Category: food

BITE Beer Pancakes

pancakesThis quick and easy recipe substitutes the milk in your regular pancakes for beer. Beer pancakes are light and moist with a distinct flavour. For the best results make your pancakes American style, adding slightly more mixture to the centre of your frying pan instead of the traditional thin pancake we Britons like to eat on Shrove Tuesday.

Before you start, the best type of beer to use in this recipe is a pale, less carbonated (the flatter the better) beer. Of course feel free to experiment all night with different beers and pancake recipes until you find one you love.

4oz (115g) Plain Flour
4tbsp Caster Sugar
½tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg (beaten)
½pt (280ml) Beer
30g Butter (melted and cooled)

Cooking method:

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave on a low setting or in a saucepan on the hob and leave to cool slightly but remain a liquid.
  2. Pour the butter into a container and add the beer. Begin to stir lightly with a whisk.
  3. Add the egg to the beer and butter mixture making sure the egg is nicely whisked in, then leave to rest.
  4. In a bowl, sieve the flour, sugar and baking powder together. With a spoon, mix the dry ingredients together by stirring a few times.
  5. Into the dry ingredients begin mixing the beer/ butter/ egg mixture, keep whisking the two together until just blended.
  6. Heat your griddle or frying pan to a medium heat, add a drizzle of vegetable oil.
  7. Pour around 4tbsp of the mixture into the centre of the heated griddle or frying pan. This is up to you, the more mixture the bigger your pancake.
  8. Watch the pancake on the heat, when bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancake, it’s time to flip it over and cook the other side until browned.

Serving suggestion(s):

These pancakes taste great served with a sliced banana and drizzle of golden syrup / maple syrup or Nutella.
Keep it simple by serving them with lemon and sugar, the bitter lemon really compliments the yeasty flavours.
Serve with melted dark chocolate and cream for a rich taste.
If sweet is not your style, serve with some smoky bacon and crisp lettuce for a  savoury alternative.

Are you making pancakes this Shrove Tuesday 2013? Feel free to leave a comment in our comments section below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page.


British Burger Week, 18th – 24th June 2012

Heinz and 3663 have teamed up to promote Britains Favourite Burgers.Shake off that rain, fire up the coals and grills as Britain prepares for British Burger Week 2012.  This national event is set aside to pay homage to ‘the burger’. Traditionally ‘the burger’ began its life as shredded steak meat, however the terminology has since evolved to encompass a wide range of ingredients mixed together, served in a sliced bread roll often accompanied with salads and sauces or relishes.

The invention of the burger is disputed but the common current consensus it that the burger appeared on menus in the late 1800’s in the U.S.  It’s agreed that the name ‘burger’ is an abbreviation of Hamburg, so whatever your view on ‘who’ created the burger, one fact remains standard through all historical-yarns, immigrants from Hamburg Germany who settled in the U.S. brought with them some of their favourite foods, one of these being the method of shredding and seasoning steak meat (often cheap off-cuts) and serving it as an enjoyable light meal.  Curiously during the first world war, anti-German sentiment saw the hamburger briefly renamed to the “Salisbury Steak”, the name “hamburger” made it’s come back post-war to en-grain itself into today’s menu culture.  Since the boom in fast food establishments towards the end of the 1970’s the hamburger has become a staple item on many menus, from simple burger-van style burgers containing basic ingredients that you can buy for £1 or less, to gourmet style burgers fetching up to and over £3000 (made from Kobe beef from Japan).  These days burgers also use different meats, vegetables, buns, accompaniments and relishes to tantalise you into choosing them from the menu and specials boards. Kids love burgers, they are like a cheeky treat, students love to throw them half eaten on the streets after a night out, adults look to the burger as usually being the cheapest, easiest, tasty meal on the menu.  Men use their burger flipping skills at barbecues to assert dominance, and women have added flair and diversity to create some of the worlds best burgers.  Yes, the burger is here to stay, part of our culture, part of our menus, say what you will about this being just another way to make money, burgers taste great.

