If you can’t swing a trip to Belgium right now, you can still capture some of the country’s unique flavor, by preparing your own Hoppeland cuisine. Here are a couple of tasty recipes to send you on your way:
Mussels the Watou Way, with ‘Hommelbier’
4 kilograms of mussels
Carrot, white part of leeks, celery, onion
Mussels herbs (cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder and curry powder)
2 bottles of “Poperings Hommelbier”
25 centiliters of cream
Scrub the mussels removing the beards and place in a large pan with the finely chopped vegetables, 1 coffeespoon of the mussels herbs and the beer.
Cook and shake regularly.
When the mussels have opened, they are ready. Pour over the cream, shake once more and serve with bread or French fries. The liquid can be eaten as a soup.
Steak after the Fashion of the Brewer of “Grimbergen Bruin”
4 steaks (220 grams each)
250 grams of mushrooms
4 double slices of smoked bacon
100 grams of pearl onions
50 centiliters of brown veal stock
½ bottle of Grimbergen Bruin
Salt and pepper
Blanche the bacon, onions and mushrooms in boiling water (this extracts the salt from the bacon). Pour off and keep warm.
Seal the steaks in the butter on a high heat. Transfer the meat from the pan to the roasting tin. The length of time determines whether the steak is “rare,” “medium,” or “well done.”
Deglaze the pan with beer and brown stock. Strain and reduce a little. Next, add the trimmings and let them cook along for a moment
When the steak is to your liking, place it on a plate and pour over the sauce. Serve with a fresh green salad and French Fries. Typically Belgian.
(Source: Recipes originally published in Cooking with Beer at ‘t Hommelhof, by Stefaan Couttenye, Jan Van Hemeledonck and Marc Joye. Used by permission of Roularta Books.)