Tag Archives: beer

Ale-brined Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork, nuts, fruit and stuffing; a meal in every bite.

The other white meat can sometimes fall victim to being boring, which is a fate we blame on people with no imagination. We turn this one up to 11 by soaking it with a badass brine and stuffing it full of home cooking favorites like, well, stuffing and cranberries. It’s almost a complete meal in and of itself but that shouldn’t stop you from pairing it with some mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables to cap things off.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Large Container with Lid, Large Roasting Pan (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cooking Twine, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Whisk, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin ($7.99/lb)
  • 16 oz brown ale (price varies)(we actually used an old autumn ale, you can use English ale, winter ale or almost anything other than an overly hoppy IPA or barley wine)
  • 2 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1/3 C  pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries ($2.99/6 oz bag)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 box of instant stuffing (about $2.50/6 oz box) (don’t judge us, just be sure you check the instructions on the box, the recipe typically requires a few tablespoons of butter and water)
  • 2 large apples ($2.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead a bit on this one because you’ll want to brine the pork loin for at least 2 hours before you cook it. 6-10 hours is ideal.
  • For the brine combine your beer, cider, maple syrup & salt in the 5 QT pot. Whisk it all together, place it over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly until the syrup and salt are dissolved.

Beer here!

  • Once it’s boiling, transfer the brine to your large container add a tray of ice cubes to accelerate the cooling process and thin it out a bit. Pop it in the fridge until it’s chilled (this should take about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • While you’re waiting for things to cool, trim any excess fat off of your pork loin and give it a good rinse.
  • When your brine is cold, place the pork in it an add the rosemary & peppercorns. Cover the dish and pop it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours; the longer you leave it in the more tender it’ll get.

Make sure you have enough brine to fully cover your meat.

  • When you can’t holdout any longer preheat the oven to 375°F and take the pork out of the brine. Rinse it, pat it dry, and put it on a plate to bring it to room temperature (at least 15 minutes). Save the rosemary sprigs for later.
  • While you’re waiting for the pork to warm, cook up your stuffing. This typically involves bringing water and butter to a boil, stirring in the stuffing and letting it sit in a covered pot for 5-8 minutes. Chop up the walnuts and stir them in along with the dried cranberries.

Chop the walnuts into manageable chunks but be careful not to pulverize them.

  • When the pork is un-chilled, butterfly it (a.k.a. cut it almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a sub roll).
  • Slice up your apples into thin pieces, lengthwise and use them to line each interior side of the loin. Spoon in your stuffing and lay the rosemary sprigs from the brine across the top.

Be careful not to over-stuff the meat, you need to be able to tie it up without too much excess.

  • Squeeze everything together and tie up the loin with butcher’s twine.

It's a good idea to pre-cut your twine so you don't have to do it with porky hands.

  • Pop the pork in the oven and cook it for about 45-60 minutes until it registers at about 165° F on your meat thermometer.
  • As with all meat let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Remove the twine, slice into 1-2 inch discs and serve.

Short Rib Chili

A bowl full of beefy awesomeness.

Short ribs are a favorite of ours because the only way to screw them up is to undercook them. Oh no, you let it go for 3 hours instead of 2? That just means you’ll be able to cut it with a spoon, lucky. Also, with the Super Bowl around the corner you’ve got the perfect excuse for some serious chili making, which also requires patience and the ability to drink beer while you’re waiting. Our work here is done.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot w/ lid, Frying Pan, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 10-12

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel, Malbec, Shiraz, Barolo

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Dopplebock, Winter Ales, Brown Ale

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs ($5.99/lb)
  • 22 oz dark beer (we used a Lagunitas Imperial Stout; price varies)
  • 3-4 C beef broth ($2.99/32 oz)
  • 2 15.5 oz cans black beans ($1.39/can)
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 1 large red onion ($1.29/lb)
  • 1 large green pepper ($1.99/lb)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ($3.49/can)
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ($2.99/can)
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.89/32/oz)
  • 1/2 C Grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • At the butcher (or meat counter) ask them to cut your ribs into 2 inch chunks. When you get them home, season each piece liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  • Dice your onion and pepper, and mince the garlic. While you’re at it, cut your bacon strips in to 1 inch chunks for later.
  • Put your pot over high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil. Taking a few pieces at a time so you don’t crowd the pot, sear the ribs on every side (you’ll need a plate or bowl to hold those that are finished). Once you’ve browned everything throw in the garlic and onion and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom. Let them sweat for a minute then put the ribs back in the pot.