Food giants Heinz and 3663 wholesales distributors have teamed up to find the nations favourite burger recipes. Straight from the 3663 kitchen you might want to try some of these bad-boys that they recommend (click here for the burger recipies). BITE is interested to find out just what is your favourite burger? Have you got your own secret recipe, or method for preparing your burger-masterpiece? If you’d like to share it with other BITE readers you can do so by adding it to our comments section below or by joining the conversation on our Facebook page. Hold your burgers high, cheers!

British Pie Week 2012

British Pie Week

It’s British Pie Week from the 5th to the 11th March (2012), earlier this year we posted about National Pie Day, so if you’re interested in some quick pie-related facts check out our previous blog post here.

The British Pie Week website (hosted by General Mills Inc.) has announced their “Pub Pie Champion for 2012”.  Drum roll… It’s (chef) hats off to Carol Haime at The Sandrock, Farnham, with a delicious “Wheatley House Pheasant Pie with baby parsnips, juniper and a poppy seed and rock salt crust!” Becoming the first woman to win the competition, Carol said “It’s fantastic to have won! I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. The whole team is delighted and we’re really looking forward to celebrating during British Pie Week.”
(Source The recipie for Carol’s winning pie is also available here.)

The marriage between pies and British pubs is long standing and legendary, searching the comments on BITE we discovered the following pie’scentric pubs recommended by you, our users. These pubs have gone to greater lengths to produce pies worthy of our attention as pub patrons. (Pub suggestions are based on pub-page activity within the last 12 months.)

The Brie Louise, Euston, London: While the reviews from users who have dined on The Brie’s pies seem mixed, there’s no mistaking that The Brie has won awards for it’s skills in pie making. Their Steak & Kidney pie is a crowning achievement  having scooped three consecutive annual awards, a medal has also been pinned on their seasonal Turkey, Cranberry & Stuffing pie (only available in the winter months).   The Brie Louise offers a decent range of home cooked pies, including vegetarian and fish options.

Sweeney & Todd, Reading: The sign above the door blazons the title ‘Famous Pies, Famous Ales’. Knowing the story of Sweeney Todd and the recent findings that his murderous antics were no urban myth, we’re curious as to what ingredients are used in the Sweeney’s pies… Corporate bankers? Estate agents? Expense swindling Politicians? Jokes aside, the Sweeney & Todd boasts what we all want in a pub – friendly staff, reasonably priced well stocked real ales, and a curious selection of pie fillings, … Hare & Cherry anyone? The Sweeney & Todd pie fillings cater to both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

The Raven, Bath: Described as a “hidden gem”, The Raven in Bath offers a wide selection of ever changing pie fillings, it all depends on which season you find yourself musing their menu. Classic ingredients, such as pork, steak, lamb are all locally sourced, with vegetarian options that may even tempt a browsing carnivore. The Raven also has it’s own specially brewed Real Ale (Raven Ale), when pubs go that extra yard and get it right, The Raven, Bath is worth mentioning.

The Prince of Wales, Ledbury: Tucked away off the Ledbury High-Street, the Prince of Wales is a proper old-fashioned British boozer.  With a relaxed, ambient, atmosphere it’s the perfect setting to sit back, enjoy a real ale from their wide selection and tuck into an enormous portion of their home cooked pie.  Check out their pie board when entering, it’s ever changing with the seasons, the Prince’s pies are baked using locally sourced ingredients.

The Kenton, Homerton, London: It’s a coin-toss about this entry, granted The Kenton doesn’t bake it’s own pies.  However, by word-of-mouth the quality of the Pieminister pies served at The Kenton has reached us on a number of occasions while hunger struck and wandering in Hackney.  This Norwegian run, grand, Victorian pub caters for all tastes, that means you, vegetarians and fussy eaters. The ‘Minty Lamb Pie’ is always a firm favourite to expel those stomach-rumbles, with nice selection of ales to accompany any pie you chose.

