COOKING WITH BEER
St Patty’s Day and Corned Beef are synonymous, but after reading the instructions on the package, the thought of covering the brisket with water and boiling it until it’s fork tender, did not seem appealing! Boiled Beef? Wouldn’t that just boil out all of the flavors? Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Since I find boiling meat disrespectful, I prefer braising. By braising this dish, you’re basically putting the Corned Beef into a hot sauna for a couple of hours. Using beer in this recipe, the malty sweetness of English or Irish ales work their magic while that corned beef brisket transforms into a St. Patrick’s Day classic that you’ll want to make over and over again all year long.
Beer-braised corned beef with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes
1 two to three pound corned beef brisket
2 garlic cloves or 2 teaspoons of chopped prepared garlic
2 medium shallots, peeled and halved
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons pickling spices (or use the spices that come in the sachet w/the corned beef brisket)
1 Growler of ESB, Irish or Scotch Ale (Fullers London Pride, Monday Night Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, Harpoon Celtic Ale are examples.)
6 carrots peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces or 2 cups baby carrots
6 (Irish) red potatoes cut into 2 inch chunks
1 medium head of cabbage, cored and cut into 4 separate wedges
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Total Cooking Time: 4 ¾ hours – 5 hours
To start off, pour yourself a pint glass of beer from your Growler. So crack it open and start drinking. You can’t make this dish without sipping a beer. Skip this first step and it cannot possibility be Saint Patty’s Day!
Put the corned beef into a large roasting pan or oven-proof Dutch (I love my cast iron one from Lodge) oven with a lid. Add the garlic, shallots, pickling spice, bay leaf and 32 ozs. Growler beer. Cover and place in the oven. Braise this for 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat over half-way through. At the end of 2 1/2 hours, remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover again and place back in the oven for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven once again, this time adding the 4 wedges of cabbage. Put it back in the oven for another 45 minutes.
After an additional 45 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and check the corned beef for doneness. You should be able to stick a fork in and out of the roast easily. If it needs more time, give it another 30 minutes in the oven. When done, remove the roast from the pot, place on a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow the corned beef to rest for 15 minutes before cutting on the bias.
15 minutes resting time? Pour that last pint of beer from the growler and enjoy! While you are enjoying that beer, make a sauce from the remaining beer in the pot.
Strain the beer into a separate sauce pan. Over medium heat bring it to a boil, add a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste and Wisk briskly. When it starts to foam, take it off the heat. If you want the sauce to thicken up more like a gravy use “Wondra flour by Gold Medal and follow their instructions.
Carve the roast on the bias, place on a large serving platter; surround the sliced brisket with potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Cover the vegetables with the beer sauce reduction and garnish with parsley.
Crack open another Growler from the “BoB”. Eat. Drink. Life is good.
NOTE: This is best done in the oven, but if you’re pressed for time, it can be braised on the stove top on low heat in as little as 2 1/2 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots after 90 minutes, the cabbage 30 minutes after that, then pull it from the heat when 2 1/2 hours have elapsed.
Spicy “Midnight Train to Duluth” Beer Mustard
½ cup black mustard seeds
½ cup yellow mustard seeds
1 ½ cups malt vinegar
½ Howler “Midnight Train to Duluth” – the other half for your lips!
5 tablespoons honey
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground allspice
¾ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup dry ground mustard
- In a medium bowl, combine the black and yellow mustard seeds with the vinegar and 1 ½ cups of “Midnight Train to Duluth” beer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of the beer with the honey, brown sugar, salt, allspice and turmeric and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender and let cool. Add the ground mustard and the mustard seeds with their soaking liquid to the blender and puree. Transfer the mustard to a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
Make Ahead, The Midnight Train to Duluth mustard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Chocolate Stout/Porter Cupcakes:
Cooking with beer is fun and there’s no exception when it comes to desserts. Of all beers, Stouts or Porters are the perfect one for desserts because of its distinct chocolate and coffee notes. Pairing it with actual chocolate is the obvious choice. These cupcakes are light in texture but heavy in the chocolate department. The white cream cheese icing reminds me of the creamy white head that Guinness is famous for.
- · 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
- · 2 cups sugar
- · 2 cups all-purpose flour
- · 1 teaspoon baking soda
- · Pinch fine salt
- · 12 ozs Chocolate Stout or Chocolate Porter from the Best of Brews
- · 1 stick butter, melted
- · 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- · 3 large eggs
- · 3/4 cup sour cream
- · 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- · 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
- · 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
- Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.
- In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
- Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.
