Beer (& More) In Food

Beer: The Condiment With An Attitude!

Posts Tagged ‘Beer In Food’

Pan Fried Pork Chops w/ Apple Cider Gravy

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 14, 2008

I’m a gravy kind of guy and cold weather means gravy…lots of gravy!Cider Gravy and Pork Chops


4 loin pork chops

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup beef stock
1 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 bay leaf
pepper and salt to taste


  1. Cook the pork chops in a skillet on stovetop turning once to complete the cooking. 
  2. Make the gravy in pan drippings.  Mix the cornstarch in a little of the beef stock to make a slurry.  Add the slurry to the pan drippings. 
  3. Gradually add the remaining beef stock, stirring constantly to make smooth liquid.  Add the cider, thyme, and bay leaf and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the gravy thickens and is bubbly.  Cook for three or four more minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Before serving, remove the bay leaf.


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Two Dishes Made With Octoberfest Brews

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 3, 2008



Go Get ‘Em!!

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Bob Skilnik Opines On Cool Weather Beers And Cooking

Posted by Bob Skilnik on September 24, 2008

Nice little article from the Daily Herald newspaper about enjoying An American History
cool weather beers with food and in food.

While the growth in the craft beer industry has renewed interest in cooking with beer and pairing beer with food, Bob Skilnik reminds us that everything old is new again. In his 2007 book, “Beer & Food: An American History” (Jefferson Press), the Plainfield resident shares recipes dating back to the early 1800s that incorporated ales in soups and cookies.

Skilnik’s advice:

 “Know the beer. If you like it, give it a try in a recipe.”        

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Goose Island Nut Brown Ale-Braised Beef Ribs

Posted by Bob Skilnik on April 14, 2008

Enjoy this while you can, even get out to the Clybourn location because it looks like this Goose Island location will close by the end of the year.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS                                                             

8 Beef short ribs
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup canola oil
4 large onions, diced
10 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 6 whole
1/4 cup butter
4 bottles Goose Island Nut Brown Ale
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. In a large sauté pan, warm the canola oil over medium high heat until it starts to smoke. Add the short ribs and reduce the heat slightly. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. After browning, transfer ribs to a large stew pot.

In a separate pan, sauté onions and sliced garlic in the butter until onions become translucent. Add the garlic and onions to the ribs. Add the beer and simmer uncovered over low heat until the beer is reduced by one third. Cover the ribs with stock and add the molasses and tomato paste, whole garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer covered 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Shake the pot periodically to prevent sticking.

Transfer ribs to a serving dish and cover to retain heat. Skim excess fat from the broth, discard the herbs and pass liquid through a sieve. Return liquid to a saucepan on medium heat. Reduce until thickened and pour over ribs.

Nutrition facts per serving: 966 calories, 57 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 138 mg cholesterol, 74 g carbohydrates, 41 g protein, 519 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Julio Ambriz, kitchen manager, Goose Island Brewpub

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Guinness Cake Version 3,741

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 15, 2008

clog-dancer.gifGUINNESS CAKE

1 cup Guinness beer

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups sour cream

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Icing sugar or whipped cream

What you do

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Pour Guinness into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in cocoa powder and sugar and reserve.

Combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and beat until uniform. Add sour cream mixture to Guinness mixture and whisk to combine.

Whisk in flour and baking soda. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out with crumbs clinging to it.

Place tin on a rack and leave to cool completely. Before serving, dust with icing sugar or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Serves 8 to 10.

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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:


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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Make St. Pat’s A National Holiday! (And Buy Guinness)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 6, 2008

National survey results suggest millions believe St Patrick’s Day should be a national holiday

New York (February 14, 2008) – In response to overwhelming public sentiment, the makers of Guinness, the world’s most famous Irish stout,
are supporting Proposition 3-17, a national effort to make St. Patrick’s Day an officially-recognized holiday in the United States. 

“Guinness supports the demands of adults around the U.S. to take a day off from work and celebrate their Irish spirit,” said Richard Nichols at Diageo, makers of Guinness stout.  “Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day are all observed, and now it is time for St. Patrick’s Day to have its place among these other important dates.”

The goal is to get at least one million petitioned signatures by midnight on March 16, 2008 so they can be presented to Congress the next day, St. Patrick’s Day.  In the thousands of local bars and retailstores where Guinness stout is sold, anyone who wants to support Proposition 3-17 can sign a petition, or visit or text the word “SIGN” to 65579 to add their names to the petition. 

