Introduction to Cooking with Beer
By Jay Harlow
One of the most basic roles of beer, at the table or apart from it, is simple refreshment -“wetting the whistle.” Because beer is about 95 % water, most of what it does is satisfy thirst. The complex of ingredients that makes up the other five percent makes all the difference in how a given beer goes with given foods.
There are many reasons why certain foods taste good with beer, and why certain combinations taste better than others. When analyzing why a particular cooking dish or a particular combination of foods (including beverages) works, I always come back to the balancing Five Flavors identified by the Chinese thousands of years ago: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and hot (pungent). Not every cooking dish needs to contain every element, but when one of these flavors completely dominates a meal, or is missing altogether, the overall balance suffers. In the five-flavor formula, beer mostly offers bitterness and sweetness; occasionally it adds acidity. Just how bitter and how sweet a given beer is determines its food affinities. When it comes down to matching beer and food, grouping beers by their overall flavor makes more sense than categorizing them a lager or ale, or by color, or along national boundaries.
One aspect of the flavor of beer is actually tactile rather than pure taste. The bitter astringency of hops, like tannin in red wines, is a perfect way to cut through the effect of fats on the palate. Without such a foil, rich foods such as beef, pork, duck, or cheese would quickly become heavy. A sip of a well-hopped ale or lager rinses away the fatty film and sets up the taste buds for more.
Texture can be as important as flavor in choosing foods to accompany your favorite beer. Let’s face it, beer by itself doesn’t offer much in the way of texture (apart from the thickest Stouts, which are almost chewy in their mouth-filling qualities.) A beer needs something firmer to go with it, whether it’s the crunch of chips or pickles, the chewy texture of home-baked pretzels or crusty bread, or the crackle of fried shellfish or vegetables. Imagine having a just a bowl of creamy soup with your beer; it doesn’t quite make it. But leave some of the vegetables in large, firm pieces, or better yet add some crisp croutons or crackers, and it works.
Don’t, however, make the mistake of assuming that beer belongs in every dish, or that more is necessarily better. What it all boils down to (pun intended) is that cooking with beer concentrates its natural flavors. As the water and alcohol evaporate, most of the other flavors remain, so a sweet beer becomes sweeter and a tart or bitter beer becomes more so.
Bitterness is the element to watch most carefully. Perhaps it would help to think of beer as a liquid extract of a distinctively flavored herb (hops) that has a strong bitter dimension. Use it with discretion as you would use other assertive herbs. This is not to say that highly hopped beers have no place in the kitchen. Guinness Extra Stout is no slouch in the bitterness department, but dark-roasted malt gives it a balancing richness that carries through cooking. Keep sweetness in mind as well. A beer that is noticeably sweet in the glass will become more so cooked, and is probably best used in desserts.
When beer is going to be an integral part of at finished sauce, be sure to allow enough time for the flavors to blend. Stews, soups, and other long-cooked dishes made with beer work better than quick sauces make by deglazing a skillet. Often a more important question than how to integrate beer into a given dish is whether to use beer in it at all. There is no reason to assume that every dish that goes with beer should include beer as an ingredient. Ask yourself if a slight to pronounced malty flavor would improve the dish, and if the accompanying touch of bitterness and/or sweetness would work with the existing balance of flavors. If not, don’t waste good beer – drink it instead!
Devil Mountain Flapjacks
We know what you thinking. No doubt wondering if beer is still the breakfast of champions. You may not see this recipe on the back of a box of Wheaties, but rest assured, it’s a tasty way to put a new twist on a stack-o-pancakes. Besides, we’re only talking about 2/3 cup a beer per 18 of these breakfast beauties! The addition of a wee bit of Devil Mountain Golden Ale will add a mildly tangy flavor and give your cakes a light, fluffy texture.
· 1 1/2 cup sifted flour · 1/2 tsp. salt · 1/2 tbsp. baking powder · 1/2 tbsp. sugar · 1 egg · 2/3 cup Devil Mt. Golden Ale · 3/4 cup milk · 2 tbsp. melted butter
Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add egg, beer, and milk. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until batter is light and frothy, batter will be the consistency of cream. Blend in butter. Cook pancakes on a hot griddle, lightly greased. Makes 18 regular pancakes, 6 manly-man cakes, or 1 really big bugger.
