi, chef of the Muskat restaurant in the Mitzpe Hayamim Spa in the Galilee, offers his version of lamb spare ribs. And there is a dessert with cherries, ice cream and, of course, beer offered by Motti Gilad, the chain’s chef.
All the dishes were created using the special beers. But if they are unavailable, try other kinds. But be nice to yourself and choose only the beers that you like to sip and that taste good.
Temple Bar offers a menu of 100 different kinds of beer – 23 of them from the tap – and a menu that changes often.

This recipe, courtesy of Chef Leon Alkalai, is a country pâté your guests will never get tired of. Although a festive dish, it is actually easy to prepare. The Kasteel Rouge beer is dark and slightly sweet and adds flavor; but if you don’t have it, use another good beer.
✔ 1 kg. chicken livers
✔ Just under 1⁄2 cup of Kasteel Rouge beer
✔ 3 Tbsp. cherry liqueur
✔ 2 eggs
✔ 2 egg yolks
✔ 1 heaping tsp. salt
✔ 1 heaping tsp. sugar
✔ 1⁄4 tsp. ground pepper
✔ 160 gr. goose fat (or other fat)
Heat the oven to 160º. Mix all the ingredients in a blender until liquidized. Pour into an elongated baking tin.
Fill a large baking mold about 2⁄3 with water and place in the oven. Carefully place the pâté baking mold into the larger one with the water. Bake about 30 minutes. Do not cover the baking tin.
Let cool. When completely cooled, slide a knife along the sides of the baking mold and turn onto a serving dish. If using a ceramic baking mold, keep the pâté in the mold and refrigerate covered.

Makes 2
This recipe, courtesy of Chef Tzachi Bukshester, calls for Guinness. The beer adds sweetness to the fish, eliminates fishiness and adds to its crispiness.
✔ 500 gr. salmon, filleted and skin removed
✔ 1⁄2 liter Guinness beer
✔ 10 cherry tomatoes
✔ 1 bunch parsley leaves
✔ 1⁄2 cup corn starch
✔ Oil for deep frying
✔ 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled
✔ 1 Tbsp, olive oil
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. paprika
✔ 1⁄4 tsp. ginger powder or fresh grated ginger
✔ 1⁄2 tsp. brown sugar
✔ 1 bunch arugula, chopped
✔ 1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
✔ 50 gr. roasted cashew nuts
✔ 1 tsp. lemon juice
✔ Salt
Cut salmon into cubes, place in a glass bowl and soak in Guinness. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Cut sweet potatoes into small 2 x 2 cm.
cubes and place on a small baking sheet.
Drizzle about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle the sugar and spices over them. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a medium- high oven until tender. For a reduced fat version, steam the sweet potatoes with no oil. Let the sweet potatoes cool and place in a bowl. Add arugula, onion and cashews. Season with olive oil and lemon and mix gently.
Divide the salad between 2 plates.
Heat the frying oil. Place the corn starch in a soup plate. Drain fish and coat with corn starch. Fry the fish about 2 minutes.
Toward the end of the frying time, add the parsley leaves and the tomatoes to the oil, but be very careful – the tomatoes may lose their skins in the oil, and there may be splattering. Remove from oil and place for 1 minute on paper towels. Season with salt, place the salmon pieces over the salad and serve.

The lamb spare ribs are served over a lentil ragout with spinach. Courtesy of chef Haim Tibi.
✔ Rack of spare ribs, cut into pairs, fat removed
✔ 2 liters Temple beer (or any other beer)
✔ 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
✔ 2 sprigs thyme
✔ 2 bay leaves
✔ Allspice
✔ 1⁄2 cup silan
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ 3 onions, peeled and chopped
✔ 1⁄2 cup tomato paste
✔ 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
✔ 2 heads celery root, peeled and chopped
✔ 3 parsley roots, peeled and chopped
✔ Olive oil Heat the oil in a pot. Sauté the onions until they become transparent. Add the other vegetables and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the tomato paste and continue cooking 2-3 more minutes. Add silan, coriander seeds, bay leaf and allspice.
Add beer and cook until reduced by half.
Season the stew with salt and pepper.
Heat the oven to 150º. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and sear on a heated skillet, fat side down. Remove and place in an oven-proof dish. Pour beer and vegetable stew over the meat, cover with aluminum foil and bake 11⁄2 hours.

✔ 1⁄2 kg. cooked lentils (you can use pre-cooked frozen lentils)
✔ 2 shallots, halved and sliced
✔ 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
✔ 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
✔ 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
✔ 1 bunch parsley, chopped
✔ 1 bag of washed spinach leaves
✔ Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a pot. Sauté the onions, garlic and carrot for a few minutes until tender. Add lentils and spinach and cook while mixing. Remove from heat, add parsley and season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Pile lentil ragout in a deep dish, place ribs on top and pour some of the cooking sauce over the ribs.
Moti Gilad of Temple Bar offers this light dessert made with beer.
✔ 1⁄2 liter Kasteel Rouge beer
✔ 1 jar unsweetened cherries
✔ 300 gr. sugar
✔ Ice cream
Place beer and the cherry liquid in a pot and add sugar. Reduce liquids until halved in volume. Add cherries and continue cooking 5 more minutes.
To serve: Place cherries in beer glasses; add a scoop of ice cream. Pour hot sauce over the ice cream and serve.
Recipes and photos courtesy of the Temple Bar chain of Irish pubs:
Cinema City, Rishon Lezion, (03) 716-5757
Cinema City Glilot, Ramat Hasharon, (03) 699-5536
Cinemol, Haifa, (04) 840-4460
G Compound, Kfar Saba, (09) 767-7575