Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beer & Beef Masterclass @ MUMU Grill

70-76 Alexander St, Crows Nest
Classes are run bi-monthly, check here for dates
Call 02 9460 6877 to book

They say good things come in threes. Well MUMU Grill has pared it down to two in a neat little package: for $85, chef and owner of MUMU Grill, Craig Macindoe, teaches you everything you need to know about beef and Dan the (self-proclaimed) Beer Snob gives you the low-down on boutique beers.

The beef

Craig starts off by telling us in the kitchen why he's so passionate about organic grass-fed beef: it tastes better, it contains fats that the human body needs (with its healthy omega 6-omega 3 ratio), it is better for the environment and it is chemical/preservative-free. Ageing (air-drying) beef for 6 weeks is all it needs for its flavour to intensify and become tender. For premium organic beef, Craig recommends Hudson Meats (Cammeray, Surry Hills and Lane Cove).

We're then run through the 'sweet cuts' of beef that make up the 20% of the cow we eat. These include the eye fillet, sirloin, scotch fillet, rump and t-bone. The thing that surprised me the most is they're so simple to cook! To season, sprinkle with rock salt (to bring out the flavour in the mouth) and pepper, and lightly coat with olive oil (less is more as too much oil builds a layer of char on the beef). To sear, cook the beef on one side for 2½ minutes, rotate 90° (so that you create a criss-cross pattern on the steak) and cook for another 2½ minutes, flip and repeat. Cook until desired doneness.

One recipe I was especially intrigued by was Craig's Tagliata t-bone: sear, slice into strips, drizzle with garlic and rosemary in olive oil and place in a woodfire oven for 10-15 minutes. The result is a juicy and garlicky, melt-in-your-mouth piece of beef. I'm definitely trying this at home in my conventional oven (set at a low heat, roughly 120°).

The beer

Before Saturday I was never big on drinking beer. I've tried very hard to like it (my friends call it an acquired taste, so if you can learn to like wine, why not beer?) - I've even gone to Lowenbrau and the Belgian Beer Cafe hoping that it'd change my life and I would have an in in the world of beer. But Dan the Beer Snobhas enlightened me. Turns out, mainstream beer is different to boutique beer.

Dan tells us the three tell tale signs of a good beer: colour, clarity and carbonation (the three C's). We tried five different beers, starting with the palest (Murray's Pilsner) to the darkest (Moo Brew Dark Ale). I've got to say, I am convinced. Beer snobbery is the way to go

All in all this was a fantastic class, geared towards cooks and drinkers of all levels. I've always loved MUMU Grill, Dan's family and I have been a few times now and the love only keeps growing. Next up is Duckfest!

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