Posts Tagged ‘recipe for Gamekeeper’s Pie’

How did you earn your beer today?

Posted by Eva

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014


Savvy Hip Hops beer of the month club 
Featuring Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

– September 2014 –


One of the great wonders of Canada is the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Thunder Bay.  It is a table-topped hill resembling a giant lying on his back.  Ojibway legend has it that Nanabijou, the spirit of the deep sea water, was turned to stone when the location of the local silver mine was disclosed to the white man.

hiphops_largeThis month we venture to T-Bay to introduce you to Sleeping Giant Brewing Company. Their motto is, “How did you earn your beer today?” This is founded with the local 4-season outdoor paradise in mind.  The Giant (park that is) is riddled with trails. “It’s tough but worth every ounce of sweat” describes Kevin Brewer of the Sleeping Giant Brewery team.

Everything they do at the brewery is deeply connected to the community.  The park is captured in the company’s logo, the active outdoor culture is part of their slogan – Earn your beer – it’s all about balance!

In this month’s Savvy Hip Hops Taste Case, you will find:

Found a new fav?

If you would like additional bottles of any beer featured in Savvy Hip Hops, just call our Savvy Brew Crew & we’ll do our best to arrange a special shipment for you (if it is still available at the brewery that is!). Put us on speed dial – Savvy Hip Hops Hotline: 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or


Debbie & the Savvy Brew Crew


Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

by Éva Nagy


sleeping giant brewery logoI had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin Brewer of Sleeping Giant Brewing – now there is a name destined to work in the beer industry!  He began his career by volunteering once a week & now works full-time hours – also read as “overtime” that he completes with pleasure he tells me. He loves his job wearing many hats: from invoicing, working the storefront & making deliveries to everything but brewing.

Kyle Mulligan – aka Kegger – has been brewing beer for 10 years.  He and his wife, Drea, dreamed of having their own brewery.  “They opened at the perfect time when Thunder Bay was a Molson & Labatt kind of town”, Kevin shares.  Growing month by month, we’ve help change all that while picking up momentum throughout Ontario.”

Kevin describes Kyle Mulligan & Drea as kind people who encourage others to try every single beer out there.  They motivate you to try something you haven’t tasted it before.  You never know, it might be your next favourite.

Sleeping Giant Brewing is a small & tight team. Kegger is the head brewer.  Drea manages “money & stuff”.  Matt is general manager while Kevin deals with “really tough questions that no one else has an answer for”, he says with a laugh.  Angus is the production brewer who Kevin tries to scare daily as Angus stands quietly thinking amongst the noise of the brewery.  Let’s just say, Angus does not scare easy.

Make everyone happy with beer

Sleeping Giant Beers in mailboxPlain & simply: they are a very small brewery.  Their advantage lies where bigger companies can’t keep up with the creativity of craft brewers.  Nor can they compete with the sense of community and the love of their customers.  Having that conversation about what they do for a living or on the weekend, and knowing their first or last names forges that connection through beer.

Everyone at the brewery is personable, outgoing and bubbly.  They happily share what they are currently brewing, what will be brewing next and even where to go & what to do in Thunder Bay.

Always go local

Over 25 T Bay restaurants are huge fan often using Sleeping Giant beer in their recipes. The bar at Lincoln University has the beer on tap as well as the local (yet corporate) Moxie’s & The Keg.

What is in a name?

Each beer has a local importance:

Elevator – is named for the grain elevator

360º – has everything to do with the local weather.  One day it is 30ºC and the next it’s 10º & snowing.  It’s Kevin’s favourite logo representing all four seasons with a flower, leaf, snowflake and sun.

Hoppet – an ode to the local Sleeping Giant Ski Loppet

Skullrock – now Silver Island is a skull-shaped rock with eery fog

Armoury – their commemorative beer celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Thunder Bay Armoury

Saison – their anniversary beer.  It’s made with lemon peel & peppercorn and is something very special indeed. 

Drink Superior Beer

Everything is handcrafted using natural ingredients.  They use as much local as possible: water, malt, hops & coffee (Angus’ brother owns the local coffee place).

As beer enthusiasts know, water is an important ingredient in the beer-making process.  Their special water source is Lake Superior.  It provides clean & fresh water with its unique minerality.  Malt is from Canada Malting Company.  As for hops, Kyle has grown his own.

On the horizon… 

They are working full steam ahead brewing beer to keep up after a really busy summer. By October, they will have their canning machine.  They are not yet at full bottling scale but the new 30 barrel fermenter and bright tank should help things along.

