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Beef/Pork

Beer Braised Chinese Five Spice Short Ribs over Mimolette Polenta with Red Plum Chimichurri

Beer Braised Chinese Five Spice Short Ribs over Mimolette Polenta with Red Plum Chimichurri

This is going to sound crazy, I know that. But short ribs need stone fruit. They do, it’s a perfect pairing. You don’t believe me? Are you doubting my powers of uncommon food pairings? This is a mistake on your part because short ribs and reb plums go together as well as a pilsner and mowing the lawn. 

There is such a gorgeous balance when the sweet and lightly acidic tang of the plum cuts through the rich deep flavors and fattiness of the slow-cook beef. Have I convinced you yet? Either way, you obviously have to try it to come to your own conclusion that I’m right. Obviously. 

Beer Braised Chinese Five Spice Short Ribs over Mimolette Polenta with Red Plum Chimichurri

Ingredients
  

Short ribs

  • 2.5 lbs. short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup (30g) flour
  • 3 tablespoons five spice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large sweet white onion about 1 ½ cups, chopped
  • 1 cup (8oz) stout beer
  • 1 cup (236g) beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

Chimichurri

  • 2 large red plums chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons green onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Polenta:

  • 4 cups (960g) chicken broth
  • 1 cup (160g) dry polenta
  • ½ cup (120g) heavy cream
  • 3 ounces mimolette cheese shredded
  • 1 (6g) salt

Instructions
 

Make the short ribs:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Salt the short ribs on all sides.
  • Add the flour and five spice to a bowl, stir to combine.
  • Dredge the short ribs in the flour mixture, coating on all sides.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  • Sear the short ribs on all sides, remove from pan.
  • Add the onions, cooking over medium heat until starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the beer, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the broth and tomato paste. Add the short ribs back in, cover, and add to the oven.
  • Cook for about 3 hours or until fork tender, checking on the ribs about every hour, turning over and returning to the oven until done.

Make the chimichurri:

  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl, stir to combine.

Make the polenta:

  • In a pot over medium-high heat, add the broth, and polenta. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and polenta has softened, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream, cheese, and 1 teaspoon salt, allow to cook until absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Serve:

  • Plate the polenta, top with short ribs, then chimichurri.

Cuban Sandwich Sliders with Beer Pickled Peppers and Onions

Cuban Sandwich Sliders with Beer Pickled Peppers and Onions

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve made sandwiches for a crowd? Yes, yes you do. Of course you do! Because you’re a human, with eyes, who has also been a party to the past 18 months of existence in this crazy world.  We are now entering the "it’s possible that we will have the need for food to feed a crowd" phase of this post-apocalyptic world. Which is certainly something to celebrate.

You can make pulled pork just for this sandwich, but you can also intentionally make too much next time you pull pork as an excuse to make these, which is how they came into my life. I was making tacos, as you do, and decided that I would just make as much as I could possibly manage to fit into one pot. It happens. 

I did decide that pulled pork must absolutely be made in giant batches and is unequivocally the best leftover food on the planet. Sorry Thanksgiving, but you are now second in my leftovers book, but you have pie so you’re still the overall winner. 

Recipe for Beer-Braised Pulled Pork 

Cuban Sandwiches with Beer Pickled Peppers and Onions

Ingredients
  

For the peppers:

  • 12 oz of IPA beer
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs black peppercorns
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 lbs small sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced

For the sandwiches

  • 12 dinner rolls sliced into buns
  • ¼ cup brown mustard
  • 1 lbs. sliced ham
  • 1 lbs. pulled pork
  • 4-6 slices swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions
 

  • In a pot over medium-high heat add the beer, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, stirring just until the sugar and salt dissolve, remove from heat.
  • Add the peppers to an airtight container, add a few sprigs of dill.
  • Add the onions to a separate container, add a few sprigs of dill.
  • Pour the cooled brine over the onions and the peppers, making sure all vegetables are submerged.
  • Chill for at least 24 hours prior to using.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Add the bottom portion of the buns into a baking dish. Spread with mustard.
  • Top in an even layer with ham, pulled pork, peppers, onions, then cheese.
  • Place the top on the buns, brush with melted butter.
  • Place another baking dish on top of the buns, press down firmly. Keeping the second pan on top of the buns, place the entire thing in the oven.
  • Bake until the cheese has melted, about 12-15 minutes.

Notes

 

Thai Meatballs with Stout Peanut Sauce

Thai Meatballs with Stout Peanut Sauce 

We need to make goals that are easily attainable. At least in equal measure with the difficult ones. For every goal you make that involves weight, money, or extended family, make one that’s easy to keep. You know, for motivation. I have one for you, it’s easy. 

Your new goal is to never again, never ever, serve meatballs with pasta. Just say no. Serve meatballs with rice, it’s way better. Meatballs and rice are a much more compatible match and I’ll fight you over it. But I will win and afterward I’ll feel bad and buy you a beer. So let’s skip the fighting, move right to the beers, ok?

Thai Meatballs with Stout Peanut Sauce

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1.5 lbs. ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ cup stout beer

Sauce

  • 1 (13.5oz) can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup (64g) crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon (28g) low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon (32g) Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) sriracha (plus additional to taste)
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Rice for serving

    Instructions
     

    • Add the pork, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, bread crumbs and eggs to a mixing bowl. Mix with your hands until just combined (don’t over mix).
    • Using a cookie scoop, scoop out a ball of the meat mixture and add to a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
    • Freeze for 15 minutes (this will help the meatballs retain their shape).
    • While the meatballs are in the freezer, make the sauce.
    • In a mixing bowl add the coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste, vinegar, sriracha, and lime juice, whisk to combine, set aside.
    • Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until very hot but not smoking.
    • Add the meatballs, pull the pan back and forth across the burner allowing the meatballs to roll around in the pan. Cook in this manner until the meatballs are browned, about 6 minutes.
    • Lower heat to medium-low, add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan.
    • Stir in the coconut milk mixture. Allow to simmer until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
    • Plate the rice, top with meatballs and sauce, sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.

    Korean Beer Glazed Short Ribs

    Korean Beer Glazed Short Ribs

    Do you also get anxiety over the most obscure things? Like when someone asks you what your favorite [random category] is? I don’t like this, it makes me panic and second-guess all my life choices. The truth is, I DON’T have a favorite beer, or vacation spot, or color. 