Source: Great Cooking with Beer, Jack Erickson, Red Brick Press, Reston, VA, 1989.
Bratwurst Au Frankenmuth
Fresh lean, juicy bratwurst with the proper balance of seasonings is not easy to come by. But fear not, with some basic equipment, you can make your own! It seemed a crime to feature a brewery such as Frankenmuth which has such a strong German heritage and not include a recipe for bratwursts. So here it is! Now get yourself a grinder, some stuff to grind, a little spicy mustard, and do that Voo Doo that You Do!
· 1 1/2 pounds lean veal · 4 pounds of lean pork · 1/2 pound pork trimmings (fat) · 1 1/2 tablespoons salt · 1 1/2 tablespoons mace · 1 1/2 tablespoons nutmeg · 1 1/2 tablespoons white pepper · 2 teaspoons ground ginger · 2 cups whole milk, chilled · 1/2 cup German Pilsner · 1 egg · 15 feet of sausage casings
Grind veal and pork with trimmings very finely. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, blending thoroughly. In a bowl combine meat with other ingredients using a mixer or large spoon until thoroughly blended. To stuff sausages, prepare casings purchased from butcher. Rinse inside and out under cool water. Following directions on sausage stuffer, gently slide about four feet of casing onto end without tearing. Tie knot to close casing. If you do not own a stuffer, push casing onto a funnel with a 1-inch opening. Fill funnel with sausage mixture and use a piece of clean wooden dowel to push into sausage casing. Fill as evenly as possible. Tie off each sausage by twisting casing every 4 to 5 inches. Sausages taste best if aged 24 hours in refrigerator. To cook, simply grill, boil, or steam until cooked through. Using beer to boil or steam bratwurst gives an added fantastic taste sensation.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewer’s Publications, Boulder, CO, 1993.
Brewhouse Steak Rub
Here’s a recipe that calls for any one of our featured Red Ales. Each variety lends its own special subtlety. A steak rub is a combination of herbs, spices, and other flavorful ingredients that is rubbed into the surface of meat 30 to 60 minutes prior to grilling or broiling. Equally delicious on beef, pork, or poultry, this zesty amalgam offruit, beer, herbs and spices is undoubtedly a worthy cause for donating one cup of this month’s shipment.
· 1 1/2 cups canned plums, no pits · 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil · 1 cup Red Ale · 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar · 1 tablespoon liquid smoke · 2 teaspoons salt · 6 large cloves garlic, mashed · 2 teaspoons crushed hot red peppers · scant teaspoon crushed coriander seed · scant teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth (Exercise caution if combining the Red Lady Ale with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil…they have polar personalities). Allow to stand 2 hours at room temperature before preparing the meat. Refrigerate remainder.
Source: Great American Beer Cookbook, Candy Schermerhorn, Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO.
A grill filled with these tantalizing shrimp and a bucket of chilled brew is a sure-fire way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon with friends and family. You’ll only have to part with 2/3 cup of you Baderbrau Pilsener to make it happen…
· pounds of large shrimp · cup olive oil · cup German Pilsener · tablespoons lemon juice · large cloves garlic, crushed · cup finely chopped scallion · tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried dash or two of Louisiana hot pepper sauce · bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
Shell and clean shrimp, rinse, and pat dry. Mix oil, Baderbrau Pilsener, lemon juice, garlic, scallion, basil, and hot pepper sauce (optional), add shrimp, and coat thoroughly. cover and marinate in refrigerate 4-8 hours.Spear shrimp on soaked skewers and place in refrigerator until ready to cook. Barbecue or broil until shrimp turn pink.
Source: Great American Beer Cookbook, Brewer Publications, Boulder, CO
Pale Ale Cheese Spread
This zesty spread blends four cheeses and several spices with your favorite ale. Try it on your favorite cracker or chip. We recommend using the hoppier of the two beers featured this month, Doggie Style Ale, both in the recipe as well as to complement the spread when served.