Tis the season for a Pumpkin beer….they are patiently awaiting the pumpkins to ripen.  It will be small batch and made full-scale only if everyone enjoys it.  Kegger’s creations rarely disappoint.

How did you earn your beer today?

The folks at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company firmly believe that you need to “earn your beer”.   Whether you challenged yourself at the gym, a day of skiing or activities outdoors, a day at work or a toddler at home … it is all about balance.

So, now the question remains … What have you done today to earn your beer?


• Savvy Hip Hops Tasting Notes •

Éva shares her notes about each featured beer, along with her picks on what to serve …and some fun recipes too!

first beer glassElevator Ale

A refreshing wheat beer (typically hazy) with 4.5% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) & 26 IBUs (International Bittering Units).  Serve with a wedge of lemon or an adventurous grapefruit twist.  Just over 50% wheat malt with the balance being 2-row pale ale malt and a small measure of Pilsen malt.

Tasting Notes: Bright golden with pleasant aromas of wheat & citrus.  Locally sourced honey adds sweetness while the Pacific Northwest hops give it balance.

Suggested Food Pairing: honeydew melon, light fish like tilapia, in batter for fish & chips or onion rings (like at Thunder Bay’s The Foundry Pub).  Bring out Elevator’s citrus notes with Oven-Poached Pacific Sole with Lemon Caper Sauce.

360º Ale

This Pale Ale is 5% ABV with 37 IBUs. The style is similar to North American Pale Ale & Amber Ale. Brewed with North American 2-row pale malt & crystal malts (for colour & flavour) & balanced by 3 different hops added at 3 different times during the brewing process.

Tasting Notes:Crystal-clear copper colour. The focus lies within the sweet aromas of wildflower honey, burnt sugar, candied apricot, peach, citrus (tangerine, pink grapefruit) & slight hop bitterness.

Suggested Food Pairing: cheeses, spicy chicken and Indian curry.  Slather Sleeping Giant’s Beer-becue Sauce on veggie kabobs, pork, beef or chicken… it is very versatile!


Armoury Ale

Sleeping Giant’s commemorative beer celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Thunder Bay Armoury.  This Scottish Ale-style is 5% ABV with 23 IBUs and created with 5 different malts.

Tasting Notes: Nutty (hazelnut, almond) aromas & flavours along with coffee, burnt sugar/molasses and a hint of smoky earthiness. Malty sweetness in the foreground with wee bit of hop in the background.

Suggested Food Pairings: Grilled steak, planked/pan-seared salmon and roasted/barbecued chicken to match the slight smokiness.  To keep in step with Sleeping Giant Brewing Company’s sense of adventure, consider game meats – duck, venison, lamb, bison.  To enhance this ale’s earthiness, accompany your meal with mushrooms, beets, turnips and potatoes.  A stew or casserole would bring these elements together quite nicely – like Gamekeeper’s Pie.


Coffee Vanilla Porter

The brewery created a robust beer with vanilla beans and locally roasted coffee (both added post-fermentation).  This porter is 5.5% ABV.

Tasting Notes: It will be no surprise to you to find aromas & flavours of roasted coffee and vanilla.  You may also discover notes of (burnt) caramel, toffee and a slight fruitiness.

Suggested Food Pairings: Kegger recommends barbecued, roasted or smoked meats and chocolate desserts.  Ooh! I’m thinking gooey brownies.


Skullrock Stout

A complex profile resulting from 6 different malts & toasted oats and balanced by a single aromatic English hop addition.  It is 5% ABV with 30 IBUs.

Tasting Notes: Exactly what you want from richly roasted grain – slightly sweet chocolate flavour.  The toasted oats make their appearance as smooth silkiness.  Skullrock will be sure to please stout-lovers and novices alike.

Suggested Food Pairings: blend into truffles and chocolate cake.  Use 1 cup of their Oatmeal Stout in Coffee & Chipotle-Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Stout Molasses Pan Sauce.


Hoppet IPA

At 6.5% ABV and 70 IBUs you will notice the refreshing hop bitterness.  The use of Pacific Northwest hops with 4 additions in the kettle as well as dry hopping, ensures that distinctive aroma & flavour.

Tasting Notes: Hazy copper colour with aromas of candied lemondrops, stone fruit & grapefruit pith. Tropical (pineapple), citrus & stone fruit, floral wildflower honey and a hop bitterness that really lingers and cleanses the palate.

Suggested Food Pairings: curry and Thai cuisine.  Try the Outstanding Wings recipe (below) from a long time Savvy friend, Jerry (who is also the VJ at many of our events).