    But I DO have favorites when it comes to more obscure things, like grocery checkout ladies, and spatula brands. I also have a favorite cooking style, but not the way you think. Because I won’t say "French" or "Mediterranean" it’s even more random.

    It’s "sounds really fancy but it’s super easy." That’s a category, I promise, and it’s my favorite. These short ribs are it, and I cooked them because my regular grocery store always sells flanken-style short ribs. I hate going to new and unfamiliar grocery stores because I have this unreasonable feeling that everyone is looking at me as if I don’t belong there and why am I not at my usual spot that’s obviously why I can’t find the soy sauce! See, I panic over the most random situations. I can get stuck in the drug smuggling capital of Spain and be just fine, but new grocery stores make me uneasy. That’s why I stick to my favorite, it also has my favorite checkout lady. 

    Korean Beer Glazed Short Ribs

    Ingredients
      

    • 2 lbs flanken style short ribs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic grated with a microplane
    • 1 teaspoon ginger grated with a microplane
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon chili oil
    • ½ cup stout beer

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat the oven to 275°F.
    • Sprinkle the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper, then dredge in cornstarch.
    • Heat the olive oil in a large braiser (or oven-safe pan with a lid), sear the short ribs on all sides, remove from heat.
    • Stir together the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili oil, and beer.
    • Pour over the short ribs. Cover and add to the oven for one hour.
    • Remove the lid, turn the short ribs over, cook for an additional hour.
    • Remove from oven, add to a serving plate, drizzle with pan sauce.

    Black Pepper Flank Steak Sandwich with Brie and Beer Caramelized Onion Jam

    Black Pepper Flank Steak Sandwich with Brie and Beer Caramelized Onion Jam

    The times has come to make fancy sandwiches. Because we are SO sick of the same rotation of food and take out that we’ve been consuming this year and it’s time to make something we are genuinly excited to eat. The only part of these Fancy Sandwiches that take any amount of time is the onion jam but, trust me, it’s worth it. 

    Remember when I was on that terrible reality TV show making bacon jam? They asked me to come up with a tag line for the jam on the spot, and my mind went blank. I blurted out, "It’s the jam!" and then an entire group of producers looked at me with a mix of disgust and pity. At least the jam was good. Onion jam is just as amazing, and once you make it and smear it on your sandwich you will wonder why you don’t have more savory jam in your life. And I also secretly hope when you make and taste how great it is, you think to yourself, "Damn, that is the jam." 

    Black Pepper Flank Steak Sandwich with Brie and Beer Caramelized Onion Jam

    Servings 4 sandwiches

    Ingredients
      

    For the Jam:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 large sweet white onion chopped
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup stout or porter beer

    For the sandwich:

    • 1.5 lbs flank steak
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 6 ounces of triple cream brie cut into thin slices
    • 1 cup arugula
    • 4 hoagie rolls

    Instructions
     

    Make the jam:

    • Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat until shimmery.
    • Add the chopped onions, salt, sugar, and baking soda, toss to combine.
    • Reduce heat to medium-low, allowing to cook until the onions soften, about 10 minutes.
    • Stir in the beer.
    • Cook until the onions are soft and dark brown, adding more beer if the pan is too dry.
    • Pulse in a food processor to achieve a smoother texture, if desired.

    Cook the steak:

    • Pat the steak dry. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • Pat the steak dry again, if needed, sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper.
    • Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat.
    • Add the steak, cook for two minutes, flip and cook on the other side for one minute.
    • Transfer to the oven and cook for 7 minutes or until the thickest part of the steak reads 120 on a meat thermometer.
    • Remove from the pan and allow to rest for ten minutes. Thinly slice.

    Assemble the sandwiches:

    • Raise oven temperature to 450°F.
    • Slice the rolls, fill with steak, top the steak with brie slices. Add to a baking sheet and return to the oven until the cheese is warmed and starting to melt.
    • Remove from oven, add to a serving plate. Spread the inside with onion jam and arugula.
    • Serve.

    Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

    Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

    I want to tell you a story, one about myself, because it’s all I have to offer right now. Growing up, things were exactly easy. Here are the CliffsNotes: Dead dad, disjointed family, moved a lot, hardly enough money to feed us all. Because of this, I had this idea that racism wasn’t really a thing anymore and even if it was I discriminated against too, since I was poor. Then I moved to LA, and I became a social worker for gang kids, most of whom were on probation, and I realized how stupid I was. It happened slowly, realizations that came over the course of a few years, small incidents that amounted to a huge global shift in who I was and what I believed, something I’ll never stop being thankful for.

     

    The first came as I sat on a folding chair in a rec room with a group of other social workers, I was the only white girl. One of them joked about how dangerous it was for a 20-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed white girl to go running around Compton. Another social worker, a large black guy who had an M.A. in Psychology and had been a bit of a rowdy teenager, replied, “She’s safe. If a pretty white girl gets shot in the ghetto, everyone in the world will know about it by morning. Every kid and cop knows it. If I get shot, no one will give a shit. I’m a target for the cops and the kids. She’s safer than I am.” He was right and everyone in the room knew it. He had a gun pulled on him three times that year, twice by cops and once by a kid. I never had any problems, not one issue, not one gun.

    Part of my job was to work with the older kids to help them find employment. I wrote their resumes, taught them how to fill out job applications, dressed them from a donation closet of interview clothes, and taught them how to answer interview questions. I had applications for 6 nearby businesses, mostly fast food joints, none of the business knew about the program, all they saw was a local kid interviewing for a job. Over three years I could plot on a timeline how long it would take each kid to get a job based on their skin color. At first, I figured it was a fluke, but it was such a lasting trend, not one kid was an exception. I worked with three white kids, each of them scared me, the probation sentence they had were earned several times over and they all had sociopathic tendencies. None of them had a work history. They all got jobs in the first two weeks. I wouldn’t have trusted any of them to wash my car, and they were handed over the ability to work a cash register in just one meeting. The lighter-skinned-non-white kids took about a month, and the darkest skinned kids took the longest. They all had the same clothes, the same answers on their applications (I helped fill them all out) and they all answered the questions at the interviews exactly the same. The only difference was their appearance. My favorite kid was smart, he had a solid work history, a calming spirit, and he was so kind. He was living proof that some souls are old, he just saw things in a bigger way than most people did. He also had incredibly dark skin. It took me 8 months to get him a job.