Once the meat is down, don't move it. And don't you dare flip it more than once.

  • Pour in the beer and enough beef stock to cover everything. Stir in maple syrup, cayenne pepper, chili powder and liquid smoke. Reduce the heat to low, pop the lid on and let it simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • While your beef is braising (aka, cooking in liquid after being seared) put a frying pan over medium head and throw in your bacon pieces. Cook them until they’re crispy and then drain them on a paper towel and set aside for later.
  • When you can pull the beef apart with a fork, pull the pieces out of the juice and put it on a cutting board. Remove the bones and chop up the meat into bite-sized pieces. Toss them back in the liquid.

Chop that meat up into tiny little melt-in-your-mouth morsels.

  • Drain one of the cans of beans and add them to the pot. Pour in the second can, bean juice and all. Add the green peppers.
  • Chop up the chipotle peppers and toss them in the pot. We also like to spoon in a little of the adobo sauce that comes in the can.

Mince the peppers into a fine paste and stir them in.

  • Let things simmer for another 20 minutes and adjust your flavors to taste. Add the bacon bits just before serving to add some texture to the bowl. Spoon into big bowls and serve with cornbread, or just ladle from the pot into your mouth.

The Gobbler

Like a holiday for your mouth.

This seasonal homage to the shandy makes your taste buds feel like they’re jumping into a pile of leaves on a sunny fall day (e.g., awesome). Works great as a crisp and refreshing pre-dinner drink or as a fruity counterpart to dark poultry. Try different darker beers like pumpkin ale, brown or autumn ale to change the flavor profile.

Equipment Needed: Glass, Spoon, Paring Knife, Cutting Board

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz dark beer (we tried Southampton Pumpkin and Fire Island Pumpkin Barrel. No, not at the same time.) (price varies)
  • 4 oz apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1 Rosemary sprig ($1.50/sprig or small bunch)
  • 1 apple (about $2/lb)

Preparation:

  • Wash your apple thoroughly and cut it crosswise into thin discs. Slice out the core of your disc and make a cut from the center to the edge (yes, geometry  nerds, the radius of the disc).
  • Pour your beer into the glass and add in the apple cider. Stir gently.
  • Garnish with the rosemary sprig as a swizzle stick and put one of your apple discs on the rim of the glass. Quaff by the fire or while cutting your celebratory meat of choice.

Apple & Ale Brined Turkey

That's only half of the turkey. There were enough leftovers for four days of sandwiches.

We know we’re a little late on the whole Thanksgiving recipe bandwagon, but with the holiday season in full swing you can use our tasty beer brine recipe to punch up almost any roasted meat situation. Turkey, chicken, pork loin, pork chops, basically if it’s fowl or pork it can be brined. Since we were at our parents’ house we used a local microbrew – Sackets Harbor Brewing Company’s 1812 Amber Ale – to bring the thunder, while apple cider makes things appropriately autumnal.

Equipment Needed: Large Roasting Pan, Wooden Spoon, 3 QT Pot, Large Pot/Clean Bucket/Container (to hold the meat and brining solution in the fridge), Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Aluminum Foil, Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: Depends on how large your bird is

Suggested Wine Pairing: Beaujolais Nouveau, Pinot Noir, Oaky Chardonnays, Riesling

Suggested Beer Pairing: Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Winter Ale, Belgian Browns

Ingredients:

NOTE: We brined a 19.5 lb bird with this recipe. We recommend halving it if you’re preparing anything under 10 lbs, just be prepared for a much more concentrated flavor.

  • 1 six-pack of amber or brown ale (72 oz) (price varies)
  • 8 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 2 carrots ($1.99/lb)
  • 3 celery stalks ($2.99/lb)
  • 2/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 2/3 C sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary ($4/package)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • Ice (free; amount will vary)
  • Water (free; amount will vary)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to brine your meat for an absolute minimum of 1 hour and as much as a couple of days. We brined our turkey for about 18 hours which made for some very tender meat and a faint cider flavor. Knowing this you’ll need to start making the brine about an hour before you plan to soak your meat.
  • Add your sugar, salt, four beers and four cups of cider to the 3 quart pot. Stir well and put it over high heat. Continue stirring until the solids have dissolved and bring the mix to a boil, making sure that nothing burns.

Beer makes everything better, especially turkey.

  • While the mix is brewing, prep your turkey by giving it a good rinse and removing the giblets.
  • Remove the brining solution from the heat and transfer it to your bucket/pot/receptacle. After about 15 minutes of cooling add the other two beers and remaining four cups of cider. Throw in about six cups of ice and give it a good stir to melt the cubes.

