Half way through cooking a large order of frozen meals I realized rather too many were tomato based, so I hunted around and found the beer baked beans recipe. Beans - beer - beer batter - hake - hake and beans - beer and beans - hake and beer sauce.... it all seemed to fit together.
The beer sauce was one I had been looking at on and off for years in the 'Sauces' book but have never got round to making, so this seemed the ideal moment. Nice, but I needed something that could freeze, so as it is heavy on the cream I also added a little chicken stock I had left from the chicken chasseur and beurre manie to thicken it. You could also use vegetable or fish stock.
Originally this was going to be added to the beans entry to Bookmarked Recipes last week in a two for the price of one, but I just ran out of time in the pre-Easter rush, so here it is.
It has been bookmarked for anyone else who wants to try it on the virtual recipe drawer that is Bookmarked Recipes - your one-stop shop for tried and tested recipes from the food blogger community updated every Monday this week hosted by Laurie, of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.
60g shallots finely sliced (onions are fine too)
1 small (fresh) bouquet garni
4 juniper berries
300ml mild light beer (but I used Cotswold Way ale - it works well for me)
200 ml double cream
1/2 tbsp snipped flat leaf parsley (I had some english parsley growing so used that)
salt & pepper
Put the shallots, bouquet garni and juniper berries in a saucepan, pour in the beer and reduce by two thirds over a medium heat. Add the cream and bubble for 5 minutes, until the sauce will lightly coat the back of a spoon. If it seems to thin, cook it for a few more minutes. Pass the sauce through a conical sieve, whisk in the butter, a small piece at a time, and finally stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Good with braised/ baked fish and also good with roast cauliflower:
Hake with beer sauce
Roasted cauliflower in Cotswold Way ale sauce