     

    There were more, lots of constant reminders that although my life wasn’t easy, it was not made harder by the color of my skin. And even the most privileged black person would have an easier life in this country if they had been born with white skin. This is not ok, it’s not right, but it’s the truth. I had to open myself up to the idea that it was arrogant of me to ever think that just because I personally hadn’t seen or experienced racism that it didn’t exist. I had to accept that I did not know what it was like to live in this world as a black person, no matter how much I thought I knew, or what my experiences where.

    The two major changes that came from that seem small, but were actually huge. First, I realized that I do have bias, racist thoughts, and prejudgments. Everyone does, it’s how our brains work, we categorize things and form instant thoughts about everything the moment we see them. We see a dog, we know it’s a dog. We see a chair, we know it’s a chair. Have you ever been surprised to touch something and realize it was much colder than it looked? Because you had already formed an opinion about it. This is normal. BUT I decided that when I had a judgmental thought, I would acknowledge it and correct it. I wanted to have a mind that didn’t prejudge people any more than it had to.

     

    Second, I encouraged people around me to correct me if I said something that was offensive or prejudged someone, and I learned the phrase: “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. Thank you for saying something.” I decided that even if I didn’t know WHY it was offensive, it was enough for me to know THAT it was offensive, and I needed to change the way I thought or talked, even if that change was small.

     

    I still have work to do, we all do, but the choice you have is this: do you want to make the world a little bit better, or do you want to fight to keep it harder for anyone who isn’t you. It’s not a hard choice, even if it can be a hard process.

     

    So, here is a salad that has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Other than the fact that we all have to eat, food is a great equalizer. Let’s sit down, eat some food, and just listen to each other for a second.

    Grilled Stout Brined Sirloin and Corn Salad with Tahini Pale Ale Dressing

    5 from 1 vote

    Ingredients
      

    • 10 oz Sirloin steak
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 12 oz stout beer
    • 1 large bell pepper any color
    • 1 ear of corn shucked
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup (80g) sugar snap peas, chopped
    • ½ cup (70g) grape tomatoes, quartered
    • 2 cups (60g) baby spinach
    • 2 cups (40g) baby arugula
    • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled

    For the dressing:

    • 1/3 cup (74g) tahini
    • 2 tablespoons (24g) lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons (24g) apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons (28g) honey
    • 1 teaspoon (5g) brown mustard
    • ¼ teaspoon salt pinch sea salt
    • 1 clove garlic
    • ¼ cup pale ale

    Instructions
     

    • Add the steak to a bowl or a bag, sprinkle on all sides with salt, cover with beer. Cover the bowl (or seal the bag) and refrigerate for 12 hours and up to 24. Remove from marinade, dry well, and allow to come to room temperate (about 30 minutes).
    • Preheat the grill to medium-high.
    • Drizzle the bell pepper and corn with oil.
    • Add the pepper and the corn to the grill, turning and grilling until grill marks appear.
    • Add the steak to the grill, cooking on both sides until medium-rare, 4-6 minutes per side.
    • Remove from grill, slice the pepper, and cut the kernels off the corn.
    • Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
    • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small blender, blend until smooth. Add additional beer or water to thin to desired consistency.
    • Add all of the remaining salad ingredients to a bowl (along with the sliced pepper and corn kernels), toss to combine. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, top with steak.

    Sriracha Stout Braised Beef Shanks over Gouda Polenta

    Sriracha Stout Braised Beef Shanks over Gouda Polenta

    Slow cooking things helps in times of crisis, this is a true fact. It reminds us that everything changes and good things are ahead, we just have to be patient. We have to sit back and let the things work, even if we can’t see the things work, they are working. 

    My favorite things to make are things that take time: short ribs, sourdough, ice cream, kimchi, beer, shanks. All these things need time, you can’t rush them. We have a time frame for them, which makes it so much different than the "when will this be over?" feeling of our current world. But the first guy to make sourdough bread had no idea, he just had to wait and hope it would turn into something great, and it did. Eventually. 

    We just have to remember that this is the same, it just takes time. Humans are incredibly adaptable, we’ve adapted to so much over the course of history and this won’t be any different. We will adapt to this, too. 

    Until then, I’m fixing all minor emotional trauma with slow-cooking things*. It helps, try it. (*advice most successful when paired with beer).

    Sriracha Stout Braised Beef Shanks over Gouda Polenta

    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients
      

    For the Shanks:

    • 4 lbs beef shanks
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • ¼ cup (30g) flour
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 12 ounces stout beer
    • 1 (14.5oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
    • ¼ cup (65g) sriracha
    • ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons (36g) soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

    For the polenta:

    • 1 cup (236g) chicken broth
    • 2 cups (472g) whole milk
    • ¾ cup (120g) dry polenta (corn grits)
    • 1 cup (4 oz) fresh grated gouda cheese
    • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • Chopped chives or parsley for serving

    Instructions
     

    Make the beef:

    • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
    • Salt and pepper the shanks liberally on all sides. Dredge in flour until well coated.
    • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add the shanks, searing on all sides.
    • Turn off the heat. Pour in the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Add the remaining ingredients.
    • Cover the pot and add to the oven, cooking for 3 ½ hours or until the beef is fork-tender. About every hour of cooking, turn the beef over.
    • Once the beef is done, remove from oven, remove the bones and any large pieces of fat.

    Make the polenta:

    • In a pot over medium heat add the broth and milk, bring to a simmer.
    • Whisk in the polenta. Simmer until polenta is tender and thickened, whisking occasionally, about 25 minutes.
    • Stir in the gouda, butter, salt, and pepper.
    • Add the polenta to bowls, top with beef shanks, sprinkle with chives.

    Hoisin Pineapple Beer Pork over Coconut Lime Rice

    Hoisin Pineapple Beer Pork over Coconut Lime Rice

    How are you out there? Are you ok?

    If you’re like me, and I kind of think you are, you have two opposite feelings, nearly back to back, and it’s unsettling. 

    My thoughts jump from "Everyone needs to settle down, you are all overreacting!" to "Are we all going to die and is our society going to collapse and I need to form a post-apocalypse tribe immediately," 

    and 

    "Self-quarantine is great, and my neighbors are the best and I want to stay like this forever," and then the next minute: "Will I ever travel again, I need to be on a virus-free plane immediately or I’ll die because my wanderlust is killing me, and I need my local bars and restaurants to re-open soon, I miss them so much,"

    It’s all so disorienting. Just know that you’re not alone, we are all in this together even if it feels lonely. 

