Monthly Archives: June 2015

How to make the perfect seafood chowder

If you’ve subscribed to our mailing list, you’ll know it includes head chef Eddie Thomson’s a recipe of the month for Firebrand’s popular seafood chowder. Join the list using the link at the bottom of this page to get future recipes delivered to your inbox.

Seafood chowder

Seafood chowder – serves four
This warming chowder is the perfect meal for a chilly evening and is easily adaptable to include your favourite seafood.

  • 25g butter
  • 100g streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 250g potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 300ml milk
  • 125ml cream
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2tbsp brown crab meat
  • 200g white crab meat
  • 200g smoked haddock, cut into 1” pieces
  • Small bunch of chives
  1. In a heavy based pan, fry the bacon in a little oil until crispy.
  2. Add the butter, bay leaves and the onions then reduce the heat and cook until the onions are soft but not coloured.
  3. Add the cubed potato and mix well so it is thoroughly coated in the butter and onions before adding the milk, cream and chicken stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are cooked but still firm.
  5. With the back of a spoon, crush the potatoes against the side of the pan and allow to cook for two minutes. The potato will thicken the chowder.
  6. At this point add the brown crab and mix in thoroughly. Then add the smoked haddock and cook for five minutes until the fish is just cooked.
  7. Stir in the white crab meat and chives to finish the dish and serve in warmed bowls with plenty of crusty bread.

It’s always best to season food to taste. In this case the brown crab meat will provide a good level of seasoning without the addition of further salt.

Give it a go and let us know what you think – and don’t forget to join the mailing list for more of Eddie’s recipes.

5 reasons why you should never drink beer

1. There’s just too much choice. Who wants to spend their time admiring beautiful artwork and discovering the perfect new IPA?

2. Beer is made from hops. It’s practically a vegetable.

Hops

3. Your drinking offends gorgeous women. No amount of beer is worth dashing your chances with a beautiful lady.

Lips

4. Scientists recommend beer as part of an athlete’s diet because it hydrates better than water. You don’t want anyone to confuse you for an athlete – it’s too much like hard work.

Beer athletes

5. You might end up pairing your beer with the perfect food match and missing out on that microwave meal at home.

Buffalo wings

BBQ – Game of Thrones style

Lanson Grill Fest was already shaping up to be pretty epic when Sizzle Grills said they wanted to add their awesome Argentine BBQ into the mix.

If you’ve never seen the Argentinian way of barbecuing, it involves attaching big hunks of meat to spits and cooking them over charcoal. Let’s be honest, it looks like something out of Game of Thrones, and it’s going to be right here in Launceston town square.

The couple behind Sizzle Grills live in Cornwall but they’ve spent lots of time in Argentina and had their son out there.  It’s not hard to see why they got hooked on Argentine asado barbeque. Sizzle Grills make Argentine barbecues and asador criollo spits and give loads of demonstrations and advice on butchery and cuts. Make sure you head over for a chat between 10am and 10pm on Saturday 25 July. If you pick up some gear, it’s perfect for use on the beach!

Craft beer and food matching

Matching stuff is important. If you pick things because you like them individually without any thought about what they’re pairing with then you may not enjoy the end result. By paying a bit of attention to matching flavours when you choose your American food and craft beer, you’ll find both your meal and your drink even tastier than you expected.

Burger
Pale ales go really well with burgers, which is why we’ve got such a wide selection of them in keg, cask and bottle. They also pair with cheddar so if you’re going for our classic burger topped with Davidstow Cheddar then a pale ale will make the perfect match. If you opt for the Cornish Blue then a double IPA may prove a better match. Double IPAs are also great with brisket. Burgers are a good choice for lager drinkers as the flavours combine well.

Flat iron steak

Our bottled Belgian dubbels match very meaty dishes such as steak or smoked ribs. They also pair well with strong chocolate desserts, making them an ideal accompaniment to our chocolate brownies. If you enjoy dark beers then try a porter with smoked food or a stout with steak. Firebrand serves a range of seafood, particularly on the specials board. The delicate flavours can be lost if accompanied by an overpowering beer but they go well with hefeweizen, witbeer or even a pilsner.


When you start to think about flavours, matching becomes a fairly straightforward process. Begin by choosing either the food or beer you want and think about how strong the tastes are. Strong beers go with strong foods, while more delicate drinks will pair well with light flavours. If you follow that simple rule then you should enjoy your food and drink, but if you want to take it a stage further and make really complementary choices then there are more things to consider. Look for similar flavours as well as similar strengths. If you enjoy traditional ales with nutty flavour notes then pair them with foods of a similar nature. You may want to be particularly careful if you’re eating spicy food. Choose a bitter, hoppy beer to enhance the spice or a sweet or malty one to dampen it down.

Give it a go next time you’re enjoying a beer and meal and see if you can match your choices. If you’re interested in learning more and fancy a food and beer pairing evening at Firebrand then get in touch.

Forged in Cornwall

Firebrand bottle selection

If you’ve seen the news today you can’t have missed Doomgate causing controversy.

The once-Cornish brewery Sharp’s of Rock, now owned by giant Molson Coors,  has been caught out labelling its bottles of Doom Bar with “Rock, Cornwall” when it’s actually brewed in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Burton, known for its long brewing history, is about as far as you can get from the sea in Britain and clocks in at 267 miles away from Rock.

