Boon Gueuze Arancini with Arla Havgus

This is something new - at least on these parts. Back when I was writing in danish, I did occasionally do some food recipes involving beer. This one started out as a Gueuze risotto, but quickly turned into a full on Arancini attack. After my former work place shut down, I've been missing my regular doses of cheese filled arancini, but no more!

The wanted future of every risotto ever. Why? Because you can add more cheese!

The wanted future of every risotto ever. Why? Because you can add more cheese!

The main inspiration here comes from Jamie Olivers risotto, yet I've tweaked it so far that no one would notice. It's been simplified to my liking and I've added a bunch of cheese from local vendor Arla Unika. They're as geeky about cheese as I am about beer, and they were quick to guide me with cheese for my risotto and giving me tasters. Havgus, a medium-hard cheese, is the base in the recipe, but with the big brother Havgus XL, who's a bit stronger in the flavors, it all came full circle and adds an extra layer of taste to an already rich dish.

Havgus is a bit nutty, salty and fruity, some would even call it funky, which goes hand it hand with the beer chosen - Boon's Oude Geuze, an affordable alternative to a complex lambic blend, that'll satisfy even the hardcore lover of sours.

Ingredients for the risotto

2 tbs oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

400 gram Arborio rice

150 ml Geuze

1 liter chicken broth

25 gram butter

100 gram cheese (80% Havgus + 20% Havgus XL)

+ more cheese for filling! About another 100 gram or however much you like in there.

+ Salt, pepper and thyme

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of bread flour

How to make it

1) Heat up the oil in a big pot and fry the onions, garlic and celery for about five minutes. Don't let them take any color.

2) Add the rice, turn the heat down to above medium and fry them for about a minute while stirring. Stirring is important - keep stirring.

3) Add the Geuze and stir until the it's absorbed into the rice.

4) Turn the heat down to about medium and add the broth little by little. Add about 10% and keep stirring until it's absorbed. Save the last 10%. It'll take about 30 minutes, but try biting the rice - if they still have a little bite, they're about done.

5) Turn the heat to medium low and add butter and cheese. Time for the last stirring session (is your arm hurting by now?). It needs to be creamy and wet. If it's too stiff add some more broth.

Now you have a risotto, and you could garnish that with salt, pepper, thyme and some freshly shredded cheese and serve it, or...

6) Let the risotto cool down in the fridge

7) Take a large spoon of cooled down risotto. Shape it into a round circle and put a cube of cheese in the middle. Fold the sides of risotto around the cheese and shape it into a ball. Repeat until you're out of risotto.

8) Whisk the eggs together in a shallow plate and put the bread flour in another shallow plate. Dip the risotto balls in first the egg and then the flour.

9) Deep fry in oil over medium heat. The butter on the inside should be melted, while the outside is crispy. Serve as a starter, with a dip of choice.


Nørrebro Bryghus: New Menu 2017

A little less than two years ago, when I was still working in Malmö, I had the pleasure of having Logan on the opposite side of the bar I was working at. Logan was visiting from Texas and was staying at the hotel next door. When he was done sightseeing in and around Malmø, I made sure to keep him hydrated. 

Tasting board anno 2017

Tasting board anno 2017

Fast forward almost two years, and Logan is back in Scandinavia, back in Copenhagen (because let's face it, Danes are cooler!), and ready to let me show him the wonders of good danish craft beer. 

I'm tasked with finding a place to eat. As Nørrebro Bryghus recently launched their new menu, it seems like a no-brainer to give it a try. In the basement, brewer, Emil, is having what appears to be his post-work beer(s), although he tries to convince me he's still working. The tanks are getting filled after having a wee rest over New Years. We talk about the successful launch of their new sub-brand Braw and Emil is quick to find a sample of their new Pale Ale - it seems exactly in the same vein as previous outings. Hoppy, crisp and delicious!

Logan arrives and we move upstairs, quickly deciding on the taster menu, consisting of five small servings. We are however surprised to receive a taster glass of the new quadruple from Braw. It doesn't have much going on in the nose, but the flavor is spot on. Sweet, heavy and to the point, just like a good Quadruple should be, but maybe also better suiting for a dessert than an appetizer.


Before we are presented to our five food offerings, we get some bread with butter - and it brings me right back to Luksus (read more here) as a basic offering that just works - and works even better with the Quadruple (although probably not intentional). 

Then we actually, finally get to our five small servings. Smoked almonds, cod tapioca, tartar, salmon and porter braised pork jowls. 

We both decide to start with the salmon and we both find it to be a bit towards the fishy side, but in a good way. It's soft texture gives a good first impression, but the secret lies with the panko flour and the cress - together they turn it into a whole new serving, that works on all levels. Rich, umami, yet easy enough to not fill me up too fast.

Out of all the beers that was presented to us, finding a good match proved difficult though, most of the regular lineup proved to sweet, and most of the Braw brews proved too bitter.

Moving on to the tartar, which is my first meeting with tartar. I am a Tartar noob no more! None the less, it's apparently nicely paired with Ravnsborg Rød, a Red Ale to the sweeter side. It seems as though I like tartar. It disappeared fast and I blame the truffle purée!

The final "bigger" taster is the pork. It's been braised in beer, and when meat is braised in beer I am fairly certain there's something inexplainable sorcery happening. It's extremely soft! I would've loved it even more as a full dish, served warm, but I guess as a taster menu, this is what you get! Again, none of the beers seems to work for the dish - I would have loved an ESB, or in general something on the softer side. A dubbel could've worked wonders. 

Cod chip and Logan. One flown in directly from Texas. 

Cod chip and Logan. One flown in directly from Texas. 

The last of the five (nuts not included) is the cod chips. It's the weirdest serving on the plate and we both saved it for the end, because we have no idea what to think of it, or what to do with it. It's preferred pairing was the New York Lager, and although decent, we never quite seem to get why most of the "regular" beers seem so sweet. The chip seems mostly like a gimmick. It doesn't taste bad, it just seems very forgettable.

In conclusion, the food and the beers brewed on-site is really good. The pairings need some work and I would prefer some hot dishes next time.  I would - and will - come back to try the beers going under the Braw brand and maybe have a bite to eat if the beers are too good!