    My favorite part of pre-apocalypse grocery shopping is the "weird" ingredients are always left. The chicken breast and pork chops are long gone but the more obscure meat is in abundance and on sale. My particular grocery store had rows and rows of oxtails, shanks, and boneless pork ribs, and I’m hoping yours does too. So I made you something. It’s easy and since you’ll be home all day, you should make it. It’s really good and you’ll only want coconut rice from now on, so make sure to add cans and cans of coconut milk to your next venture out in your hazmat suit. 

    Hoisin Pineapple Beer Pork over Coconut Lime Rice

    5 from 4 votes

    Ingredients
      

    For the pork:

    • 3 lbs boneless country pork ribs or pork shoulder cut into chunks
    • 1 tablespoon salt kosher
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • ¼ cup (62g) low sodium soy sauce
    • ¼ cup (66g) hoisin sauce
    • 2 teaspoons (10g) sriracha
    • 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar
    • 2 cup (310g) pineapple chunks drained if using canned
    • 1 cup (8oz) beer stout, porter, brown ale

    For the rice:

    • 1 (14oz) can full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 ¼ cup (10oz) water
    • 1 ½ cups long-grain or jasmine rice
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 3 tablespoons green onion chopped

    Instructions
     

    To make the pork:

    • Preheat the oven to 300°F.
    • Sprinkle the pork on all sides with salt, add to a large Dutch oven or covered baking dish.
    • Add the remaining ingredients (from the pork list) to a blender, blend on high until well combined. Pour the liquid over the pork. Cover and bake for one hour.
    • Remove the lid, turn the pork over, then continue to bake, uncovered, for 2 ½ more hours, turning the pork every 30 minutes or so until the pork is fork-tender (total of 3 1/2 hours of cooking time). 
    • Remove the pork from the pot, set aside.
    • Place the pot over a burner over high heat (if you used a baking dish, transfer the remaining liquid to a pot), boil, stirring frequently, until thickened.
    • Pour the thickened glaze over the pork.

    To make the rice:

    • Add the coconut milk, water, rice, and salt to a large pot, stirring to combine.
    • Add to a burner over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low for 18 minutes. Once the 18 minutes is up, remove from heat but allow to sit for 2 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and stir in the lime juice and green onions.
    • Serve the pork over the rice.

    Gochujang Stout BBQ Burger with Fried Shallots and Blistered Shishitos

     Gochujang Stout BBQ Burger with Fried Shallots and Blistered Shishitos

    This is basically an amalgamation of my neurosis, it’s true. First came my full-blown obsession with Shishito peppers that turned in me making them for a dinner party, then for myself, eating all alone over the sink, THEN I had to make something for you because the world needs shishito peppers right now! But it doesn’t end there. 

    From there the snow started falling into my life with a vengeance and my California blood started to panic since I’m basically a lizard on a rock and I need all the sun all the time, and this led me—no, FORCED me— to make burgers. I became what is the human equivalent of a labrador left alone too long chewing on the curtains and my cabin fever was convinced that summertime food was the only answer. And that means burgers, obviously. 

    So basically, what I’m trying to say in my rambling way, is that this burger, THIS BURGER, is the indoor cooking cure to the wintertime blues that we all need in our lives right now. It’s true, make it and you will feel better. Or at least full, and that’s always better than hungry. 

    Gochujang Stout BBQ Burger with Fried Shallots and Blistered Shishitos

    5 from 2 votes
    Servings 4 burgers

    Ingredients
      

    For the beef patty:

    • 1 lbs 80/20 ground chuck beef
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons pepper
    • 3 tablespoons butter

    For the Gochuchang BBQ:

    • cup (160 g) apple cider vinegar
    • ½ cup (4 oz) stout
    • ½ cup (100g) dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1/3 cup (98g) gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    For the Shallots:

    • 1 large shallot blub peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch slices (about 1/3 cup)
    • ¼ cup (30g) flour
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • Oil for frying

    For the Shihitos:

    • ½ lbs shishito peppers
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    • ½ teaspoon flakey sea salt

    For the burgers:

    • 4 kaiser rolls split
    • 1 small bunch cilantro

    Instructions
     

    Prep the beef:

    • Form the beef into 4 equal-sized patties, wider than the bun (it will shrink as it cooks) and fairly thin. Add to a plate, refrigerate until very cold, about 1 hour (can be done up to 24 hours in advance).

    Make the barbeque sauce:

    • Add all the barbeque sauce to a pan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. Set aside.

    Make the shallots:

    • Add the flour, salt and pepper to a small bowl, stir to combine. Add the sliced shallots, toss to coat. Remove with a fork, shaking off the excess flour.
    • Add about ½ inch of oil to a pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots, reduce heat to medium, cooking on both sides until crispy, and browned, about 10 minutes (make sure the oil isn’t too hot or the shallots will burn). Remove from oil, allow to drain on a stack of paper towels.

    Make the shishitos:

    • Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet until very hot. Add the shishitos, allowing to blister on one side before turning with tongs (be careful, the oil will pop), allow to drain on a stack of paper towels, sprinkle with salt while still hot.

    Make the patty:

    • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the patties liberally on all sides. Add to the skillet, cook on both sides until the meat is medium-rare, about 3 minutes on each side.

    Assemble the burgers:

    • Add the patty, top with barbecue sauce, shishitos, shallots and cilantro, serve immediately

    Michelada Marinated Steak Tacos with Chipotle Avocado Sauce and Beer Pickled Onions

    Michelada Marinated Steak Tacos with Chipotle Avocado Sauce and Beer Pickled Onions

    If anyone tells you they don’t like tacos they are incorrect. Yes, I know, liking something is technically an opinion, and those can’t be correct or incorrect, except about tacos. I’ll even let those "I don’t really like ice cream" people have their inferior preferences but with tacos, I’m just going to say no, absolutely not, you are wrong. 

    Because the truth is, you just haven’t had the right taco. Maybe street tacos are your jam, or maybe it’s what I call "trash tacos" which are the ones our moms made with ground beef and cheddar and pre-packaged hard taco shells, or MAYBE you like a hybrid of both like the ones Malo in LA used to make. 