#Selfie Saison

A Belgian Farmhouse Ale originally known as lower alcohol (3-3.5%) rustic ales brewed on farms in fall & winter to serve to seasonal farm workers (“les saisonniers”) in the summer.  They were entitled to up to 5 litres per day – they earned their beer!  Modern Saison now are complex with fruity & spicy notes, high carbonation and ranges between 5 to 8% ABV.

Tasting Notes: There is lots going on here!  Aromas full of spices (ginger, peppercorn & cardamom), fruit (pineapple & dried sultana raisins) and an enticing earthiness.  On the palate you will find comfort in biscuit, brioche & rising dough.  Refreshing citrus, lemon pith & peel wakens the Sleeping Giant … I mean, palate.  You may notice it tastes somewhat boozy but I don’t hear anyone complaining.

Suggested Food Pairings: Farmhouse Foods for Farmhouse Ales, right?  Bucking tradition, aromatic Asian & Middle-Eastern dishes would suit the Saison.  Check out the recipe for Grilled Meatloaf Sandwiches.


• Recipes with a splash of the featured Savvy Hip Hops •


With Elevator Ale …

Oven-Poached Pacific Sole with Lemon Caper Sauce

From NY Times
Serves 4

Ingredients for the main dish

1 1/2 pounds Pacific sole or flounder fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 cup dry white wine (you can also use rosé; the sauce will have a pink hue)

Ingredients for the sauce

1 plump garlic clove, minced or puréed (more to taste)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


A fish piccata of sorts, this dish is easy to make and the sauce is perfect for delicate fish like sole or flounder, as well as more robust fish like swordfish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil or butter one or two baking dishes large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in one layer. Lay the fish in the dish(es) and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small or medium skillet and add the shallot. Cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine to the pan, bring to a boil, and pour the wine and shallots over the fish. Return the skillet to the stove (make sure the heat is off) for later use.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork.

While the fish is in the oven, whisk together the garlic, capers, lemon juice and olive oil. You can also mash the garlic in a mortar and pestle and work in the capers, lemon juice and olive oil, though I prefer the capers chopped, even some intact, and not puréed.

When the fish is done remove it from the oven and carefully transfer to a platter or plates. Cover and keep warm. Pour the liquid in the baking dish into the skillet and turn the heat on high. Reduce, stirring often, to about 1/4 cup – it should be thick – and stir in the garlic and caper mixture and the parsley. Whisk together, taste and adjust seasoning, pour over the fish and serve.


With 360º Ale…

Sleeping Giant’s Beer-becue Sauce

From Chef Rachel Globensky


1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes (or ketchup, in a pinch)
3/4 cup Sleeping Giant 360º Ale
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper (or more, if you’d like)

Feeling fancy?  You can add any or all of these …

1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


It’s easy peasy!

Throw everything into a blender and whiz around until it’s fairly smooth.  You can use it as a marinade, or as a sauce while you’re grilling veggie kabobs, pork, beef or chicken.  It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week, but I’m betting it won’t last that long!


With Armoury Ale …

Gamekeeper’s Pie

Serves 6


50g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
700g mixed game meat (partridge, pigeon, pheasant, rabbit & hare all work well), deboned and cut into 3cm pieces
300g pack venison sausages (about 6 sausages), removed from their skins
2 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon tomato purée
150ml red wine
500ml chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
4 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
400g potatoes, cut into chunks
600g mixed root vegetables (use parsnips, celeriac, swede or turnips), cut into chunks
2 tablespoon milk


Heat half the butter and the oil in a large pan, add the onion and carrots, and cook for about 10 mins until soft. Add the game and sausage meat to the pan.

Turn up the heat, squash the meat with the back of your spoon to break it up, and cook for 10 mins until nicely browned.

Stir the flour and tomato purée into the meat, cook for 1 min, then add the wine, stock, sauce, bay and 3 teaspoons thyme. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour.

Remove the lid and cook for 15 minutes more until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Put the potatoes and veg in a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes until really tender. Drain, leave to steam for 5 minutes, then mash with seasoning, milk and the remaining butter.

Heat oven to 220C. Tip the meat into an ovenproof dish and spoon on the mash. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme and bake for 45 mins until the top is golden and the sauce bubbling.