Cool things quicker with an ample helping of ice.

  • Once the solution has reached room temperature (or cooler) submerge the bird breast-side down and add the rosemary and peppercorns. You want to make sure the meat is fully submerged so if there’s anything exposed top it off with water and a bit more cider if you desire. Pop that puppy in the fridge and let the goodness soak in.

Top it off with cider for a more pronounced flavor.

  • When you’re ready to cook your turkey remove it from the brine, rinse it thoroughly and pat it dry. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

During the pat-down we could swear the turkey yelled, "Don't touch my junk!"

  • Cut your butter into 1/4 inch pats. Carefully separate the skin from the meat and insert the pieces in between to keep things juicy while it cooks. Cut the celery and carrots into three-inch pieces and stuff them into the cavity of the turkey.

This money shot was brought to you by the letter "Butter" and the number "Moist."

  • Line the roasting pan with enough aluminum foil to line the bottom and cover the bird. Place the turkey in (backside down if you need reminding) and cover with the excess foil.
  • Pop that gobbler in the oven and cook it for approximately 15 minutes for every pound. Check it after 2 hours to make sure it hasn’t cooked too quickly. It’s ready when the internal temperature is 165°F when taken from the thigh. To make sure the skin gets nice and crispy peel back the foil for the last 30 minutes of roasting. Once you’ve taken it out of the oven cover it back up with foil and let it rest for a minimum of 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Carve, be thankful for your food and friends, and enjoy.

New York Craft Beer Week Bar Crawl

We’re not quite sure how we’ve managed to miss the other two New York Craft Beer Week celebrations but suffice it to say we will not be missing them again. To kick things off we headed to Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown West to test out some watering holes and brews that don’t see much playing time in our normal rotation. The overall verdict? Go west, young man, go west.

Stop 1: The Pony Bar; 45th Street & 10th Ave

  • The Beer: Ithaca Beer Company,  Super Friends  SFTO Wine Barrel; ABV 8%
  • The Verdict: Being the most un-timid of souls we started the day strong with this ale that was conditioned in red wine barrels. It had a lighter amber color with medium body and a slightly bitter start. This one continued all over the flavor spectrum with notes of sour that turned to sweet with hints of caramel playing back up. The beer finished with a slightly smoky, tannic taste which we assume to be the influence of the vino.  Overall, this brewmasters’ collaboration is a good sipping beer with a complex taste profile that should satisfy oenophiles and hop heads alike.

Small glass, big flavor.

As for the venue, while the location is more out of the way than usual, The Pony Bar makes it more than worth your while. This is a beer-drinkers’ bar with a regularly rotating draught menu that includes some slightly more obscure styles (they had two cask ales when we stopped in). Menus with tasting notes, knowledgeable staff and functional decor (there are benches and stools: pick one) make this an eminently enjoyable place to quaff a brew or two.

Stop 2: Delta Grill; 48th Street & 9th Ave

  • The Beer: Abita Beer, Pecan Harvest Ale; ABV 5%
  • The Verdict: This seasonal offering from the Louisiana brewer is on the lighter-bodied side as far as ales go, which is quite the accomplishment considering the pecan-flavored thunder that it brings. Seriously, this beer is like drinking a carbonated bowl of pecans, which is good if you’re into that kind of thing but could get a little too nutty if you’re looking for more complexity or even subtlety. necessarily a bad thing. With a decent finish, Abita Pecan is good for making your palate pause and think about all the things it’s done before you continue your beery journey.

The pecan is strong with this one.

We’ve never been to New Orleans (or greater Louisiana for that matter) but we hope it’s like the Delta Grill. This easygoing bar (editor’s note: it was also three in the afternoon) is drenched in N’awlins kitsch but is totally redeemed by a breezy, open front and a great draught beer selection. Posted happy hour specials that included Abita and hurricanes also made us ponder when we could return for a little southern hospitality.

Stop 3: Shorty’s; 42nd Street & 9th Ave

  • The Beer: Brewery Ommegang, Abbey Ale; ABV 8.5%
  • The Verdict: A perennial heavy hitter with Belgians up to here, subtlety is not Ommegang’s strong suit. All doubt was erased when our Abbey Ales came in goblets and we readied ourselves for a full on taste bud smackdown. This classic brew hits you with a malty, sweet taste with caramel and even notes of brown sugar. A full mouth feel and long finish make this one a definite sipper. As with most of the beers we tried this one was delicious but anything over two glasses will fill you up and seriously affect your ability to stay vertical.