    OR you could just be a dessert taco guy, like a ChocoTaco sort of human. But the truth is, tacos are for everyone, and everyone is for tacos. 

    These tacos just happen to be my sort of tacos: GOOD corn tortilla (not those cardboard disks that pretend to be tortillas), steak, pickled onions, and a sauce of sorts.

    I will ride or die for all types of cheese, but not on my tacos, save that for a burrito. Or a burger. No lettuce, thank-you-very-much, and no premade hard shells. Just a protein, a corn tortilla, onions or one sort or another, and a spicy sauce. And a beer, tacos and beer are always better together. 

    For homemade tortillas, use this recipe for Beer Corn Tortillas

    For store-bought, the only ones I ever buy are La Tortilla Factory 

    Michelada Marinated Steak Tacos with Chipotle Avocado Sauce and Beer Pickled Onions

    5 from 2 votes
    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients
      

    Steak:

    • 2 lbs skirt or flank steak
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
    • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon cream-style horseradish
    • 1 large lime juiced
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 12 ounces beer pale ale, lager, pilsner
    • 1 ½ cups 12 ounces tomato juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Beer Pickled Onions:

    • 12 oz of IPA beer
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1 large red onion thinly sliced

    Chipotle Avocado Sauce:

    • 1 large chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
    • 1 large avocado pit and skin removed
    • ¼ cup chicken broth
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions

    For the tacos:

    • 12 small corn tortillas homemade recipe link above, for store-bought, see note
    • ¼ cup chopped green onions

    Instructions
     

    Marinate the steak:

    • Sprinkle the flank steak liberally on all sides, place in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag or a large bowl with an airtight lid.
    • In a large bowl stir together the sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, lime juice, pepper, beer, and tomato juice. Pour over the steak, remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
    • Refrigerate overnight.

    Make the onions:

    • In a pot over medium-high heat add the beer, vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, stirring just until the sugar and salt dissolve, remove from heat.
    • Add the onions to a jar or storage container. Pour brine over the onions. Allow to sit at room temperate until cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight and up to several weeks.

    Cook the steak:

    • Remove the steak from the marinade, allowing the liquid to drain off as much as possible. Place the steak on a clean kitchen towel or a stack of paper towels, add more to the top of the steak drying it as well as possible (this is how you will be able to achieve a good sear, too much liquid will ruin the sear).
    • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid until very hot. Add the steak, allowing to brown and sear for 3-5 minutes, flip and cover with a slight vent to the lid until cooked through, another 4-6 minutes (depending on the thickness of your steak).
    • Remove from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.

    Make the sauce:

    • Add all the ingredients for the chipotle avocado sauce to a small blender or food processor, process until well combined.

    Make the tacos:

    • Add steak, avocado cream, onions, and green onions in desired proportions to tortillas.

    Notes

    *The only store bought tortillas that I ever buy are La Tortilla factory (this is not a paid mention, I have no relationship with them), all other store-bought tortillas are bland and dry in my experience. If you can’t find La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas, try to make them at home, it really is rather simple.

    Balsamic Stout Short Ribs

    Balsamic Stout Short Ribs, so rich and delicious! 

    This is one of those unimpressive-very-impressive dishes. Sounds impressive, tastes impressive, but requires a very unimpressive amount of skill. Some things take skill, lots of it, years of it. Some things just take a long bath in the oven and they come out just right. Every time. In a forgiving sort of way that requires no pre-acquired meat knowledge. 

    Short ribs are those things, short ribs are my friends because friends forgive, a lot. It’s really hard to screw up short ribs, just remember: long, slow, low. Not too low, and long is up to interpretation, but it’s a general rule. As long as you leave these suckers in the oven long enough (you can’t rush short ribs, but you can ignore them for hours) they will reward you with a meal that you can at least pretend you slaved over. People will believe you. 

    Short ribs also really like it when you make them in advance and they get to have a nice little sleepover in your fridge. They’re that sort of friend. Give them a beer, let them spend the night, and they’ll make you look good the next day. It’s a great way to prepare for a dinner party that may or may not involve a human sleepover. Enough of these ribs and some beer and people won’t want to leave your house, so you should probably make up the guest room just in case. 

    Balsamic Stout Short Ribs

    5 from 1 vote

    Ingredients
      

    • 3 lbs boneless beef short ribs
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • ½ cup (60g) flour
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large leek cleaned and sliced (white part only)
    • 1 rib celery diced
    • 2 large carrots diced
    • 6 cloves garlic minced
    • ½ cup (113g) balsamic vinegar
    • 1 (12oz) bottle stout beer
    • 2 cups (450g) beef broth
    • 1 (14.4 oz) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • 3 tablespoons (48g) tomato puree
    • Rice polenta or pasta for serving
    • chopped parsley

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
    • Sprinkle the ribs with salt on all sides. Dredge in flour until well coated.
    • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or braiser over medium-high heat. Add the ribs, browning on all sides, remove and set aside.
    • Add the leeks, celery, and carrots, lower the heat to medium. Cook until the vegetables have started to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
    • Add the balsamic, beer, and broth, scraping to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
    • Add the ribs back in, along with the tomatoes and tomato puree.
    • Cover and add to the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    • After 2 hours, remove the lid and continue to cook until fork-tender, about 1 additional hour.
    • Remove the ribs, set aside.
    • Add the remaining liquid and vegetables to a blender, blend on high until well combined.
    • Plate the ribs, drizzle with sauce, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

    All-Purpose Beer Marinade for Grilling (meat or veggies!)

    Diageo Beer Company USA, sponsored this post. Partnerships with The Beeroness and outside companies only occur when the company’s products are ones I use and enjoy myself. All ideas, words, and opinions are my  own.

    The first brewery I ever visited was in Ireland when I was in college. I’d taken a flight to Dublin, landing blurry-eyed and confused early on a Thursday morning. As I stood outside the airport, my heavy pack weighing down my small frame, I tried to form enough of a thought to figure out which way to walk to get to my hostel. A passerby stops in front of me. An older man, a few inches shorter than me, clad in a wool cardigan over a plaid button-down, his eyes even bluer than mine asks me if I’m lost. I tell him that I think my hostel is just down the road but I’m not sure which way to walk. When he asks for the name of the place I’m staying, I tell him it’s called The Brewery hostile and it’s right next to the Guinness brewery.