· 2 oz. Blue Cheese · 1 oz. Fresh American chevre or other fresh goat cheese · 6 oz. aged New York State white cheddar or other sharp cheddar, diced · 1 oz. Philadelphia-type cream cheese · 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds · 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds · 2 teaspoons · Hungarian paprika 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper · 1/2 cup Doggie Style Ale
Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. If spread is too thick, give up a little more of the Doggie. Pack into a crock or small bowl, and let sit several hours or overnight in the refrigerator before using. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.
Source: Real Beer and Good Eats, Alfred A. Knoph, Inc., 1992
Herbed Mussels or Clams
Steaming in a flavorsome combination of beer, onion, and herbs is an ideal way to prepare these tasty bivalves. Simply add fresh bread, a green salad, and your favorite of the 2 beers featured this month for an impeccable supper.
· 1 Onion, coarsely chopped · 1 large shallot or clove of garlic, thinly sliced · 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley · 1 teaspoon dried thyme · 1 scallion, finely chopped · 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper · 2 1/2 quarts mussels or clams, scrubbed · 1 1/4 cups Heartland Weiss · 8 tablespoons Herbed Butter* (see below)
Toss together onion, shallot, parsley, thyme, scallion, and pepper and place in a 6-qt. Dutch oven. Arrange shellfish over onions and pour beer over top. Cover and steam on medium-low until the mussels open. Toss any that don’t open…they were dead when you bought ‘em and won’t taste too swell! Remove shellfish and place on heated platter. Cover with foil. Quickly reduce cooking liquid with the vegetables by one third. Add herbed butter, stir, and pour over warm shellfish. Serve immediately.
· 1 cup butter, room temperature · 1/4 teaspoon salt · 2 tablespoons Blind Pig Golden Ale · 1 teaspoon chervil · 2 tablespoons minced chives · 1 shallot, finely minced · 1 scant teaspoon dried thyme, basil, marjoram · 1 small clove garlic, minced · 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper.
Cream butter with salt and beer. Blend in remaining ingredients and let stand at room temperature at least one hour.
Zonker Ice Cream
· 8 eggs, separated · 1 cup superfine sugar · 1 cup Zonker Stout · 1 1/2 cups light cream whipped w/ 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Whisk yolks, sugar and Zonker together until thick and mixture forms ribbons when whisk is lifted. Fold in whipped creams. Whisk egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into mixture. Pour into container and freeze, or use ice-cream maker. Serves 8, and recipe may be doubled.
Slickrock Eggplant Pasta
· 1/2 cup olive oil · 1 medium eggplant, peeled & diced · Salt and pepper · 6 ounces smoked ham, cubed · 1 cup Wasatch Slickrock Lager · 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary · 1 cup fresh or frozen peas · 1 lb. large tubular pasta such as penne · Freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Put in the eggplant, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 10 min., until it becomes soft. Stir in the ham, and fry 2 min. Add the lager and rosemary, and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half. Put in the peas, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce, and cook for 30 seconds to heat through. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with plenty of Parmesan cheese, and serve. Serves 4-6.
Source: Real Beer and Good Eats; Bruce Aidells & Denis Kelly; Alfred A. Knoph, Inc., 1992.
White Cloud Smoky Salmon
Salmon lightly brined in beer, salt, and sugar before smoking is a delicacy well worth the extra time and effort. Be sure to keep the meow mix bowl full or dry the salmon in a secure place out of kitty’s reach.
· 2 lbs. salmon fillets with skin, rinsed · 2 cups water · 2 cups White Cloud Ale · 1/2 cup coarse or kosher salt · 1/2 teaspoon dried dill · 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar · 3 lightly cracked black peppercorns · 1 bay leaf
Heat water and beer to boiling, add salt, dill, sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaf, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Simmer 25 minutes. Allow brine to cool to room temperature. Pour over salmon and weigh fish down with a saucer. The fish should be completely immersed in brine. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. With cold water, lightly rinse brine from fish but do not remove all of it. To dry, thread a loop of dental floss through one end of the fillet and hang in a well-ventilated area or lay on a cooling rack elevated on 4 cans placed in front of a fan for 4 to 8 hours. The fish will acquire a glossy veneer (called pelz) that is dry to the touch. Heat smoker to low and add wood chips. Smoke the fish slowly, checking occasionally. For moist fish with a hint of smokiness, the time will be relatively short. If you like dry and smoky, allow a longer smoking time. Serves 4.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewers Publications, 1993.