HOWL Black Lager Short Ribs:
These short ribs are a wonderful Sunday or holiday dinner alternative to predictable meals like turkey or ham–and with very little work, the result is sheer gourmet! The rich flavors of chipotle and tomato are complemented by the deep, complex flavor of Howl black lager and the delicious, savory grits. It’s the perfect dish to prepare for guests, as the short ribs taste even better if you make them the day before–leaving you more time to socialize instead of cooking!
Ingredients For the Braised Short Ribs:
5 lbs. beef short ribs
½ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
1 GROWLER Howl black lager
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. chipotle powder
For the Cheddar-Bacon Grits:
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. bacon, crispy and crumbled
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced (for garnish)
Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 300F.
Pat short ribs dry with paper towel. In plastic freezer bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper. One at a time, add short ribs to bag, shake until coated with mixture, and set aside.
Pour olive oil into a Dutch Oven. Over high heat, sear short ribs on all sides, in batches. Remove short ribs from Dutch oven and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and fry until soft, about 15 minutes.
Return short ribs to Dutch oven in one layer, and then add beef broth, 12 ozs of Howl black lager, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, and chipotle powder. Cover, place in oven, and cook until tender, about 3 hours.
When ready to serve short ribs, begin making grits by placing milk and water in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add grits slowly, stirring constantly. Lower heat and cook until thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add ¾ cheese and ¾ bacon, and stir until cheese is melted.
To serve: Place a spoonful of grits in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon. Place 1 short rib on top, drizzle with cooking liquid, and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with the remaining GROWLER of Howl black lager.
Beef Stew and Red Hare Watership Brown Ale Gravey with Dumplings
Watership Brown ale makes robust gravy for beef stew with dumplings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Beef Stew Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 pounds, stew beef
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- Olive oil
- 3 red onions, peeled, halved and roughly sliced (adjust # to your taste)
- 1-3/4 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 small handful of rosemary, leaves removed from stem
- 2 Tablespoon of herbs de provence *
- 5 cups of Red Hare Watership Brown ale ( 1 Growler for cooking and drinking with dinner)
- 2 cups of Beef Stock
- 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
*Home Made herbs de provence
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried fennel seed
- 1-3/4 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
Season the beef, sprinkle with the flour and toss around until well coated.
Heat up a frying pan until it is good and hot, add a little olive oil and fry the beef in 2 batches until nice and brown. Transfer the meat to a big Dutch Oven mixing in the flour that was left on the plate after coating the stew meat.
Put the Dutch Oven on a medium heat stove top, add the red onions and pancetta or bacon, and cook until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has a bit of color. Add celery, herbs de provence and rosemary. Pour in Watership Brown, beef stock and 1-1/4 cups of water, adding parsnips, carrots, and potatoes. Bring to the boil, put a lid on, turn down the heat and leave it to simmer while you make the dumplings.
Pulse the dumpling ingredients in a blender or rub between your fingers till you have a breadcrumb consistency, then add just enough water to make dough that is not sticky. Divide it into golf-ball sized dumplings and put these into the stew, dunking them under. Put the lid back on and let it cook for an additional 2 hours.
Taste and season as needed. Serve the stew with a field greens salad and crusty bread to mop up the gravy.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
BEER BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup chili sauce
- 1/2 cup “Brown Ale” beer
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Few drops of your favorite hot pepper sauce
PREPARATION of THE SAUCE:
In a small mixing bowl combine the chili sauce, beer, brown sugar, cumin, mustard, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat, simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Simmer BBQ sauce, uncovered for 10-15 minutes more, or until sauce is desired consistency.
Serve hot as a dip for your favorite meats or use as a cooking sauce spread on meat prior to removal from grill.
STOUT Pork Chop Marinate & Gravy
8 – 10 oz Pork Chops. Thick is better
3 – Shallots, finely chopped
10 – 12 Garlic Cloves, chopped or smashed (or a tablespoon of processed garlic)
½ a Growler of Stout from The Best of Brews
1 cup Molasses
½ cup Honey
½ tablespoon sea salt
½ tablespoon freshly ground Black Pepper
Tablespoon Olive Oil
Add butter and olive oil into a heavy skillet. Heat up until butter melts and mixes with olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic for about 3 minutes or until translucent. To a large mixing bowl add shallot/garlic and mix in the balance of ingredients. Wisk until all mixed together.
Place pork chops in a large zip lock type bag and pour marinate over. Burp bag, close and refrigerate as close to 24 hours as possible.
Finish the balance of the Growler Stout!
Remove chops from marinate and place on medium heat grill. Reserve a cup of marinate to brush on the pork chops as grilling.
Pour balance of marinate through a screen filter to remove shallots/garlic pieces. In a heavy skillet reduce marinate to desired thickness and use as a gravy.
Serve with mashed potatoes, side vegetable and cover with the reduction gravy.
Open a growler from The Best of Brews and pour nice British style pale ale or a brown ale or nut brown ale to complement the meal.