Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Archive for March 10th, 2008

There’s Nothing Shy About Blue Dawg Brewing’s Bold Blueberry Lager – Wild Blue

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2008

wild-blue-web-res.jpgWEBWIRE – Monday, March 10, 2008

Tart and Tangy Beer Arrives this Spring to Refresh Palates Nationwide

ST. LOUIS . — Not suited for timid or reserved beer drinkers, Wild Blue’s defining taste characteristic is its kick of natural blueberry flavor. The Blue Dawg Brewing team carefully selected a blend of hops and barley malt to ensure they complemented and balanced Wild Blue’s dominant blueberry notes, resulting in a robust and aromatic beer with a refreshing, palate-cleansing finish.

Wild Blue is brewed with a blend of German hops from the Hallertau region in Bavaria and classic Aroma hops from the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest. A combination of two- and six-row barley malt also was chosen specifically for this recipe. Beer lovers will appreciate this specialty fruit-infused lager’s striking burgundy color, ripe blueberry aroma and its ability to stand up to the strongest of foods.

“This beer is the real deal,” said Jill Vaughn, Wild Blue brewmaster. “With a distinct color and flavor, we’ve crafted a beer that truly stands out. I think it will surprise people, especially those who like to experiment when it comes to new drinks.”

To showcase Wild Blue’s reddish-purple color and slight pink head of foam and to allow its field-fresh blueberry aroma to escape to the nose, pour the beer into a glass with a larger rim. A traditional pilsner will do the trick; or for special occasions Vaughn suggests enjoying Wild Blue in a tulip-shaped glass. “A beer as distinct and unusual as Wild Blue deserves to be enjoyed in a special type of glass,” said Vaughn.

Brewers have been using fruit in beer for years, from Belgian lambics brewed with raspberries, cherries and peaches to fruit-flavored beer mixers like shandys and radlers – popular concoctions in Britain and Germany created to bring more refreshment to beer during the spring and summer months.

The unconventional spirit of this beer is conveyed in every aspect, from its taste to its label that features a cheeky, playful bulldog kicking a blueberry, which visually represents Blue Dawg Brewing – a group within Anheuser-Busch, Inc. that is responsible for the beer’s marketing, selling and advertising.

“We’re focusing our efforts on getting Wild Blue in adults’ hands at local food and film festivals and even fun events like pet parades, where dog lovers can get to know Wild Blue, with its feisty bulldog label,” said Jeff Pierson, innovation manager, Wild Blue. “We aren’t taking this beer down the traditional path. Wild Blue is going places we haven’t been before, and we know having the beer at places where adults like to get together, socialize and try new things will be key.”

Already a popular beer in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri, adults nationwide can now find this brew at select grocery and convenience stores. Craft beer enthusiasts also have given Wild Blue their stamp of approval with a gold medal in the fruit beer category at the North American Brewers Association’s 2006 North American Beer Awards, a competition that recognizes top beers by style.

When it comes to food pairings, it’s a common belief that heavier, darker drinks pair with meat and lighter, crisper drinks pair with fish. So it’s only natural that a full-flavored beer such as Wild Blue needs to be paired with a dish brimming with robust and intense flavors. Vaughn recommends matching Wild Blue with meat dishes, such as pork rib roast with fig and pistachio stuffing or pork tenderloin with apricot mustard. “There’s nothing shy about this beer, so don’t be afraid to match it with strong foods. You want foods with snap and punch, so they won’t get lost or be overpowered,” said Vaughn. “Or if you’re craving a salad, use a combination of greens like mesclun, arugula, escarole or romaine with some fresh herbs.”

Not only does Wild Blue complement full-flavored dishes, it makes an excellent recipe ingredient, like in one of Anheuser-Busch Executive Chef Sam Niemann’s favorites:

Wild Blue Vinaigrette Dressing

Blend 6-8 fresh hulled strawberries, ½ cup fresh raspberries, ½ cup fresh blueberries and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a blender until smooth. Add ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup Wild Blue; blend briefly until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Wild Blue is brewed in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and contains 8 percent alcohol by volume.
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Nutritional info for Wild Blue here

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History of St. Pat’s Corned Beef Recipes

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2008

As you read through the early recipes in Beer & Food: An American History thatcorned-beef.jpg include beer or ale as an ingredient, consider the suggestion that many of today’s beer-themed food dishes might not have been recently “invented,” but are rather the results of an evolution in their preparation. It doesn’t take a huge leap of the imagination to see that a homemade pot roast with an added

can of Miller High Life or your mother’s rib-sticking stew with a dose of Guinness, could all stem from earlier recipes.

Londoner Susannah Carter and her later edition of The Frugal Housewife, or, Complete woman cook; wherein the art of dressing all sorts of viands is explained in upwards of five hundred approved receipts, in gravies, sauces, roasting [etc.]…also the making of English wines. To which is added an appendix, containing several new receipts adapted to the American mode of cooking, offers a number of good examples of early American food recipes, especially derived from English cookery.

 

This recipe book, originally published in England around 1765, was quite popular in British-America, with a later printing in Boston in 1772. The book’s engraved plates are attributed to Paul Revere. In 1803, Carter added new recipes for her American audience that listed very American dishes such as pumpkin pie, recipes for maple syrup and buckwheat pancakes, and even methods of raising turkeys.  

 

Carter also makes an interesting observation that too many contemporary household cooks gloss over when using beer in food. Highly-hopped beers, with their accompanying bitterness, are the last thing you want to add to a dish whose broth will be reduced. If a highly-hopped twelve-ounce beer makes your lips pucker and curls your toes with just one sip, imagine what it will do to your taste buds if concentrated down to a four-ounce reduction!

The following recipe for beef brisket might be viewed as an early step in the evolutionary path of the contemporary brisket and beer dish. Every St. Patrick’s day, innumerable slow-cooked beef brisket or corned beef recipes, usually adding Guinness or Harp to the pot for “authenticity” (while overlooking the fact that that the “Irish” corned beef and cabbage dish is really an American blarney-inspired culinary creation), are rolled out by food writers in the food sections of U.S. newspapers and magazines.

The pre-cooking rub of salt and saltpeter [saltpetre] on the brisket, and a rest time of four days, probably resulted somewhat in the reddish color of the corned beef we enjoy today, although the use of saltpeter in any of today’s food recipes is not recommended. The boiled New England meal of corned beef might have actually stemmed from this very British beef brisket recipe of the late 1700s or early 1800s:

TO STEW BRISKET OF BEEF

Having rubbed the brisket with common salt and saltpetre, let it lie four days. Then lard the skin with fat bacon, and put it into a stew pan with a quart of water; a pint of red wine, or strong beer, half a pound of butter, a bunch of sweet herbs, three or four shallots, some pepper and half a nutmeg grated. Cover the pan very close. Stew it over a gentle fire for six hours.

 

Then fry some square pieces of boiled turnips very brown. Strain the liquor the beef was stewed in, thicken it with burnt butter, and having mixed the turnips with it, pour all together over the beef in a large dish. Serve it up hot, and garnish with lemon sliced.

To make this dish “authentic,” grab a Guinness Stout.

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