You don’t have to be a beer lover to appreciate the quality of a decent ale - as street food specialists Percy & Lily’s will testify.
It’s also the secret ingredient that turns mere beef brisket into an Argentinian-inspired hit.
Foodie entrepreneurs Trudi Colman and Justine Twigge, the duo behind the popular Sheffield brand, will be serving up this treat among others when SIBA’s BeerAlive! festival returns to the city later this month.
“Our focus is on red meats as they pair so well with a variety of beers,” says Trudi. “I’ve even discovered some I like at BeerAlive! although I wouldn’t profess to being a beer lover.
“We wanted to share this recipe because brisket is something people can make at home without specialist equipment.
“We serve ours in a choripán style, which is a type of sandwich popular in Argentina. It’s traditionally served with sausage and chimichurri dressing, but we also like to offer a brisket version, which goes down a storm.
“It’s so simple: just ask your butcher to cut and roll the meat, then prepare the rub and steam it in a bath of beer, spices and vinegar - delicious!”
It will be Trudi and Justine’s second outing at BeerAlive! - part of the Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) annual national BeerX trade event and AGM at iceSheffield.
This year Percy & Lily’s - based at urban event space The Hide on Scotland Street - will be teaming up with local traders including Pie Eyed, Fancy an Indian?, Meltworks, Karkli, Smo Fo, Cafeology and more, to provide a globally-inspired food offering to festival-goers.
The rise of craft beers on the British street food scene is something Trudi and Justine have witnessed first-hand.
“It seems to have fallen in line with the recent explosion of street food in this country and become a natural pairing,” Trudi says.
“We started to see a focus on provenance ripple through the industry, in both food and drink terms, and independent craft breweries have been embraced by that movement.”
But the trend appears to be specific to the western street food scene, unlike the experiences she and Justine have had in Asia and South Africa: “There it’s much more a way of life.
“It’s a way people eat easily and cheaply, perhaps on their way to work, whereas for us it hasn’t evolved to become part of our culture, so street food here is about a whole experience with friends and family.”
The sentiment fits perfectly with the offering at SIBA’s BeerAlive! showcase.
Nick Stafford, SIBA’s operations director, says: “BeerAlive! is a celebration of the best British beers available and we want to offer our visitors quality food to pair with these excellent brews.
“The food Percy & Lily’s curated last year was a big hit and this year we’re adding more to our sociable street food offering, with specialist beer snacks and brunch dishes on the Sunday.”
BeerAlive! will take place in a heated pop-up beer hall next to iceSheffield from March 17-19. It includes hundreds of award-winning beers plus live music, Six Nations rugby finals screenings and a family-friendly brunch on Sunday. Tickets available from beerx.org
Recipe: Slow-cooked beery beef brisket
For the beef brisket
1.8kg beef brisket, from your local butcher
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp of chilli flakes or ½ fresh red chilli, finely chopped
3tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried Italian mixed herbs
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Tabasco
8 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 cups of your chosen beer
1 cup water
For the chimichurri
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
8 cloves of garlic
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 red pepper, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Pre heat the oven to 160°
Sear your beef fat-side down until brown and slightly charred. Put the beer, water, ketchup and sugar into a large roasting tray and mix all other ingredients in a bowl to form a paste.
Cover the beef, rubbing the paste all over.
Place it fat side up into the beer and water with a lid and foil to seal in the steam. Roast for 1.5hrs.
Check the liquid has not evaporated, re-cover and continue to roast for 1.5hrs on 150 degrees.
Turn off the oven and let the beef sit for a further 40 mins steaming in its juices. Slice ready to serve.
Blitz the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, oil and vinegar together to make a paste.
Finely dice the shallots and red pepper by hand and mix in. Season to taste. This serves four.
Top tip: Try pairing this with Oakham Green Devil IPA or Grain Brewery’s Redwood at BeerAlive!