    His eyes light up, “I’ll take you there! Any excuse for a good pint!” He walks me to my destination and pauses only briefly before making his way to that taproom for a pint. The next day, I followed suit. It was the first time I’d ever heard a brewer talk, and the closest I’d ever been to brewing equipment. It left a mark.

    I left that trip with two souvenirs that have stayed with me: how proud the Irish are of the Guinness brand and its history, and the love that brewers have for their craft. I’d learned that Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the space they still occupy, that they were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits (some people even credit them with starting the trend), and one of my favorite beer facts ever:

    Since the 1960’s the Queen gives out an award every year for technological achievement. In 1991 this award was given to the Guinness nitro widget (that tiny ping pong sized ball in the cans of Guinness that make them taste like draft). What came in #2 to the Nitro widget? The internet. THIS is how adored Guinness is, and that love is infectious.

    To this day, I still drink Extra Stout. It’s a great beer, smooth and mellow, and it’s perfect for cooking. This summer is just kicking off and I’m not slowing down on my consumption of Guinness any time soon, it’s smooth and mellow enough for even hot weather and it’s the perfect beer to use when marinating meat or veggies for the grill.

    All-Purpose Beer Marinade for Grilling (meat or veggies!)

    5 from 4 votes

    Ingredients
      

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • ½ cup Guinness Extra Stout Beer
    • 3 cloves garlic grated with a microplane
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons salt

    Instructions
     

    • Stir together all ingredients.
    • Add the meat, fish or vegetables to the marinade (gallon sized Ziploc bag works well).
    • Marinate for 2 to 12 hours.
    • Remove from marinade and grill as desired.

    Spicy Beer Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    Spicy Beer Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    Somedays the internet is just pug videos and Game of Thrones memes and other days it feels so full of trolls lurking just under the surface, waiting with their beady little eyes for the chance to pounce.  On the bad days, I have to believe those of us who are willing to mama-bear the good people and come out in force against the trolls are much larger in quality and quantity than former.

    Let’s just make that agreement, shall we? As we make our pulled pork and drink our beer that we’ll look out for each other. We’ll stick up for someone who’s being bullied online and push the trolls back into the caves from which they came.

    There are days when I want to be the kind of person that will love the trolls so hard they will crack wide up and shed their skin like a snake and evolve into a self-aware human.

    But other days I don’t have the strength. I just want to hand you my beer and wreck shop. I find the restraint and often channel that rage into cooking. So I rage cooked you some stuffed sweet potatoes and served them with this amazing hazy IPA from bells called Official Hazy IPA. It’s one of those beers that makes everything right in the world.

    Stout Beer Barbecue Sauce

    Beer Pickled Jalapeños

    Spicy Beer Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 6 people

    Ingredients
      

    For the pulled pork:

    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 4 lb pork shoulder
    • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 3 cups stout or smoked porter

    For the potatoes:

    • 6 medium sized garnet sweet potatoes
    • olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons butter

    For the toppings:

    • 1 cup BBQ sauce for beer BBQ sauce, link above
    • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
    • ¼ cup pickled jalapenos for beer pickled jalapenos, link above

    Instructions
     

    Make the pulled pork:

    • In a small bowl stir together the salt, brown sugar onion powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika and mustard powder together until combined, set aside.
    • Take out your pork and stab 6, 2-inch deep holes fairly evenly spaced through the meat. Push a clove of garlic into each hole until no longer visible.
    • Rub the entire surface of the meat with the spice mixture, using it all.
    • In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until very hot. Sear all surfaces of the meat, even the sides, until browned. The entire process will probably take about 10-15 minutes. Pour the beer over the meat, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 3 hours, turning the meat over about every 30 minutes, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
    • Once the meat is tender remove from heat, use two forks to shred into pieces while still in the pot (or remove, shred and return to pot). Return to the pot to heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot, add to a servings bowl.
    • If planning on store the meat, reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid to add to the meat while storing.

    Make the potatoes:

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • Pierce the potatoes all over with a small knife.
    • Add the potatoes to a wire rack over a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
    • Bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender ( the time will depend on the size of your potatoes, larger ones can take up to 30 minutes longer).

    Top the potatoes:

    • Slit the potatoes lengthwise. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the center of each, sprinkle with salt. Mash the butter and salt into the sweet potato with a fork.
    • Add desire amount of pulled pork to each potato, top with cilantro, barbeque sauce, and jalapenos.

    Maple Beer Glazed Crispy Pork Belly

    Maple Beer Glazed Crispy Pork Belly, the easiest and tastiest pork belly I’ve ever made! 

    Pork belly is an investment. Not financially—it’s actually pretty inexpensive—it’s a time investment. One that’s well worth the effort with the right recipe. I’ve made pork belly so many times over the years and I’ve learned that patience is key to getting what you want. That is if what you want is juicy pork with crispy skin.

    I usually source my pork belly from a local restaurant supply store, it’s a great place to shop if you want to buy your body weight in pork products. Why yes, yes I do want more pork belly than I can safely lift without a spotter! With a recipe that takes this much time, I want to test it to make sure it’s right when you finally make the investment of time it takes to get this done.

    If you do find that an overly ambitious trip to a pork belly purveyor straddled you with more pork than anyone can safely eat in a lifetime, just remember that it freezes really well. Just wrap it better than you think is necessary and it should be fine for a few months.

    After several rounds of testing, this was the winner. Juciy meat: check. Crispy skin: so much. Easy recipe that doesn’t involve scoring, poking, vinegar or excessive steps: absolutly.

    Maple Beer Glazed Crispy Pork Belly

    Ingredients
      

    For the pork

    • 1 (4.5 lbs) pork belly, rind on
    • 2 cups very warm water
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
    • 2 (12 ounce) beers (wheat beer, pilsner, pale ale)
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    For the glaze

    • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons beer wheat beer, pilsner, pale ale
    • 2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

    Instructions
     

    • Add the pork belly to a large bowl or baking dish.
    • In a large bowl stir together the hot water, salt, cloves, and allspice, make sure the salt is completely dissolved. Pour in the cold beer. Make sure the brine temperature is below room temperature to avoid prematurely cooking the pork.
    • Pour the brine over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Preheat oven to 300°F
    • Remove the pork from the brine, add to a stack of paper towels, rind side down for 10 minutes to dry the skin.
    • In a small bowl stir together the kosher salt and egg whites until well combined.
    • Place a wire rack over a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Place the pork on the rack, rind side up.
    • Pack the salt on top of the rind until completely covered and slightly compacted.
    • Bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven, raise temperature to 400°F. Gently pull the salt pack off the pork. It will be a hard crust at this point and should remove easily in a few large chunks.
    • Brush off any remaining salt with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Brush with olive oil.
    • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the rind is a dark golden brown.
    • Stir together the maple syrup, 2 tablespoons beer, and mustard. Brush the top liberally with glaze.
    • Turn the broiler to high. Broil in the top 1/3 of the oven (a few rungs down from the very top) until the glaze has caramelized. Re-brush every 5 minutes. Broil until caramelized and dark.
    • Remove from oven, cut into cubes for serving

    Notes

    Can be served as an appetizer or an entree.