Ommegang: big flavors, traditional brewing background, nice glassware.

Shorty’s gets the “hidden gem” award for this crawl. An unabashedly Philadelphia bar, this small space cranks out great beer and great food. We didn’t sample everything but we strongly recommend making the trip solely for the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. The ingredients are mixed together to ensure you get a bit of everything in every bite; the results are in-f**king-credible. We seriously contemplated getting hoagies to go, but alas, there was more beer to be had.

Stop 4: The Long Room; 44th Street between 5th Ave & Broadway

  • The Beer: Blue Point Brewing Company, Rastafa Rye; ABV 7.5%
  • The Verdict: Blue Point is a beer we normally drink when it’s around but don’t actively seek out. This may change after trying the Rastafa Rye. A full bodied, malty, hoppy rye this potable keeps you on your toes with citrus and floral notes as it lingers. A long, balanced finish makes this beer a thoroughly enjoyable sipper. We had a second just to check for consistency and let’s just say we stopped taking tasting notes after that.

Yes, we started forgetting to take pictures of the beer at this point.

The Long Room was a great place to throw back a couple on a Saturday afternoon but our friendly barkeep, Kieran, informed us that it was a corporate zoo on weeknights. We highly suggest sneaking in on the weekend to marvel at all the marble, stained glass and wood work. Irish accents and a good pour help add to the ambiance.

Brown Ale Braised Cabbage

Makes a great side for grilled meats or whenever the mood strikes you.

Coleslaw is one of our favorite things involving cabbage but we wanted to try something different this time. Upon finding a solitary Newcastle and some stray bacon in our fridge, our minds were made up for us. Even if you don’t like the taste of raw cabbage you’ll probably dig this sweet, savory and ever-so-lightly-smoky dish.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Dutch Oven or Pot with Lid, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Rioja, Malbec

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, IPA, English or ESB Ale, Dark Belgians

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage ($1.50/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 6 strips of bacon ($6/lb)
  • 12 oz brown ale (price varies with the beer)
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • 2 TBSP grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)

Preparation:

  • Cut the bacon cross-wise into 1/2 inch pieces and toss it in the pot. Dice up your onion and combine it with the bacon once it’s had a chance to cook a bit (about 5 minutes).

C'mon, you knew the bacon shot was coming.

  • Core the cabbage and slice the head in quarters. Cut each quarter into 1/4 inch slices. (Say quarter one more time for good measure)
  • Once the onions have cooked down a bit (about 3 minutes) add the cabbage, vinegar, beer,maple syrup and sugar. Stir things up throw in a few healthy pinches of salt and pepper.

Brown ale adds a sweet, nutty, malty depth of flavor.

  • Put the lid on everything and drop burner to low. Simmer everything down, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft.

Sirloin Chili

A little bowl of spicy, meaty heaven.

With Spring officially here and short shorts weather just around the corner you may be wondering why the hell we’re choosing to post a chili recipe now. Well, March was busy, so there; rest assured that this one is worth waiting for. Skip the ground beef, stew beef or any other budget cut you were eying at the meat counter and go straight for the sirloin for the tastiest chili you’ve had this side of Texas. Oh, and did we mention there’s bacon? You’re welcome.

Equipment Needed: 5QT Pot (but 8 QT if you’ve got it), Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Can Opener, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Hearty reds (Old Vine Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec)

Suggested Beer Pairing: Any beer goes with chili, but we prefer stouts, porters, dopplebocks, or IPAs

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs. boneless sirloin steak (about $7/lb)
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans ($1.19/can)
  • 2 28oz cans chunky style tomatoes ($2.99/can)
  • 1 large onion ($.99/lb)
  • 1 green pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 poblano pepper ($2.99/lb, you can use 2 jalapenos if you can’t find a poblano)
  • 1 11oz can of corn ($1.59/can) (Brothers’ Note: Green Giant sells white corn with chipotle, which goes awesomely with chili. We swear this isn’t a shill but if General Mills wants to pay us, let’s talk)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • A couple TBSPs BBQ sauce (about $3/18oz bottle) (no, it’s not cheating)
  • 1 12oz bottle of dark beer (varies, we used a chocolate stout)
  • about 4 TBSPs brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • about 3 TBSPs Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle) (yes, we had to)
  • about 2 TBSPs ground cayenne pepper (about $4/jar)
  • 8 strips bacon ($6/lb)
  • Olive Oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Trim any excess fat off of the steaks and cut into even 1 inch chunks. Season all sides with liberal salt and pepper.