With Skullrock Stout …

Coffee & Chipotle-Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Stout Molasses Pan Sauce

From Serious Eats – Marvin Gapultos
Serves 4-6 as appetizers

Ingredients for the rub

1 tablespoon ground coffee
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder, or other chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless rib eye or strip steaks, each about 1-inch thick (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon canola oil 

Ingredients for the pan sauce

2 teaspoons flour
1 cup oatmeal stout or chocolate stout beer
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons molasses


To make the rub, combine the coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Evenly distribute the rub on all sides of the steak, making sure to rub and massage the spices into the meat. Set the meat aside for at least 40 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan over moderately high heat. When the oil is shimmering and nearly smoking, place the steaks in the pan and cook until brown and crusty, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Steaks should register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare. Remove the steaks from the pan and rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes.

To make the pan sauce, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Whisk the flour into the fat in the pan and cook until brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the stout, soy sauce, and molasses and continue to whisk until the sauce is reduced and thickens a bit, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Cut the rested beef into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a large platter. Drizzle the warm pan sauce over the cubed steaks and serve immediately with toothpicks.


With Hoppet IPA …

bbq wingsOutstanding Wings

From the kitchen of our long time Savvy friend Jerry who you will meet at a Savvy Event where he is often VJ-ing spinning vintage vinyl  while enjoying a Canadian wine or craft beer.  Definitely a multi-talented guy!

Jerry’s Notes: some recipes are not written down, but jotted as mine is here.  Try it out & customize as you like to create perfect chicken wings.


Fresh chicken wings (recommended) – split or not, it’s up to you.
Your favorite habanero sauce (my favorite is Chilli Chillis from Manotick)
Canjun mix spice
Dried paprika


Fire up your BBQ to med to med high BBQ.

Place wings on BBQ and brush on habanero sauce of choice.  Sprinkle Cajun and/or paprika directly onto the chicken wings as they are BBQing.  Everything should stick nicely to the sauce.  My wife prefers paprika, I like the Cajun … honestly, but both together work well too.

Let cook for 10 mins or so, flip and repeat.  Once they start to sizzle nicely, brush a bit more sauce on, flip after a minute and do one more brushing.

Et voila!


With #Selfie Saison …

Grilled Meatloaf Sandwiches

From Food Network – Farmhouse Rules
12-15 servings

Ingredients for the Meatloaf

1 cup whole milk
3 potato rolls, torn
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 pound ground bison
1 pound lean (90/10) ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Worcestershire
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper 

Ingredients for the glaze

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for the sandwiches

Canola oil spray, for spraying meat and rolls
12 to 15 onion slider rolls
12 to 15 slices Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
12 to 15 pieces green leaf lettuce
12 to 15 thinly sliced pieces red onion
12 to 15 slices tomato

Method for the meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil.

In a small bowl, add the milk and bread and set aside. To the bowl of a food processor, add the rosemary, celery, carrots and onions. Pulse until the vegetables are medium chopped, about 15 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine the ground bison, pork and veal. Add in the bread mixture, chopped vegetables, Parmesan, Worcestershire, beaten eggs and some pepper and mix with your hands to combine.

Continue to mix the meat for about 2 minutes or until the seasoning and vegetables are evenly distributed. Place the meatloaf mixture into the lined baking sheet and gently shape into a flat football.

Method for the glaze

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar.

Spread the glaze evenly over the surface of the meatloaf. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Method for the sandwiches

Preheat a grill to medium high.

Spray the meatloaf pieces with canola spray and place on the grill for 3 minutes per side. Spray the insides of the onion rolls with canola spray and grill for 1 minute per side.

Transfer the grilled meatloaf and rolls to a plate and assemble the sandwiches. Begin with a roll, top with cheese, some mayonnaise, a piece of lettuce and onion and a slice of tomato.

Add a piece of meatloaf and serve immediately.

With Coffee Vanilla Porter …

Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies

Serves 4 


1/2 cup (115g) salted butter*
8 ounces (228g) coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate*
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (80g) all-purpose flour (measure this accurately)
2 Tablespoons (11g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Milk Chocolate Frosting (optional)
1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
salt, to taste


Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave.

Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch square baking pan* with aluminium foil, leaving an overhand on all sides. Set aside.

Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done.

All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.

Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares.

For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.

For the optional frosting

Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder making sure that there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes.

Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Frost the brownies before or after cutting into squares, whichever you prefer.

The brownies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week. Unfrosted brownies freeze well, up to 2 months.

Baker’s Notes:
I love to use salted butter here. If you choose to use unsalted, don’t increase the salt in the recipe. I find that there is no noticeable taste difference between using salted and unsalted butter in this particular recipe.

I typically use Baker’s, Ghirardelli, or Trader Joes chocolate. Try using bittersweet chocolate for a deeper, darker flavor.

You may use an 11×7 inch baking pan instead – the bake time is about 35-40 minutes.


Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Hip Hops!