    Stout Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Pale Ale Polenta

    Stout Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Pale Ale Polenta

    I accidentally found my new favorite get-away town on Monday. A four-hour drive to interview a brewery owner for an article I’m writing turned into an overnight stay in a Northern Oregon. A little town that I’m convinced haphazardly, and purely by accident, wound its way into being excessively charming. As if one day the residents of this little river town, this former not-more-than-a-train-stop location woke up, looked at the row of shops and cafes adjacent to the water, the glorious views of the surrounding mountains, the outstanding breweries, and said, "well, look at that! We’re adorable."

    I’d HEARD of Hood River, Oregon. I’d even stopped in once on a road trip because I NEEDED to visit Pfriem. But I’d never been there long enough to look around, long enough to really see it.

    Then, I was there. A Monday night, alone except for this beast, and my gypsy soul decided to stay the night. Chatting with locals for a while, drinking the beer, and realizing why I moved to Seattle in the first place. You just stumble into these little towns that make you feel like you’re a lifetime away from the place you started.

    Then I realized that it’s been almost 5 years since I moved here, packed my little car and my bulldog and headed north. I realized how lucky I am to live here, to have the people in my life that currently occupy space in my surroundings, and how even when your life feels like it’s accidentally happening to you, even when things feel haphazard, you can one day wake up and realize how great they really are.

    Stout Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Pale Ale Polenta

    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients
      

    For the Short Ribs

    • Kosher salt
    • 3 lbs beef short ribs
    • ¼ cup cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 large carrots diced
    • 2 ribs celery diced
    • 1 cup diced white onion
    • 12 ounces stout beer
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1 sprig thyme
    • 1 sprig rosemary

    For the polenta

    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup pale ale
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 3/4 cup dry polenta
    • 3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan reggiano
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Instructions
     

    Make the ribs:

    • 1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
      2. Generously sprinkle salt on all sides of the ribs.
      3. Add the cornstarch to a wide bowl, toss the ribs in the cornstarch until well coated.
      4. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs on all sides, remove from the pan, set aside.
      5. Add the carrots, celery and onions, cook until browned and starting to caramelized, about 15 minutes.
      6. Pour in the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Stir in the broth.
      7. Add the ribs into the pot, add the thyme and rosemary, add the lid onto the pot.
      8. Place the pot in the oven, cooking until the ribs are very tender and easily pull away from the bone, 3 to 4 hours. 
      9. Remove the ribs. Strain the sauce into a pot, removing the solids and any large pieces of fat, discard the fat.
      10. Separate the fat from the sauce, either spoon it off (it’s lighter color and will sit on top), or if making in advance, add to the fridge and allow to cool, peel the fat layer off the top and discard.
      11. Add the broth and ribs to a serving platter (add the carrots and celery to the serving platter, if desired). 

    Make the polenta:

    • 1. In a pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the beer and milk, bring to a simmer.
      2. Whisk in the polenta. Simmer until polenta is tender and thickened, whisking occasionally, about 25 minutes.
      3. Stir in the parmesan, salt and pepper

    Beer Braised Meatball Banh Mi Sandwiches

    I’m not sure why I do these things. It’s that part of me that leans toward obsessing, and it’s a small but powerful part. Mini but mighty.

    Food, in one form or another, often finds it’s way into that space. Duck confit, pickling weird foods, doughnuts, bolognese, you really never know when something will settle into my major obsession zone.

    When I do have things fall into the crack in my personality that sucks up obsessions, it doesn’t let them go (see also: beer, early rock photography, serial killers, bulldogs. It’s Ok to dislike me based solely on that list).

    Right now, it’s Banh Mi, or if I use it as a command: BANH ME! It should be a socially acceptable command that you’re allowed to yell at people until they give you a Vietnamese-French fusion sandwich. But it’s not, so don’t try it.

    After making a vegan Mushroom Bahn Mi sandwich for my book that’s in the processing of being published, I want to Bahn Mi all the things. ALL THE THINGS. I’m going to try to keep this obsession in check, but it has leaked through today, onto you so I hope you’re OK with that.

     

    Beer Braised Meatball Banh Mi Sandwiches

    Banh Mi and Meatballs in one sandwich with a sweet and spicy beer glaze!
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 4 Sandwiches

    Ingredients
      

    For the pickled shallots:

    • 1/4 cup very hot water
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/4 cup beer (lager, pilsner, pale ale)
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 large shallot bulb thinly sliced

    For the meatballs

    • 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
    • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 1.5 lbs frozen mini meatballs I used pork, but beef, chicken or vegetarian is fine
    • 1/2 cup beer (lager, pilsner, pale ale)

    For the sandwiches

    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons sriracha
    • 1 large carrot grated with a box grater
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 large jalapeno
    • 4 crusty sandwich rolls

    Instructions
     

    • 1. Add the hot water, sugar and salt to a small bowl, stir until dissolved.
      2. Stir in the beer and vinegar, add the shallots. Cover and refrigerate for one hour and up to 3 days.
      3. In a small bowl stir together the chili sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce, set aside.
      4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, pulling the pan back and forth until starting to sear.
      5. Lower heat the medium, pour in the beer. Allow to simmer until most of the beer is gone, stirring occasionally.
      6. Pour the sweet chili mixture over the meatballs, raising the heat slightly, adjusting to maintain a low boil.
      7. Cook until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are well coated.
      8. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream and sriracha (can be done up to 3 days in advance).
      9. Spread the sriracha sour cream inside the rolls, fill with meatballs, carrots, cilantro, pickled shallots and jalapenos. 