Sirloin, the other red meat.

  • Place your pot over medium heat; once hot pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom and throw in your steak pieces. Brown evenly, stirring things up about once every 3 minutes.

Browning makes it all better.

  • While the steak is browning, dice the onion and green pepper, and mince the garlic cloves. After the meat is evenly browned, toss the veggies in and reduce to low heat.
  • After about two minutes of cooking down the vegetables, pour in the tomatoes, kidney beans, corn and beer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or so.

No, wait...beer makes it all better.

  • While your concoction is simmering,  place the poblano directly over a burner at medium heat to char the skin off. Keep it over the flame for about a minute a side until the skin turns black (it’ll make popping sounds from time to time, this is normal). We shouldn’t have to tell you that you’re playing with an open flame, so be careful.

Adding some heat (it's a play on words...we'll wait)

  • When your pepper is properly charred, put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat it out. After about 5 minutes, run it under hot water and rub the skin off. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the ribs and seeds, dice that puppy up and throw it in the pot with everything else.

Like a pepper sauna.

  • Once (almost) everything’s in the mix, add the bbq sauce, brown sugar, maple syrup and cayenne to taste. It should be an even balance of heat and sweet (unless you like it spicier; it’s your birthday, we just came for the cake). Keep simmering for another 15 minutes or so.
  • During this last round of simmering, place a frying pan over medium heat and cook up your bacon. Drain and set it aside. Once you’re ready to serve things up, crumble the strips into the pot and stir in the pieces for a nice flavor boost and texture contrast.

What's a Brothers Brown recipe without a bacon shot. Like Christmas without presents, that's what.

  • Spoon into bowls, serve with sour cream and cheddar cheese for extra credit (for extra, extra credit use an aged cheddar; we used an 18 month English number just to up the ridiculosity).

Best…Beer…Ever!

creme brulee stout

Liquid dessert

Oh the crucial decisions of life. Paper or plastic? Boxers or briefs? Mary Ann or Ginger? At least now you never have to ponder between another beer or delicious dessert. Ladies and gentlemen, let us present God’s gift to people that like drinking and custard, Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee Stout. We could get all snooty and tell you that the notes of caramelized sugar dance playfully on your tongue while bold overtones of vanilla get it on with a dangerous-on-the-outside-but-sweet-on-the-inside milk stout. In reality, all you need to know is that this tastes like drinking creme brulee, but with a 10% alcohol kick to it. We’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods so far and suggest that you drop what you’re doing right now and go get some because we’re pretty sure it’s a seasonal release.

Oh, and this isn’t a paid endorsement, FCC, but you should get some for the office. Maybe then you’d lighten up a bit.

Guinness Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary Infused Mashed Potatoes

If this doesn't make your mouth water, you should probably see a doctor.

If this doesn't make your mouth water, you should seek medical attention immediately.

We’re not gonna lie, this recipe takes time but is seriously worth the wait. Be prepared to slip into a blissful food coma after enjoying this hearty combination; a perfect dish for when the mercury drops and your appetite rises. Plus, you get to drink the extra Guinness as you cook, how can you go wrong?

Equipment Needed: Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, 5 QT Pot w/Lid, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Frying Pan, Tongs, Potato Masher, Stove Top

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Zinfandel

Suggested Beer Pairing: Um…Guinness, Stouts, Porters, Scotch Ales

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs ($6.99/lb)
  • 1/4 lb. thick cut smoked bacon ($7.99/lb)
  • 2 medium yellow onions ($.99/lb )
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms (aka, baby bella or baby protabella) ($2.99/lb.)
  • 7 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 lbs. red potatoes ($.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C skim milk ($.99/qt)
  • 3 TBSP butter ($2.99/lb package)
  • 2 cans of beef stock ($1.49/14.5 0z can)
  • 1-2 cans of Guinness ($9.99/draft can 4 pack)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (about $4/package)
  • 3 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce ($3.49/10 oz bottle)
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar ($1.19/1lb box)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

Short Rib Preparation

  • While the timing for this dish isn’t rocket science, it’s important to have everything ready so you can keep things moving. Start by cleaning and slicing the cremini mushrooms. It’s ok to use a little water to get the dirt off, just don’t soak them or they’ll dry out too much when they cook and will be ungood.
Cut the mushrooms into even slices, lengthwise.

Cut the mushrooms into even slices, lengthwise.

