Tag Archives: apple cider

The Dainty Lumberjack

A deceptively smooth cocktail with an ax to grind.

Yes, we’ve been posting a lot of cocktails lately but hey, Jake just set up a sweet-ass bar in his apartment and we’ve gotta practice. This fall-inspired potable derives its name from its ingredients and surprisingly innocuous taste. Burly bourbon gets tempered and sweetly complemented by apple cider and Aperol. Don’t be fooled by the smoothness though, too many of these will have you throwing on plaid and raring to chop down random objects.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass, Shot Glass, Spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 shots bourbon (we used Knob Creek) (about $30/750 ml)
  • 1/2 shot Aperol (you can use another aperitif like Campari if you want) (about $25/750 ml)
  • 4 oz apple cider (about $3.50/half-gallon)
  • 1 cinnamon stick ($3.59/2 oz jar)
  • Ground cinnamon ($3.59/3.5 oz jar)
  • Ice (free)
  • Whole cloves (optional) ($3.99/1 oz jar)

Preparation:

  • Pour the bourbon, Aperol and apple cider in your glass and stir everything together.
  • Add a couple of dashes of cinnamon. Cloves add another level of taste complexity so add a couple now if you so desire (though you should keep it at 2-3 so you don’t overpower things).
  • Pop in a couple of ice cubes and give the whole mix one last stir with a cinnamon stick, which you can either toss in the drink or use for garnish.
  • Consume daintily (pinkies out!) and contemplate clearing a forest.
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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.

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.