So why does it matter? The cask version of Doom Bar is still brewed in Cornwall and is drunk in pubs throughout the Duchy as a genuine Cornish product. Like Cornish pasties which now have protected origin status, we like our Cornish food and drink to be proper Cornish. If someone’s labelling it to take advantage of our great reputation and it isn’t actually made in Cornwall we get a bit wound up. Although many were aware what Molson Coors were doing, the majority of people have been led to believe that Sharp’s is a local Cornish company producing local beer which gets shipped upcountry. Exposing the reality in the national media has damaged the product’s credibility and authenticity.

Loads of genuine Cornish breweries really do brew and bottle their craft beers and real ales right here in Cornwall. Penpont Brewery and Firebrand Brewing Co both produce their cask, keg and bottled beers at a farm just outside Launceston. It’s the same farm where the rare breed pigs which make Firebrand Bar & Restaurant’s pulled pork are raised, which makes us pretty unique – and distinctly Cornish.

Chill with friends and cocktails at two for £10

Firebrand cocktail deal

The sun’s beaming down and 5pm is tantalisingly close so it’s unlikely much work is getting done in offices around Cornwall. Instead, it’s the ideal weather to enjoy a couple of cocktails with colleagues or friends and plan your weekend. From 5 to 8pm on Monday to Thursday you can choose two for £10 – the perfect excuse if any were needed.

If you’ve got a favourite that isn’t listed then just ask. Firebrand offers a bar full of mixers and spirits from Cornish gin to American bourbon for you to explore and enjoy.

You’ve probably seen we’re opening seven days a week throughout the summer so there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge!

Firebrand cocktail list

Happy Birthday America

 

Independence Day 4th of July party

We couldn’t let our first Fourth of July pass us by without a serious Stateside celebration. American Independence Day is a big deal as it’s the date shown on the Declaration of Independence when the 13 colonies voted to break away from Great Britain – effectively America’s birthday. We’re throwing a party to mark the date with a tasty limited edition big Texas Burger, US craft beer and decent music.

We’ll have extra US bottled beers for you on top of our already big selection so you can tuck into a stack of American BBQ washed down with well-matched craft beers.

Texas BurgerTexas Burger 2

Don’t miss our special Texas Burger: A juicy burger made from Philip Warren beef, topped with fiery beef chilli and cheddar with baby gem, tomato and red onion.

Local blues legend Jeff Horsey will perform a live set from 9.30pm til late. Entry is free.

Blues Booze BBQ

 

Barbecue and beers in Launceston town square

Launceston Food and Drink Festival is one which is pretty important to us as members of our team set it up last year as part of the Charles Causley Festival, five months before Firebrand Bar & Restaurant opened its doors. Other commitments meant we handed it over to Launceston Tourist Information Centre to run this year but we still took part with a barbecue stall and bar.

It was a good day with loads of people out sampling some quality Cornish street food and beers and browsing the craft market. Plenty took the chance to pick up our new loyalty card which gives you freebies including drinks, desserts and burgers. If you haven’t got yours then make sure you ask for one next time you eat at the restaurant.

If you missed out then there isn’t long to wait for the next town centre festival as the first Lanson Grill Fest takes place in the square from 10am to 10pm on Saturday 25 July. Entry is free and there are loads of great exhibitors coming along ranging from low n slow US style cooking to American clothing and entertainment. Click through to find out more.

Open seven days a week through summer

Cornwall restaurant

Summer keeps threatening to finally appear so we’re gearing up to open the restaurant seven days a week from Monday 13 July, up from our usual Monday to Saturday.

Summers in Cornwall are chilled times full of barbecues, beers and games with friends – just what Firebrand is all about. As the evenings get warmer you’re drinking more cider so we’ve got Scrumpy on cask as well as our usual Cornish Orchards bottle and cask range.

Chef Eddie’s specials are taking on a summery vibe too with chargrilled tiger prawns hitting the menu and our Aussie burger making a return. Keep an eye on our Facebook page where we announce the daily specials.

Chargrilled tiger prawns with aioli

 

 

Launceston Food & Drink Festival

Launceston Food and Drink Festival menu for Firebrand Bar & Restaurant

We’re looking forward to another sunny Launceston Food & Drink Festival in the town square tomorrow as part of the Charles Causley Festival. Chef Eddie’s planned a tasty menu with plenty of choice for meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans, including favourites from the restaurant and some festival specials.

We’ll be trying out a brand new ProSlide 140 Charcoal BBQ from The Cornish Barbecue Company based on the Pennygillam Industrial Estate in Launceston. Come and check it out and chat to our chefs about BBQ and grilling technique – they love talking about food and BBQ gear.

ProSlide 140 Charcoal BBQ from The Cornish Barbecue Company Launceston Cornwall

Penpont Brewery and Firebrand Brewing Co are running the bar with a selection of ciders, real ales, craft beers and cocktails for you to sit and sip in the sunshine. There was a really friendly atmosphere last year and it’s shaping up to be just as chilled. Entry is free so you can save your cash for the Cornish food and drink.

Pimm's in the sunshine

Firebrand Bar & Restaurant will be open as usual from 5pm. The forecast is for sun all day but if the weather turns you can still enjoy some quality food and drink inside, and kids eat free in the restaurant. Call 01566 770722 if you’d like to book a table.

Kids eat free at Firebrand Bar & Restaurant, Launceston, Cornwall

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