Sweet, savory, tangy and ever-so-easy, our beer barbecue sauce goes with everything grillable and is open to experimentation: Pour in a porter when you’re cooking beef, an amber ale for chicken, and something fruity when you’re working with pork.
In a saucepot over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion and garlic; cook until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey Dijon, molasses, brown sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce; bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from heat and add the beer, . For a smoother sauce, strain out the onions or pulse in a blender.
Slather a seriously savory (and seriously easy) brew-based barbecue sauce on beef, chicken or pork. Use our basic recipe below, and change the beer according to what you grill.
You’re grilling: beef Pour in: a porter
A malty beer with a dose of roast makes a thick, rich sauce that stands up to burly beef flavor; a smooth porter laden with chocolate or smoke can muscle its way through all that meat. Heat lovers: Add a teaspoon of chopped chilies or a few dashes of extra hot sauce; a porter base will be thick and sweet enough to handle it.
You’re grilling: chicken Pour in: an amber ale
Chicken’s moist white meat opens up nicely to the gentle malt flavors of a well-balanced amber; the beer’s caramel notes and pop of citrusy hops are strong enough to counter the smoke and spice that develop on the grill—think sweet meets savory.
You’re grilling: pork Pour in: a fruit ale
No matter the cut, pork’s a juicy, tender blank canvas. A sweet apricot ale or berry lambic pumps up barbecue sauce’s sweetness; the pork’s earthiness keeps the sugar in check. Fruit acids make them natural meat tenderizers; consider adding chopped fresh or glazed apricots or raspberries into the mix for extra fruit flavor.
Crock-pots really are one of the most underrated kitchen accessories. Think about it – you place raw ingredients inside, clamp down the lid, set the temperature to low, and then walk away. Four to eight hours later, dinner is served! In the meantime, it fills your house with the sweet, sweet smell of slow-roasted beef and you can knock out half your to-do list.
STEAK AND POTATOES WITH LAGER
1 large onion, quartered, sliced
8 medium potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds round steak, cut in 6 to 8 serving-size pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 bottle (12 ounces) Yuengling Lager
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Combine sliced onion and potatoes in bottom of crock-pot. Arrange steak over vegetables. Combine brown sugar, nutmeg, onion soup mix; sprinkle over the beef. Pour beer over all. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until beef is tender. Salt to taste.
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add beef and all its juices, and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes or until liquid cooks off. Add vegetables, 3 cans of beef broth, and beer. Empty can of tomato paste into a small bowl. Fill empty tomato paste can with water and combine with tomato paste, then add to saucepan. Cook stew uncovered for 1 hour, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine remaining can of beef broth with flour to make a paste. Add flour paste to saucepan and stir to incorporate and thicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
I’d use Miracle Whip instead of mayo if I was doing it, but there’s not enough to taste the difference. We also generally add a 2nd can of cream of chicken soup so there’s more (& thicker) gravy. We have used the light Miracle Whip and the “healthy request” can of chicken soup with no discernible difference.
Obviously, a rotisserie chicken makes this go a little more quickly. Ha ha. Also, I like to grill the chicken breasts on the counter-top electric grill rather than boil them. Seems easier, and I like the dark edges.
This is one of my favorie meals, it lasts for lunches for days or freezes well. I like ’em with a side of nice fresh green beans.
Also… you could change it up with Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Celery or Cream of whatever soup… Not sure how you’d adapt to a vegetarian/vegan version if you wanted to… I know Campbell’s “cream of” soups have “natural flavors” that could have once been alive & self-aware… and I’m not sure about stove-top stuffing but I’m sure there’s chicken flavoring in there.
We’ve also done this with leftover Turkey & stuffing after Thanksgiving.
My wife makes a tasty Reuben Casserole. If you like a good Reuben sandwich, you’ll appreciate this dish.
Reuben casserole recipe with corned beef, sauerkraut, rye bread crumbs, Swiss
cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.
1/2 to 1 pound corned beef, cooked, diced or sliced
1/4 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
1 can or bag sauerkraut (16 oz), drained and rinsed
1/2 pound shredded Swiss cheese
6 slices rye bread, crumbled
1/4 cup butter, melted
Place corned beef in a lightly greased 9- X 13-inch baking dish. Dot with the
dressing. Spread sauerkraut over top; sprinkle with cheese. Toss crumbled rye
bread with the butter then sprinkle over top.
Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Recently, we had a ridiculously excellent fall dinner. I could eat this meal several nights a week, and not grow tired of it.
First up was the acorn squash, which is really easy to prepare once you get the damn thing cut open. I have recently stopped trying to go through the whole thing at once. I use a serrated knife and poke from the beside stem into the center, then slice out form the stem all the way back around until I hit the stem again, then crack it open.
After scooping out the seeds (which I always wonder about cooking like pumpkin seeds) and stringy gross stuff, I placed the two halves orange side up in a glass baking dish in about ½” to ¾” of water. Don’t worry, they actually generally do sit up that way without a problem. I sliced the tops/insides a little in preparation for the next part…
I melted some butter (or some Country Crock spread actually) in the microwave, probably about 3 tablespoons worth, and added a little bit of brown sugar, stirred, then ladled it on the top & into the cup formed in the middle. Add it to taste. I don’t really ever measure this. If you’re looking for a measurement form me, add what you think is too much brown sugar, then add a pinch more. I also added a tiny bit of black pepper & paprika to mine this time… but I add that to almost everything.
