Red Mist Leisure and Hogs Back Brewery Team Up to Promote Traditional Ingredient

24th May 2016

A Hop Shoot Risotto created by the kitchen team at the Cock Inn at Headley has won a menu competition organised by Hogs Back Brewery.

The Surrey-based brewer supplied hop shoots from its own hop garden to chefs at the seven pubs operated by Red Mist Leisure, and challenged them to develop a new dish using the traditional ingredient.

Adam Sullens, head chef at The Cock Inn, came up with a risotto made with the hop shoots, new season asparagus and broad beans, and finished with parmesan, salad leaves from Secretts Farm in Milford, and crispy hop shoots in a light batter.

Adam said: “Hop shoots are an interesting ingredient to work with; they have a peppery flavour that worked very well in our risotto made with seasonal, local ingredients.”

The shoots were from Fuggles hops, one of three varieties that Hogs Back grows in its 3.5 acre hop garden, adjacent to the brewery in Tongham. The dish proved to be a hit with customers as well as with the team from Hogs Back, who picked the risotto as their winner.

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said: “Hop growing was once a major part of Surrey’s economy, and hop shoots were a rural delicacy sometime called ‘poor man’s asparagus’. Having revived the growing tradition with our hop garden, we’re delighted that Red Mist Leisure’s pubs are also bringing back hop shoots as a fresh, local ingredient in great pub food.

“All the recipes were interesting and imaginative, and we particularly liked the Hop Shoot Risotto created by Adam and his team at the Cock Inn because of its strong seasonal feel.”  

Runners-up in the menu competition were: 

  • Marcin Prokopczuk, head chef at the Exchequer, Fleet: Steamed mussels with hop shoots and Hazy Hog cider

  • Remi Zilys, head chef at the Royal Exchange, Lindford: Supreme of halibut with a basil crust, wilted spinach, beurre blanc sauce with hop shoots

Mark Robson, co-founder of Red Mist Leisure, said: “Customers love to see local food and drink on offer in our pubs, and beers from Hogs Back Brewery such as TEA and Hogstar Lager are very popular. It’s great to see the enthusiasm our chefs showed in extending our partnership with Hogs Back by using the brewery’s hop shoots on the menu.”

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