Our Holiday Adventures Cooking with Beer

Scotch Ale paired with Salted Caramel Brown Butter Crunchies

Scotch Ale paired with Salted Caramel Brown Butter Crunchies

Actually this should be entitled Cooking with Fabulous Homebrew. Le sigh –  how we LOVE our Broken Stove Tasting Club membership(s). Yes, that is plural – we are in the lucky situation of multiple memberships — an old roomie bought us an additional share. Best. Gift. Ever.

It has been a fun few weeks of festive cooking and holiday gatherings. While we drank most of our beers paired with yummy holiday food like the Smitten Kitchen Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats topped with Brown Eyed Baker Salted Caramel (pictured above), Mac & Cheese, and holiday hams, we did a little experimenting and discovered some fun new ways to rock a beer in the kitchen….

Smoked Porter by Broken Stove

Smoked Porter by Broken Stove

Irish Cheddar & Beer Fondue

Brooklyn is our home and we celebrate the holidays here with a serious gusto. This includes hosting giant family parties filled with fun and food. This year one of our dear friends suggested we try something new for our Christmas Eve fare. Instead of rocking our starting-to-become-a-tradition homemade Christmas Eve Pizza Night, he suggested that we keep in theme with the Great Cake Bake (more on that below) and have a fondue fest. What an amazing idea! We had a really fun time rocking out a series of fondues — a traditional raclette and a raclette “casserole”, a traditional Swiss fondue, a Stilton fondue, an Anchovy-Butter Fondue, a Meat Broth Fondue, a Salted Caramel Fondue, and a fun new fave — Irish Cheddar & Beer Fondue.

I think this is the recipe i used — Cheddar & Stout Fondue — It was such a festive night with so many fondues and cakes being made that i am not 100% positive…. I do remember the yummy fondue — strong cheddar mixed with the deep flavors of the Broken Stove Smoked Porter. We served it with all sorts of goodies — bread, cauliflower, broccoli, apples, sliced peppers, potatoes, and beef. Super divine!

Smoked Porter pic by ryan kuonen

Pork Hocks in Beer & Honey

We ripped off this amazing idea/recipe from  In Ania’s Kitchen for our Winter Solstice Party — Golonka na Piewie z Miodem. We used all her measurements & ingredients but due to time and other additional factors — like a birthday cake in the oven — we decided to whip up our hocks in our pressure cooker. I love my pressure cooker dearly and have found that pork hocks are best when prepared in this device. I had 4 hocks so we doubled the recipe, placing 2 cups of our Smoked Porter and 1/2 cup of honey into the pressure cooker. Our honey was a special purchase from one of our CSA members who has a hive on his Fort Green rooftop. After 45 minutes of pressure cooking, we opened up the pot to the delicious smell of pork, honey, and beer. We pulled out the hocks and started removing the meat, chopping and shredding it up. I have to admit to being in a bit of a rush and probably should have spent more time carefully chopping because a few seriously big and fatty pieces made it into the serving dish. D’oh. Regardless of those “rustic bites”, the hocks were fabulous. While I was chopping, Marion (french chef divine!!) began simmering the beer/honey sauce and whipping up a roux to thicken it. After about 15 minutes, we had this deliciously thick beer honey gravy ready to be mixed with the chopped pork. It was so so yummy I seriously can’t wait to get more hocks in the meat share!!

Making Cake by Ryan Kuonen

Butter + Beer = Making Chocolate Porter Cake

Chocolate Smoked Porter Cake

We have been going to the Smitten Kitchen blog non-stop for recipes, ideas, and retakes on vegetables.  One of our holiday traditions is our (infamous) Christmas Eve Cake. On Christmas Eve we bake up a crazy big cake and decorate it with a candy landscape and marzipan flora & fauna. The cake recipes must be moist and delicious, holding up the diorama aesthetics while delivering a tasty treat. One of Yolim’s fave treats from the past year were the Guinness cupcakes our friend brought over to celebrate Buy Nothing Day; He wanted that flavor in the mix of the Christmas Cake. I didn’t want to bother my friend for the recipe, but kinda remembered a post on my fave cooking blog. One quick search and I had a recipe for some ganached guinness  goodness. I followed the instructions, merely substituting our Broken Stove Smoked Porter for the Guinness Stout called for in the recipe. Unfortunately, we got caught up in a night of mad holiday celebrating and didn’t bother to take pics of the “raw” cake with our camera. (We did instagram that shiz so…..)  However, Smitten Kitchen has some great pics of the cake and baking process that would put anything we snapped to shame.  We might not have stopped in time to take pics, but the results are more delicious than can translate through our camera. Super-deluxe!! The cake was divine — as promised — but of course with the yummy beer and butter and chocolate combo, no one was surprised at the delectable final result. Do yourself a favor and make this cake the next time you need to celebrate!!

Alpine Meadow Christmas Cake

Alpine Meadow Christmas Cake

Marzipan Maddness!

Marzipan Maddness!

Although I love nothing more than pouring out a glass of James’s homebrew, I can’t recommend enough experimenting in the kitchen with beer. The flavor and dimension it adds to the dish is so worth it!! Plus, who says you can’t drink it while cooking with it!

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