Recipes: A (black) sheep you can count on

Black Sheep - fish and chips
Black Sheep - fish and chips
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January was spent dieting, detoxing and abstaining, but with February and Valentine’s Day around the corner it’s time for the odd treat.

If you want to get your man in to the kitchen, cooking up something, then what better way than tempting him 
with beer – and Yorkshire 
beer at that?

Chef Derek Ballantyne of the Black Sheep brewery in Masham has come up with some indulgent recipes to chase away those winter blues.

Black Sheep Steak & Riggwelter Ale Pie

Serves 4

• Ingredients

4oz butter

Drop of rape seed oil

Seasoned flour

1kg hand diced local beef (ask your butcher to do this)

6oz diced carrot

6oz diced swede

6oz diced celery

Half a diced onion

A Bottle of Black Sheep Riggwelter Ale

Pint of beef stock

Two bay leaves

Two tea spoons of thyme

One tablespoon of garlic puree

Three tablespoons of tomato paste

Short crust pastry

• Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

In an oven-proof casserole dish, melt the butter with a drop of rape seed oil.

While this is melting put the hand diced local beef in seasoned flour.

Brown the beef in the butter/oil. Take out and leave to cool on a plate.

Add the diced carrot, swede, celery and onion.

Sweat the vegetables off and then take them out.

Pour the Riggwelter Ale into the pan and reduce by half.

Put the meat back in the pan and add the beef stock, bay leaves, thyme, garlic puree (optional) and tomato paste.

Add the vegetables that were sweated off earlier, then put the lid on the casserole and put in the oven for between 90 minutes to two hours. The meat should be nice and tender and still holding together and the gravy reduced.

You can add a tablespoon of corn starch mixed with a drop of water or beer at this point if you wish to thicken it slightly.

Transfer all into a large pie dish or several small pie dishes and top with short crust pastry.

Egg wash and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Black Sheep, Best Bitter Battered Fish and Chips

Serves 4

• Ingredients

Four haddock fillets

Cooking fat

Vegetable oil

170g plain flour

One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

A pint of Black Sheep Best Bitter/Golden Sheep

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

Salt & pepper

450g peeled and chipped potatoes

• Method

Heat the fat up in a chip pan or a deep fat fryer. Peel the potatoes and cut into large, thick chips. Then rinse and dry them using kitchen towel.

Fry the chips in the oil until soft but not coloured, which should take around three minutes. Drain and shake the chips well and then set to one side. Put some flour onto a plate and coat the fish fillets thoroughly with the flour.

To make the Best Bitter batter, put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper into a bowl then gradually add the Best Bitter. Stop when you have a thick coating of batter. Whisk to remove any lumps to make a smooth batter. Add the lemon juice, then mix again thoroughly.

Take one fillet of haddock at a time, holding it by its end and swirling it around the batter until it has a good coating, then plunge it into the hot fat immediately.

As soon as the first fillet has started to crisp, add your other fillets one at a time, taking out the first ones as they cook. This should take 6 -10 minutes depending on the thickness of fillet. Place onto a baking tray and keep warm in the oven. While the fish is in the oven, add your chips to the hot fat again and cook until crispy and golden in colour.

Serve with tartare sauce, mushy peas and a pint of Best Bitter.

Black Sheep Liver

Serves 4

• Ingredients

500g of thinly sliced liver (ask your butcher to do this)

1-1.5kg peeled potatoes

4oz butter


Fresh sage/parsley

Two bottles of Black Sheep Ale/Riggwelter

2kg beef/lamb bones

One leek

One carrot

Half an onion

A chopped stick of celery

200g tomato paste/puree

Pint of water

Tablespoon of garlic puree


Sunflower/rape seed oil

Two thinly sliced onions

Salt and pepper

Worcestershire/Yorkshire sauce

Streaky bacon/pancetta

• Method

Bring the potatoes to boil and simmer for around 25- 30 minutes.

When cooked the potatoes should start to break up, so check by using a fork.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and turn back into the pan and dry out over a little heat, to take off any excess water. In a small pan or microwaveable dish, put the butter and a drop of milk or cream, then heat and melt together and add this to the potatoes. Season and mash the potatoes. You can add some chopped fresh sage or parsley at this point.

To make the gravy, which can be made in advance, put the beef/lamb bones in a baking tray with the vegetables all chopped up and smother in the tomato paste/purée. Roast in the oven at 200C for around 45 minutes until the bones are brown and tomato paste caramelised.

Drain any fat off the bones and put in to a heavy and deep pan or casserole dish with the vegetables, two bottles of Black Sheep ale or Riggwelter, a pint of water and a table spoon of garlic purée. Bring to a boil on high heat and skim off any impurities, then turn down heat and simmer for around two hours until its reduced by half.

Then thicken with a little corn starch and pass through a sieve into a jug and leave to one side. Dispose of the bones and vegetables and wash the pan. Return to medium heat and add a few drops of sunflower oil or rape seed oil with two thinly sliced onions, moving them around until caramelised.

Drain off any oil and then add the gravy and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a couple or dashes of Worcestershire or Yorkshire sauce, if you wish to add a kick.

Pan fry the liver to your required taste and finish with a couple rashers of crisp baked streaky bacon/pancetta. Alternatively, the bacon/pancetta can be baked for 15 minutes in a hot oven until crispy, then left to go cold and blended to a crumb and sprinkled over the liver after cooking it. Serve with the mashed potatoes and gravy.