3 fabulous festive recipes with beer

Open a frosty one and get cooking! Try Chef Peter Ayub’s party-pleaser recipes made with beer

Have you ever cooked with beer? If not, try it out this summer when friends and family are cracking open frosty bottles of local beer. ‘There are no rules when it comes to cooking with beer,’ says Chef Peter Ayub of the Sense of Taste Catering Company. ‘Just enjoy it. Whether you are roasting, stewing or basting, beer adds a beautiful earthy, rich flavour to food. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it.’

An expert entertainer, Chef Pete has cooked for celebrities including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Kim and Khloé Kardashian, and was honoured to prepare the favourite meal (oxtail) of former president Nelson Mandela during the opening of the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront.

With the festive season in mind, he has formulated three recipes using Windhoek beer as the X-factor ingredient: a black-mussel pot and chicken breasts with couscous, both made with Windhoek Draught, and a gourmet Bratwurst Hotdog made with Windhoek Lager. Open a beer and enjoy!

1. Windhoek Draught Black-mussel Pot with Crispy Portuguese Buns and Butter (Starter)

Serves 6 to 8




  • 100g salted butter
  • ¼ cup good-quality local olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 can Windhoek Draught
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 3kg fresh black mussels, cleaned
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley, to garnish
  • crispy Portuguese buns, buttered



  1. Melt butter together with olive oil in a large pot and sauté the red onion, spring onions and thyme.
  2. Add half the Windhoek Draught, the sugar, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the pot and add the other half of the Windhoek Draught.
  5. Put the lid on the pot and simmer until mussels are open.
  6. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened or are less than a quarter open.
  7. Serve mussels in a big bowl/dish and pour the simmering liquid over them.
  8. The crispy buttered Portuguese buns are essential to mop up all that delicious mussel/Windhoek Draught liquid.

Chef’s Tip: How to Clean Fresh Black Mussels   

  • Scrub the outer shell with a hard nail brush under running water.
  • Place the mussels in a bucket of salted water – this keeps them alive for several hours.
  • While in the salted water, the mussels expel any sand or grit.
  • Place the mussels in a large colander and wash well under running water.
  • Using a sharp knife, scrape off any barnacles and seaweed.
  • Very important: Any mussels that appear damaged or are broken or opened must be discarded immediately.
  • Lastly, remove the beard – pull it like you would unzip something. Sometimes the beard stays fast. When this happens, leave it until after you have cooked the mussels. You’ll then be able to pull it off easily.


Black mussels can be obtained fresh or frozen from most local supermarkets and fishmongers, as well as speciality delis.


2. Windhoek Draught Festive-season Chicken

Serves 4

‘The intricate flavour sensations and superb colours in this dish make this an absolutely perfect feature at a festive lunch table,’ says Chef Pete.



For the Chicken

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • 4 free-range chicken breasts
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 can Windhoek Draught
  • 1½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cream
  • a knob of butter
  • good-quality local olive oil to brush chicken breast for baking
  • 1 tsp cornflour, dissolved in water

For the Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup coriander, finely chopped



For the Chicken Breasts and Sauce

  1. Mix together the ricotta cheese, sage, Parmesan cheese, finely chopped dried cranberries and lemon zest until well combined and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the side of each breast. Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  3. Fill each breast with the ricotta mixture.
  4. Wrap each breast with 2 rashers of streaky bacon and secure carefully with toothpicks so that the stuffing is closed in the chicken breast and the bacon is securely wrapped around the chicken breast.
  5. In a deep pan, pour in the Windhoek Draught and heat up. Add the sugar and dissolve.
  6. Gently poach the chicken breasts in this liquid for about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken breasts and set aside.
  8. Place chicken breasts on a baking tray that has been greased with olive oil.
  9. Brush the chicken breasts with some oil and bake in oven at 200°C for about 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is crispy and golden brown.
  10. Now add the crushed garlic and roughly chopped dried cranberries to the beer liquid.
  11. Simmer and reduce, then add cream and butter.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Add the dissolved cornflour to the liquid to help thicken the sauce.
  14. Put lid on to keep sauce warm and set aside.

For the Couscous

  1. Place the cup of couscous into a deep rectangular dish.
  2. Pour over the hot chicken stock.
  3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and allow to steam for about 8 minutes until the couscous is cooked.
  4. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in your diced red pepper and chopped coriander.
  6. Heat it up quickly in the microwave before serving.


To Serve: Plate up the couscous into a shallow bowl, nestle the chicken breast on top of the couscous and pour the sauce over it.

Chef’s Tip: Remember to be very gentle when removing the toothpicks.


3. Windhoek Lager ‘Gourmet Dogs’ with Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Serves 6 to 8



  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp Oryx smoked salt
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp good-quality olive oil for paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 to 8 Bratwurst sausages
  • 1 bottle Windhoek Lager
  • 2 x 400g tins sauerkraut
  • 1 tsp cornflour, dissolved in water
  • 2 tbsp canola oil, for frying Bratwurst
  • 2 crusty French loaves (long ones) – get 4 pieces out of each loaf
  • a squeeze of German mustard for each dog as garnish
  • 2 handfuls chopped fresh parsley, for garnishing



  1. Crush and grind the celery, caraway seeds, smoked salt, mustard powder, onion powder, olive oil and sugar in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste.
  2. Place this paste into a large pan over a medium heat.
  3. Pan-fry the Bratwursts in the paste for about 3 minutes and then add the Windhoek Lager.
  4. Simmer for about 12 minutes, then remove the Bratwursts and set aside.
  5. Carry on simmering the liquid and add the sauerkraut.
  6. Reduce the liquid for approximately 10 minutes.
  7. To thicken the sauce add the dissolved cornflour to the sauerkraut and sauce.
  8. Heat another pan to a high heat with canola oil, add the Bratwursts and flash-fry till browned.
  9. Cut your French loaf in sections. Place each Bratwurst on each sectioned loaf, generously add sauerkraut and sauce, then a squeeze of the German mustard and finally a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Recipes Prepared by Chef Peter Ayub www.senseoftaste.co.za


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