Hot Oktoberfest Potato Salad
A hearty side dish, this warm salad combines red and white new potatoes with bacon and beer to create a new twist for an old spud.
· 8 each small new and white potatoes, scrubbed · 5 strips lean bacon, coarsely chopped · 1 lg. onion or 5 shallots, coarsely chopped · 5 scallions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces · 2 teaspoons caraway seeds · 1 cup Frankenmuth Oktoberfest beer · 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar · 1/4 to 1/3 cup oil or bacon drippings · paprika, salt, and pepper to taste · 1/4 cup toasted crushed walnuts
Lower potatoes into boiling water to cover. Add a teaspoon of salt and boil just until tender. Drain, cool slightly, and quarter but do not peel. Place in a hot covered pan. In a heavy skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside on towels to drain. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and sauti onion in drippings until golden. Add scallions and caraway seeds, sauti for 1 min. Add beer to onions and simmer over medium-high until reduced by half. Pour in vinegar and oil and simmer briefly. Adjust seasonings. Add warm potatoes to sauce and simmer 2 mins., turning potatoes gently. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika and walnuts. Serves 3-4.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewers Publications, 1993.
Dock Street Beer & Seafood Fest
This is a serious recipe for serious appetites. What more could you want? You got your potatoes, your shellfish, your fatty fish, your meaty fish, some nice spice and a vegi to boot. And of course, one of the best handcrafted Pilsners in the country. So what are ya waitin’ for Julia? Get busy!
· 12 oz. Seabass fillet (skin on) · 12 oz. Salmon fillet (skin on) · 8 oysters in shell, brushed and cleaned · ½ lb. Cleaned mussels · 4 russet potatoes peeled and cut in an oval · 1 lb. Asparagus tips · ¼ tsp. Caraway seeds · 3 oz. Good butter · 12 oz. Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner · 2 Tbsp. Chopped parsley · salt, pepper to taste
Cook potatoes thoroughly in salty water. Cook asparagus al dente in salty water, then refresh in iced water. Cut each fish fillet in 4 slices and season with salt and pepper. Butter bottom of a lg. Sauce pan, add fish pieces plus the 8 oysters and pour the beer and caraway seeds into pan. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. After 2 min., add potatoes and mussels. Cover and let simmer until mussels open. Remove the fish, shellfish and potatoes to a deep plate. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil. With a whisk, gently introduce the cold butter to the liquid a little at a time. Turn the flame on and off to keep the butter from breaking. Add the asparagus to the liquid and pour over the seafood. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and proceed to inhale food in mass quantities. Recline to couch and pop in “Raising Arizona” video for good laugh. Do not attempt to clean kitchen.
Baked Crabmeat Legacy (appetizer)
· 1 1lb. Round loaf rye bread · 12 oz. Lump crabmeat · 2 8oz. Packages cream cheese, room temp. · 2 TBS Legacy Red Ale · 1 tsp. lemon juice · ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce · 1 dash hot pepper sauce · ¼ tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the top off of the loaf and scoop out the center, leaving about a 1″ thick shell. Cut the soft bread into cubes. Set them aside in a plastic bag. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and taste for seasoning. Adjust for salt or hot pepper sauce, as necessary. Fill the bread shell with the crabmeat mixture. Replace the top. Wrap completely in foil and place on a backing sheet. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Unwrap and remove the top. Serve hot, with reserved bread cubes for dipping. Serve with a cold Dead Armadillo and watch for their expressions of pure delight.
Hibernator Gorgonzola Cheese Soup
This selection was contributed by Great Divide’s Co-Founder, Tara Dunn.