After that, I placed it in the already pre-heating oven at 400° for about an hour and 5 minutes. I was going for somewhere between an hour and an hour & 15 minutes, and it worked out closer to the hour this time. Check on it around the hour mark. This one was roasted perfectly… the meat of the squash was just melting on to the spoon, & peeling right off of the skin inside. It was really a great flavorful vegetable. I don’t know if this is baking or roasting, but whatever it is, it works. It would have also been good scooped out & served like groovy orange mashed potatoes.
Up next was the corn, figuring temperature was more important for the squash, I typically roast corn at 425° or 450° for 20 minutes to a half hour… but figured why not let it ride along with the squash here?
My wife & I carefully pulled back all the husks… just pulled them back not off, then removed the silk.
We buttered (again, we used Country Crock’s butter approximation), salted, & peppered the corn.
Next we wrapped it back up, and tied the tops back together using a loose strand of the husk. This doesn’t always work out, so sometimes I use foil & make little caps to keep ’em all bound together.
I did a whole post on corn & why you should keep it in the husk, and never ever boil it unless you’re making soup. You can read that here if you’re interested. As you can see, “other stuff in the oven” is not even a good excuse to boil corn. It can go along for the ride. Proof? It turned out beautifully:
I wish my cell phone’s camera got better shots. I need to think farther than Facebook or Twitter when taking food photos, and get the real camera so I can post more to this blog. The corn husks did smoke a little… but I didn’t see any flames, and it let me know when it was done. Ha ha ha. I’ve grown to not rely on timers so much, but to go with temperature and a gut feeling.
Oddly enough for a carnivore like myself, the steak was not the star of this meal. We just got some thin skillet steaks and put them on the Foreman grill oiled, salted, & peppered for about 5 minutes, maybe a little less. They turned out fine. The Foreman Grill seems to be my go-to tool for cooking meat until I get new knobs for by real grill outside. I’m in a Yahoo! Group that’s a really good resource for innovative GFG cooking.
I topped it all off with the newly resurrected Duquesne Beer. [Insert zombie and or Jesus joke here.] I have a collection of antique bottles and have a Duke beer bottle in with my local stuff… so when I heard that they were making it again, I knew I had to try some. I was born after the company was dissolved the first time, so I can’t compare it to the original… but it is a nice mellow pilsner that goes well with this kind of dinner. It rounded out the meal perfectly.
It was aggravating to get my hands on some though… they’ve had a weird release schedule, and no 6 pack shops around me were carrying the stuff. When one local pizza joint was listed as having the stuff, I went there to buy some and they had no idea what I was talking about. I ended up buying a case, but luckily I don’t feel “stuck” with something that I don’t like.
The other night, the wife & I were in the mood for pizza, but not for any of the plethora of local pizza places. We decided to make our own. We were going to get one of those pre-made Boboli crusts, but while at the grocery store my wife came across one of those cardboard tubes of pizza dough by Pillsbury. We decided why not try that? I like a puffy doughy not quite fully cooked crust.
Well, this wasn’t that… but it was tasty. It seemed to be pretty thin, but it was flavorful. We bought the Giant Eagle brand jar o’ pizza sauce because it was way cheaper than the real brands. I added some brown sugar ’cause I like sweet sauce… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
My wife spread out the dough and I brushed on some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled on some garlic powder. Then we put down the sauce & brown sugar mixture, and a 2-cup bag of “4-cheese Italian” shredded cheese.
We put diced green peppers, turkey pepperoni, and canned mushrooms on the whole thing… and I put diced Canadian bacon & chopped olives on my half. I topped it off with a little leftover taco cheese, and put some crushed red pepper flakes on my side.
We baked it according to the instructions on the weird cardboard roll, and it turned out great. We need to do homemade pizza night more often! I think we’ll skip the EVOO step though… I don’t think it was all that necessary.
I’ve never made chili before, and in researching, I came across 50 billion recipes. So, this morning I made my own in the crock pot…
2 cans of condensed tomato soup
1 can of tomato paste
1 packet of chili mix
about ½ cup of water
1 tsp. of beef bullion
1 can light red kidney beans
however much ground meat was leftover from last night
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper
a dash of paprika
a dash of garlic
…and I slapped it into the crock pot on low for 8 hours.
Hope it tastes good when I get home. I’ve got shredded cheddar cheese for the top of it, & Super-Pretzels to go along with it. They always served pretzels & chili in my elementary school cafeteria so they belong together in my warped mind.
…Most of them use tomato paste, soup, sauce, juice, or diced tomatoes as a base… I even saw one that called for Spicy hot V8… and I think my mom always used soup. Tomato paste is usually bitter, so I figured the tomato soup would counteract it. All of the spices should be rockin’. I like my chili thick.
Oh yeah, about 1/2 the ground meat was cooked w/ some seasoning salt & A1.
Here’s what basically went into my chili. I’ll probably eventually make a blog about it with a narrative so I can remember what I did this time for next time… to see what I wanna change or what I wanna do again.
I ended up only using the one can of diced tomatoes (the one with jalapeños) and still kind’ve overflowed the pot by a small amount. So, next time I may cut out one can of tomato soup or a can of beans. Also, I want to try garbanzo beans in my next batch… and I’ve heard chocolate powder goes good in chili some times… so I wanna try that one day too.
I also tossed in 2 slices of Velveeta ripped apart, a dash of spicy brown mustard, and a drop or 2 of A1 Cracked Peppercorn Steak Sauce.
I think the meat that I used was too fatty or I didn’t drain enough fat (…even though I got a about ⅔ of a regular sized plastic cup full of fat out of it). I had to skim some excess grease off of the top when I popped it open this morning.
I’ll let you know the general consensus after it’s been consumed.