Just to finish off, The Angel at Stoke by Nayland, Colchester is offering a special pie and pint menu between the 5th and 11th of March, everyday a choice of pies will be on the menu, baked to perfection by The Angel’s resident top chef.  Booking during British Pie Week (5th – 11th March) is advisable so you can be guaranteed a piece of the pie(s).

If you’ve a favourite pie filling, a recipe for pie success or you know of a pub worth mentioning for it’s culinary pie abilities do let us know in our comments section below or by joining the conversation on our Facebook page.

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National Pie Day 2012

National Pie Day 2012It’s National Pie Day 2012 today (23rd January), celebrating the heritage of pies.  The history of pies starts in ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians would bake fruits, nuts and honey into a form of pastry, those first pie incarnations were not necessarily much like the pies we know today.  It was then the ancient Greeks who should be attributed with the invention of the pie; they would bake various fillings both sweet and savoury into a pastry casing.  The Romans saw the potential of the pie and adopted it into their diet, bringing it with them in their conquest of Europe, so it’s the Romans who truly brought the pie to Britain when they landed on our shores.

In medieval Britain the pie was often the centre piece of the meal, filled with exotic fillings such as swans, peacocks and blackbirds (which you may remember from the nursery rhyme).  From the finest London restaurants to the wind swept terraces of football grounds, the pie has since become a stoic dish on the British menu, engraved into our popular culture. The chant “who ate all the pies?!” for example was first sung by Sheffield supporters in 1894 and directed at their clubs goalkeeper at the time William “Fatty” Foulke, an enormous man in stature.

Still lovingly associated with home cooked tradition and British pubs, the pie is here to stay.  Get down your local and demand a pie today!  If you’ve any comments feel free to leave them in our comments section below or join the conversation on our Facebook page. Cheers!

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National Sausage Week 2011

Sausage Week 2011British Pub Week 2011 is already in full swing, if you haven’t already spread the word, get down your local pub and show some support.  British Pub Week 2011 this year also coincides with another Great British national week “National Sausage Week 2011” running from the 2nd to the 8th Nov.  With an astonishing 400 unique varieties of sausage produced in the UK there’s plenty of sausage to choose from.  Get down your local pub demand some sausage, and beer, and amaze your friends with your knowledge of the sausage…

Quick Sausage’y facts

1. The sausage is an ancient form of food, pre-dating most historical cultures, the Sumerians were believed to have cooked the first sausages over 5,000 years ago.

2. The slang word for sausages “banger” was adopted during the second world war. Due to a lack of ingredients sausage makers would add water to their sausage recipe, when the water turned to steam inside the sausage skin, it would often explode with a “bang!”

3. The worlds longest sausage weighed in at 15.5 tonnes, and measured 35miles long. Unfortunately never officially adjudicated by the Guinness World records – who recognise a measly 1,500m German sausage as the record holder, our British 35 mile long masterpiece will not be forgotten.

4. Sausages are a product of efficient butchery.  Butchers use parts of the pig that are both edible and nutritious to make sausages, these ‘parts’ including organs, blood and fat would normally go to waste, seen as unsavoury by consumers, wrap it all up in a sausage format and you’ve got Britains number one home cooked meal.

5. The Frankfurter was a sausage made by a German butcher in the image of his pet Dachshund (sausage dog), in 1906, American cartoonist Ted Dorgan produced a painting of a dog in a bread roll covered in mustard to commemorate the German butchers sausage invention, unable to spell Dachshund Ted called it “hot dog”.  The name seemed to stick.

If you’re in the Twickenham area, you might want to get yourself down to the Rifleman they have organised a Beer, Cider and Sausage Festival. If you’ve got any sausage facts, recipies or just want to talk sausage leave a comment in our comments section below or join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Cheers!

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