    Stout Osso Buco Sliders with Gremolata Sour Cream

    Stout Osso Buco Sliders with Gremolata Sour Cream

    We’ve made it. Made the turn into the New Year and survived to tell the tale. January is about breathing, stepping back, reflecting and fireplaces. Stouts are also a January thing, even when you’ve resolved to be healthy so you can run faster and jump higher.

    One won’t hurt. Maybe just buy one for the fridge to look at and remind yourself of the reward you have coming once your goal has been met. Don’t forget about Football, it’s another January thing. An even-if-you-don’t-like-sports thing, because it’s a how we get out of the house and see other humans in the depths of winter thing.

    Maybe, if you’re not ready to jump into football appetizer like food yet, just pin it for later. A mental prep for February (just as dark as January but graciously shorter) when we will break our diets to eat all the things and watch the Big Game with other people who will mostly be rooting against one team or another. This is important, we need things to look forward to right now as we’ve rounded the corner out of all the look-forward-to things portion of the year and we’re not sure what to do with ourselves.

    Just make some Osso Buco Sliders, they’re tiny. How much damage can one really do?

    Stout Osso Buco Sliders with Gremolata Sour Cream

    Yield: 12 sliders

    Ingredients

    • 4 slices thick cut bacon
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 3 lbs beef shanks (4 to 5)
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and sliced (about 2 large)
    • 2 ribs celery, chopped
    • 1 cup white onions, chopped
    • 1 cup porter or stout beer
    • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 3 cups broth
    • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
    • ½ teaspoon orange zest
    • 2 large cloves garlic, grated with a zester or microplane
    • 1 ½ cups sour cream
    • 12 slider buns

    Instructions

    1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon starts to crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, set aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, discard the rest.
    2. Salt and pepper the beef shanks liberally.
    3. Add flour to a bowl. One at a time dredge shanks in the flour until well coated.
    4. Return the Dutch oven to heat, allow the bacon fat to get hot but not smoking.
    5. Sear the shanks in bacon fat until browned on both sides. Remove shanks from pot.
    6. Add olive oil to pot along with carrots, celery and onion. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
    7. Add the beer, scraping to deglaze the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste.
    8. Return shanks and bacon to the pot. Pour in broth until shanks are ¾ of the way covered.
    9. Allow liquid to simmer but not boil for 3 ½ hours or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. While shanks are cooking, turn over every 30 to 45 minutes. Add additional broth to maintain a liquid level that is about ¾ of the way up the side of the shanks.
    10. Once tender, remove the meat and bones. Discard the bones and any large pieces of fat. Pull the meat into small pieces using two forks, return to the pot, stir to combine with the sauce.
    11. Spoon the meat mixture into slider buns.
    12. Combine the parsley, lemon zest, orange zest, garlic and sour cream in a small bowl.
    13. Top the meat with a spoonful of sour cream mixture before putting the top of the bun on the slider. Serve immediately.
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    Pressure Cooker Stout Pho (AKA-The best and easiest way to feed a group)

    Pressure Cooker Stout Pho (AKA-The best and easiest way to feed a group)

    I have a confession. You won’t be surprised, it’s very typical of who I am. The last THREE times I’ve had people over for dinner, this is what I made. All three times. And then I acted like it was creative and inspired when I really just wanted to eat this again.

    Luckily, these three groups of people don’t know each other and won’t be able to compare notes and realize that I’m not as creative as I pretend to be. I also have a large pot of this in my freezer, just in case I need to feed more people at the last minute. Or in case I just want to feed my own face at the last minute.

    The thing about this Pressure Cooker Stout Pho, is that it’s the easiest way to get that broth, and we all know that Pho is all about the broth, once you have that handled, the rest is quick. You can even make it in a huge batch, then freeze it for when you know you’ll have to pull this off in less than 30 minutes, it’s completely doable. And you’ll look like a rock star, even if you do it three times in a row.

    Just serve it with good beer and no one will say a word.

    Pressure Cooker Stout Pho (AKA-The best and easiest way to feed a group)

    Serving Size: serves 6

    Ingredients

      For the broth:
    • 2 pounds marrow or knuckle beef bones
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 pound oxtails
    • 1 cup stout beer
    • 1 knob of unpeeled ginger, about 4 inches long
    • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 whole star anise
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
    • 8 cups water
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • For serving:
    • 1 pound flank steak
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 lbs rice noodles 1 lime, cut into wedges
    • 4 Thai peppers, thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1 bunch fresh Thai basil, chopped
    • 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
    • 2 cups bean sprouts
    • Sriracha sauce
    • Sesame chili oil

    Instructions

    1. Add the beef bones to a stock pot, cover with salted water. Bring to a boil for ten minutes, discard the water, rinse the bones, set aside (this is the only way to get rid of the scum that happens when making beef broth).
    2. Turn the Instant pot or Multi-Cooker to sauté (this can also be done in a pan on the stove top), add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add the oxtails, cooking until browned on all sides.
    3. While the oxtails cook, char the ginger. Slice the ginger lengthwise into 4 strips, add to a baking sheet along with the quartered onions.
    4. Using a kitchen torch, char ginger and onions on all sides until blackened. You can also add the baking sheet to an oven with a pre-heated broiler, broiling until blackened, turning the ginger and onion pieces to make sure they char on all sides.
    5. Once the oxtails have cooked, add the beer, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
    6. Add the charred onions and ginger, beef bones, the fish sauce, soy sauce, anise, coriander, cinnamon, water and 2 teaspoons salt.
    7. Add the lid tightly to the pressure cooker. Set the pressure cooker to cook for 60 minutes. Once the cooking has finished, vent to release pressure then remove the lid. Drain, removing the solids and saving the broth (broth freezes well, it can be made in advance and frozen for up to a month).
    8. While the broth cooks, make the steak and noodles.
    9. Dry the steak well on all sides with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
    10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    11. Add the remaining olive oil to a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan over high heat until just before smoking. Add the steak, cooking for 2 minutes on each side. Add pan to the oven, cooking in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove the steak, add to a cutting board, allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice very thinly, add to a serving plate.
    12. Cook the rice noodles in boiling salted water until al dente, drain and add to a large bowl. Toss with oil to prevent sticking (store noodles separate from the broth to prevent over cooking).
    13. Serve broth along side the steak, herbs, sprouts, limes, peppers and sauces, allowing all guests to build their own bowls.
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