It seems I’ll have lots to keep me busy over the next few weeks here in Lethbridge. The following are a few highlights of the brewing world I’m particularly looking forward to:
1. Coulee Brew Co. is finally opening its doors in Lethbridge. After a long wait, this city will be home to a brew pub, complete with a restaurant, meeting space, and a growler bar. I had the opportunity to attend the soft opening, and was impressed with the stunning facility, trimmed to the nines with reclaimed wood.
The menu was innovative with just enough classic dishes to satisfy the most traditional eaters. While I was disappointed that Coulee Brew’s beer was not yet ready, they do offer a few great pics from other local breweries (Tool Shed, Bench Creek). I’ll be patient. Good beer takes time.
2. Theoretically Brewing – a lesser-known (but locally acclaimed) microbrewery that somehow flew under my beer-dar and opened earlier in December. More to come on this topic.
3. And of course, the aforementioned home-brewing adventures. While I haven’t yet started brewing, I have devoted a substantial amount of time to choosing a name for the first brew (soon to be revealed). That counts, right?
I’ve also had a bit more time at home and in the kitchen. As much as I enjoy meals cooked by others, there is a certain satisfaction I get from completing a demanding recipe, especially one I can eat when I’m finished.
I tend to use truffle oil in everything I add mushrooms to. While both the black and white truffle have strong, unmistakable flavors of their own, it’s especially good with other fungus-y foods. I liken it to – sure they’re expensive, but you really don’t need much to get the job done. If you don’t have truffle oil…that’s really too bad. There is no substitute. You can either shell out the $25 for a bottle of half-decent infused oil, or make a less-delicious version of the recipe below.
Shepherd’s pie is made with lamb. Cottage pie is made with beef. What then, do you call a turkey dish topped with vegetables and mashed potatoes? Suggestions, please.
WARNING: The following recipe makes a great deal of food – make sure to invite a few friends and use the absolute biggest pan you have. Likewise, you could easily divide the recipe in half or prepare and serve it in individual ramekins.
Turkey Mushroom Cottage Pie
with truffle, parsnip, and beer gravy
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 medium parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. truffle oil
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup dark beer
2 cups diced carrots (fresh or frozen), steamed
2 cups frozen cut green peas or beans, thawed
2 pounds (900g ground turkey)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried sage
1 cup Panko or breadcrumbs, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper to taste
- Combine potatoes and parsnips in a large pot of boiling water. Cook tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and parsnips and add butter and milk. Season with 2 tbsp. of the minced fresh rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Heat olive oil and minced onion in a skillet over medium heat with a pinch of salt. Once the onions begin to release moisture and turn translucent (about 5 minutes), add mushrooms and truffle oil.
- Whisk together beer and flour. Add to mushroom and onion mixture, stirring gently. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid begins to thicken.
- While the mushroom gravy begins to thicken, combine ground turkey, garlic cloves, sage, egg, 1/2 cup of Panko or breadcrumbs and remaining fresh rosemary in a large bowl. Combine well to form a thick meat-dough (almost like you were to make a meatloaf).
- Transfer meat mixture to a deep, greased casserole dish and press firmly into the pan.
- Cover meat layer with mushroom gravy, followed by steamed carrots and green beans.
- Finally, top casserole with potato/parsnip mixture and sprinkle remaining Panko and parmesan overtop.
- Bake in preheated oven until tops of mashed potatoes are lightly browned and the edges are bubbling, about 30 minutes.