· 1 small red onion · 3 medium cloves garlic · 1 chipotle pepper · 2 Tbsp. olive oil · 1 pound gorgonzola cheese · 16 oz. Hibernation Ale · 1 quart heavy cream · 1 gallon whole milk · Salt and pepper to taste
Puree onion, garlic and chipotle in food processor. Heat oil over medium heat in stock pot. Add onion mixture. With hands, crumble in gorgonzola. Heat just until cheese is halfway melted. Stir in beer. Bring to boiling point. Gradually add cream and milk. Heat just to boiling point. Do not boil or soup will scorch. Whisk occasionally. (Beer and cheese should incorporate on their own so do not overwhisk or soup will foam up). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 10-12 humans, 47 mice or 1 Green Bay Packer Fan.
Firestone Lamb & Black Bean Chili
This recipe, a serious stew-like chili, was contributed by owner Adam Firestone’s wife, Kate Firestone. You should consider serving it over a bed of white rice with the avocado salsa described, sour cream, cilantro, a crunchy green salad, French bread or soft rolled tortillas and a lemon tart for dessert! Do this and accompany it with a pint of Firestone Double Barrel Ale my friend, and you will be a happier person … and most likely quite full too.
· 4 cups chicken broth · 5 oz. dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded · 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce · 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS olive oil · 1 5 lb. leg of lamb, boned & trimmed · 2 lg. onions, diced · 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped · 12 ounces of Firestone Double Barrel Ale · 1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained · 1/4 cup ground pasilla chili powder · 3 TBS ground cumin · 5 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained · 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Bring stock to a boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add ancho chiles. Cover and let stand until soft, about 30 min. Transfer ancho chiles and 2 cups stock to processor or blender, add chipotle chiles and puree the lot of ‘em! Stir into remaining stock and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup oil in large Dutch Oven or covered pot over high heat and add lamb meat and reserved bones in batches. Cook until meat is brown about 3 min. per batch. Transfer to bowl using slotted spoon. Add remaining 2 TBS oil to Dutch oven and sauté onions and garlic for 3 min. Return meat, bones and juices accumulated in bowl to Dutch oven. Add your brew and simmer for 10 min. Have a brew. Add stock mixture, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin and simmer until lamb is tender, about 1 hr., 10 min. Mix beans and lime juice into chili. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all of your avocado ingredients in a bowl just prior to serving. Serves 8. Note: Lamb bones add flavor to the stock. Ask the butcher to bone a Leg of Lamb and cut the bones into 2 inch pieces and the meat into 3/4 inch cubes, leaving off as much fat as possible (unless you’re into that fat thing … which is okay).
· 3 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, diced · 7 TBS fresh lime juice · 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion · 6 TBS chopped fresh cilantro · 3 jalapeno chiles, seeded, minced · Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of your avocado ingredients in a bowl just prior to serving. Serves 8.
Rogue Ale Brewed Chili
· 2 lbs kidney beans · 2 1/2 lbs hamburger · 1 onion · 1 green pepper · 1 TBS salt · 1/3 cup sugar · 6 cloves garlic · 3 TBS chili powder · 1 1/2 TBS dry mustard · 24 oz. American Amber · 12 oz. tomato paste
Soak beans in water 12 hours and then simmer over medium heat until tender. Lightly brown beef and caramelize onion in same pan. Discard fat (or donate it to your local McDonald French fry cooker). Combine sugar, garlic, chili powder and mustard with 12 ounces of brew and simmer for 15 min. Add tomato paste to beans and combine with all of that other stuff we just had you do. Simmer for 2 hours adding remaining 12 ounces of beer during the last 10 minutes. Roll up your sleeves, fill a big bowl with the stuff and maybe schlapp a sizable dollop-o-sour cream smack dab in the middle of it all.
Lost Planet Scandinavian Beef Stew
· 4 lb. chuck roast, cut into 2″ cubes · 2 TBS vegetable oil · 1 1/2 tsp corn starch · 1 TBS water · 1/4 cup cream
· 1 cup Lost Planet Porter · 1/2 cup cider vinegar · 2 tsp. pepper · 1 tsp ground allspice · 2 bay leaves · 1 tsp ground thyme · 2 medium onions, sliced · 2 medium carrots, sliced
Combine marinade ingredients in a large glass bowl. Add meat and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days. When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade and pat dry on paper towels. Reserve marinade. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown meat on all sides. Add 1 cup of marinade. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook about 2 hours, until meat is very tender. Add reserved marinade, if necessary, to keep meat moist. Mix corn starch and water together to make a smooth paste. Remove meat to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Stir corn starch mixture into pan gravy. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until gravy is thickened. Add cream and blend well. Pour over meat. The traditional garnish for this stew is sour gherkins. Serve with boiled potatoes and consider an Ale, Bock, Porter, or a Stout for your beverage of choice.