  • Peel and slice the onions. Peel and dice five garlic cloves. Set all of the veggies aside and preheat your frying pan over medium-high heat.
Cut your onions in half, then slice even pieces from there.

Cut your onions in half, then slice even pieces from there.

  • Trim the short ribs and cut them into 3 inch pieces. Season each side with salt and pepper.
Just look at that gorgeous marbeled meat. Time = mind-blowing deliciosity.

Just look at that gorgeous marbeled meat. Time = mind-blowing deliciosity.

  • Coat the bottom of your frying pan with olive oil and wait for a minute for it to heat up. Once it’s shimmering and moves easily when you tilt the pan, place the pieces of beef into it. Sear on each side for approximately 5 minutes (or until it has a nice dark brown crust) and transfer to the 5 quart pot.
Crispy brown goodness gives a nice crunch and deep flavor.

Crispy brown goodness gives the ribs a nice crunch and deep flavor.

  • Reduce the heat on the frying pan to medium, add the veggies and a splash more of olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes until softened. Transfer the vegetables to the pot with the short ribs.
Cook your veggies to unleash their flavors and aromatics.

Cook your veggies to unleash their flavors and aromatics.

  • Pour in the beef stock and add Guinness until the ribs et al. are barely covered. Put a lid on the pot and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beef is fork tender.
Ahhhh, the best part of the recipe. There are at least two beers left over once you've used what you need.

Ahhhh, the best part of the recipe. There are at least two beers left over once you've used what you need.

Bacon Preparation

  • About 10 minutes before the ribs are due to be downed, place your frying pan over medium heat. Slice the bacon into thin, 1/4 inch strips and throw into the pan.
Bacon is proof that God wants us to be happy.

Bacon is proof that God wants us to be happy.

  • Cook the bacon, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Place those tasty little piggy pieces on paper towels and drain off the excess fat. Use to top the short ribs when you plate them for a toothsome texture contrast.
Don't try to lick your screen, just go cook some for yourself.

Don't try to lick your screen, just go cook some for yourself.

Potato Preparation

  • About 45 minutes into cooking the short ribs, clean and quarter the red potatoes.
Cut yer taters.

Cut yer taters.

  • Toss those spuds into your 3 quart pot and add the sprigs of rosemary and two cloves of garlic, peeled and halved. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for approximately 30 minutes, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork.
Add your herbs and wait for the potato potion to brew.

Add your herbs and wait for the potato potion to brew.

  • Drain the potatoes and remove the rosemary and garlic (or leave the garlic in for an extra kick). Add the milk and butter and mash until creamy.

Beer Mussels

Beer Mussels, but not the bar fight defend-a-lady's-honor kind

Beer Mussels, but not the bar-fight-to-defend-a-lady's-honor kind.

This recipe is a lot easier than it tastes; the most difficult part is waiting for the mussels to soak. Great for feeding friends with a comforting bistro fare. Black eyes and hangovers optional.

Equipment Needed: Stove, 5 Qt. Pot, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Belgian Whites, Heffewiesen, Lager

Ingredients:

  • 1lb bag of mussels ($5.99)
  • 1 medium onion ($.99/lb)
  • 2 small shallots ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves of garlic ($2.99 lb)
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb package)
  • 12 oz beer (price varies)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

  • Sort through mussels and throw away any that are visibly broken or are open. These guys are dead and will make you what is technically known as mucho sicko.
  • Soak the remaining mussels in cold water for 20 minutes to allow them to filter out any remaining sea grit.
  • Mince the garlic, shallots and onions and set aside.
  • Once the mussels have finished soaking you have to remove the “beards,” aka byssal threads (there, you just got a biology lesson). These look like hairballs that stick out of the side of the mussel, and must be taken out by pulling them down towards the hinge. Don’t pull them up because you’ll run the risk of pulling some of the actual mussel out as well; this could kill it before you cook it which, in this case, is a bad thing (see “mucho sicko”). Give them a final rinse under running water and be sure to get any remaining gunk off the shell.
Pull the beard out down towards the hinge.

Pull the beard out down towards the hinge.

  • In a large pot over medium heat throw in the butter and minced veggies. Once they’ve cooked down and are soft, throw (not literally) the mussels in and pour your beer in.
The beer should cover about half the mussels.

The beer should cover about half the mussels.

  • Cover the mix and cook it until the majority of the mussels steam open (some won’t because they’re dead; again, no eating, mucho sicko). This should take around 5 minutes. Serve in a large bowl with plenty of good bread to soak up the juice.