Source: Great Cooking with Beer; Jack Erickson; Red Brick Press, Reston, VA, 1989.
Stouts get their dark color and robust taste from dark roasted malt barley. The well-roasted malt barley imparts a rich flavor that is a perfect marriage with desserts, and its born to go with chocolate! We’ve found a Mousse recipe in the Southwest Brewing News that’ll give you a whole new appreciation for El Dorado’s TrailBlazer Stout.
· 1 lb. chocolate chips, or other bitter chocolate · 3/4 cup El Dorado TrailBlazer Stout, room temp. · 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur · 8 large eggs, room temp., separated · 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter · 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled · 1/2 cup sugar · 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt chocolate chips slowly in double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in Stout and coffee liqueur, blending until smooth. Add egg yolks to mixture two at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream, vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks. Chill cream mixture. In another bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff, and gently fold egg whites and whipped cream together. Very slowly fold 1/4 of this mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth, then fold in remainder of cream mixture until no white is showing. Spoon into 10 serving goblets and chill. Some like to serve with a raspberry sauce, but you might not want to take any attention away from the pureness of its existing wonderful, malty, chocolate flavor.
Stone Mountain Trout
Whether grilled, broiled, steamed or fried, whitefish is a natural match for crisp, clean lagers of either the Bohemian or German variety. The crispness of the beer, combined with whatever delicacies each individual beer may offer, will provide the perfect complement to the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth qualities of a beautifully cooked fish. Although you should use a lager in the recipe itself, consider serving the meal with a Pilsener, an ale, or this month’s featured lager.
· 3 fresh trout · 1 cup Stone Mountain Lager · 1 cup dry white wine · 1/2 cup vinegar · 1 lemon, half in slices
Wash and clean trout, place in saucepan. Mix beer, wine, vinegar and pour over fish in saucepan. Heat mixture to boil, turn down heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, turning fish over. Remove fish, squeeze lemon over fish, garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Serves 3 persons, 2 persons and 3 cats, 2 persons and one cat with an overactive pituitary gland, or one dog.
Source: Great Cooking with Beer, Jack Erickson, Red Brick Press, 1989.
Grilled Igloo Eggplant with Tamarind Beer Sauce
This fabulous eggplant dish is exceptional served with fresh pasta. Don’t be shy about experimenting if you are unfamiliar with tamarind. Its unique, piquant flavor is well worth trying.
· 2 medium eggplants · 4 cups water with 1/4 cup salt · 1/4 cup flavored oil (see notes) Tamarind Beer Sauce · 1/4 cup olive oil · 2 red bell peppers, seeded, and coarsely chopped · 1/2 small onion, finely chopped · 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped and mashed · 1/3 cup Tamarind Beer Syrup (see below) · 2 tablespoons of honey · 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced thinly · 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
Tamarind Beer Syrup:
1 cup Boulder Igloo Ale 1 cup water 1 cup sugar 5 peeled tamarinds or 1/2 cup tamarind pulp
Cut stem end off of eggplants. Slice into 1-inch rounds and place in salted water. Soak for 15 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Brush on both sides with flavored oil and let stand while heating the grill and preparing the sauce. In a large heavy skillet heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-low. When hot, add red bell pepper, onion, shallots, and garlic, cooking just until soft and transparent (do not brown). Add the Tamarind-Beer Syrup, ginger, and curry paste. Continue to cook until thick and chunky. Remove from heat and cover. Grill eggplant on medium-high until golden and soft when pierced with a fork. Serve immediately with the Tamarind-Beer Sauce. * Notes: Flavored oil can be made by heating oil on low and adding one of the following: mashed garlic, shallot, dried chili pod, or annatto seed. Cover and set aside for a few hours.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewers Publications, 1993.
Mother’s Airship Ponderosa Ale & Egg Bread
As the holidays draw near, what better way to celebrate them than by enjoying great food and great beer, preferably at the same time! As most of you undoubtedly have pre-selected holiday meal main courses that rarely break genetic tradition, we opted to select a recipe this month that complements any homemade meal. This is a fantastic all-round bread, moist, finely textured, and replete with the essence of beer. The dough is easily formed into braids or dinner rolls. With three different pale ales to choose from, you’re either going to have to choose between them or do some serious bakin’!
· 7-8 cups bread flour · 2 tablespoons dry yeast · 1 cup warmed Pale Ale · 1 cup warmed water · 2 tablespoons sugar · 1 cup dry powdered milk · 1/4 cup vegetable oil · 3 large eggs, room temperature · 1 tablespoon salt · 1 egg white beaten with 1 tbspn. warmed honey
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup flour and dry yeast. Pour the warm beer and water over, and whisk thoroughly. Allow to rest in a warm, draft-free spot for 15-20 minutes. Whisk in sugar, powdered milk, oil, eggs, and salt. Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time, using your hands when dough becomes heavy and stop when it pulls easily away from the sides of the bowl. Knead vigorously, adding only enough flour to prevent dough from sticking to your hands or the bowl. When dough is smooth and elastic, coat the inside of a lg. bowl with 1 tbspn. vegetable oil. Press the ball of dough into the bowl and turn it over, coating the entire surface with oil. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled and then punch down, divide in half, and allow to rest 5 min., covered. To shape into loaves, coat an area of the counter with a few drops of oil. Pat dough into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle. Starting at the narrow end, roll firmly but gently into a cylinder. Do not stretch the dough. Pinch ends and turn them under toward the seam side. Forcefully slam the dough onto the counter, seam-side down, 2 or 3 times to seal and remove lg. air bubbles. Place loaves seam-side down in generously greased loaf pans. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Gently and generously brush tops with glaze. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. or until tops are golden and bottoms are browned.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook; Candy Schermerhorn; Brewers Publications, 1993.
Ellie’s Beer-Becued Pork Ribs
Both Ellie and Murl agree with a unanimous “two paws way up” that this thick, fruity sauce based on plums, tomatoes, beer, and spices not only has genuine sinus-clearing qualities, but also beats the hell outta Kibbles and Bits or rawhide chewies. The well-balanced full flavor of this sauce complements pork so perfectly that it’s hard to imagine eating ribs without it. Bone Appetite!
· 1/4 Cup butter, olive, or other vegetable oil · 1 large onion, finely chopped · 6 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt · 1 cup pitted plums, fresh or canned, or whole cranberry sauce · 12 ounces tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes in puree · 12 ounces Ellie’s Brown Ale · 2 large or 4 small beef or chicken bouillon cubes · 1/2 cup red wine vinegar · 1 teaspoon bottled liquid smoke · 1/2 cup dark brown sugar · 1 teaspoon each ginger, cayenne, crushed coriander seed, black pepper, cumin seed, and mustard seed · 5-8 lbs. pork ribs, country-style, back or baby back · freshly ground black pepper and allspice
In a small skillet melt butter and sauté onion on medium-low until limp and translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onion is limp, set aside. In a blender or food processor, puree plums and tomato sauce until smooth. In a 3-quart pan heat beer to medium simmer and add bouillon cubes, stirring until dissolved. Add vinegar, liquid smoke, brown sugar, spices, sautéed onion, and plum-tomato mixture. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, 45 min. to 1 hr. Wipe ribs to remove fat and bone particles and keep whole to retain moisture. Sprinkle liberally with pepper and allspice. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat coals very hot and set grill close to them. Quickly sear ribs. Remove, raise grill to highest position, and place lightly oiled heavy-duty foil on grill. Puncture for ventilation. Place meat on greased foil, brush liberally with sauce, close lid, and cook until through and tender from 45-75 mins.
Source: The Great American Beer Cookbook, Candy Schermerhorn, Brewers Publications.