“My friends and I always get together for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Brandon Schad of Minneapolis.  “I don’t know why it’s not already an official holiday, but it falls on a Monday this year, so we’re making it a three-day weekend.” 

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day goes well beyond wearing a green shirt and talking of leprechauns.  According to a recent survey of men and women 21 years of age and older, when asked which they have done to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, 36% responded that they have watched or marched in a parade, 45% responded that they have toasted the day with a beer, and 59% responded that they have celebrated by eating traditional Irish food such as corned beef and cabbage.
And St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for people of Irish ancestry.  Over half (57%) of those surveyed think everyone has a little bit of Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day.  In fact, while 54% of respondents surveyed with Irish ancestry plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, almost a third of U.S. residents who don’t claim Irish ancestry plan to
celebrate St Patrick’s Day as well.  Proposition 3-17 calls on the nation’s leaders in Washington, DC to grant the wish of the many people around the country who desire to spend the day celebrating with family and friends. 

“We think the public’s excitement about attending rallies and going out to pubs and stores where Guinness stout is sold to sign the petition to make the day official is a testament to the passion of the Irish – and would-be Irish – everywhere,” said Nichols.   

The survey also revealed that many people plan to celebrate sometime during the weekend leading up to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Monday.  In addition to spearheading the petitioning of Congress for recognition as a national holiday, Diageo is promoting its commitment to responsible drinking by encouraging those who do decide to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, to do so responsibly. 

The United States has been leading the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day for centuries.  On March 17, 1762, the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade kicked off in New York City.  More than two centuries later, there are parades held each year in more than 90 cities across the country commemorating St. Patrick’s Day.

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Sam Adams Boston Baked Beans

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 8, 2007

July Is National Baked Bean Month

baked-beans.jpgSamuel Adams Boston Lagered Baked Beans

2 pounds dried navy beans
2 bottles (24 ounces) Samuel Adams Boston Lager
¼ oil or bacon drippings (be authentic here and use the drippings)
3 onions, coarsely diced
1/3 cup dried yellow mustard powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup pure maple syrup (or an additional cup brown sugar)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 small smoked pork shanks, split or 1 pound lean bacon
Salt to taste 

In a large pan, soak the beans overnight with cold water. Drain the beans and cover with fresh water and 1 bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and salt. Bring the beans to a boil, then simmer slowly for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Place the beans in a large, ovenproof pan or Dutch oven along with the liquid they simmered in.

In a small fry-pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions. Cook until they are a deep, golden caramel color, and then add to the beans. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the pork, into the beans. The pork shanks should be pressed down into the beans.

Place the pan, uncovered, in a preheated 300º F. oven and bake for 3 hours. Add the additional bottle of Sam Adams Lager plus enough water to just cover the beans, seasoning as needed. Allow the beans to continue cooking, uncovered, without adding additional liquid until they are browned on top and have cooked to the desired consistency, approximately 3 hours.

When cooked, serve as is or shred the meat from the pork shank and stir into the beans.

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Cooking With Beer, Day 6, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Potato Salad Dosed With Harp

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 14, 2007

Potatoes and Harp beer. Culinary symmetry. Get it

Harp-ed Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
3 each eggs, hard boiled, chopped

Beer Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup Harp Lager
1/4 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 pinches salt
3 pinches white pepper

To make salad:

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until done, about 20-25 minutes. Remove, drain and cool slightly. While potatoes are cooling make beer dressing .

Slice unpeeled potatoes. Place into mixing bowl. While potatoes are still warm, add eggs, parsley, celery and beer dressing. Toss slightly. Do not overmix or the potatoes may break into pieces. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped chives.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the Harp Lager, vinegar and sugar and boil for 5 minutes.

Put into a food processor with the Dijon mustard. With the motor running, slowly pour the remaining olive oil in. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yields 6 servings

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Cooking Again With Stout, Day 5, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Lamb Stew

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 14, 2007

Here’s a more contemporary recipe for Irish Lamb Stew from the Anchorage Daily News with a nice history of the dish plus one more non-beer stew recipe too. Of course, it includes stew in the recipe. I’ve included the recipe below, but the full article can be found here;

Irish stout lamb stew

• ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

• 2 teaspoons salt plus more to taste

• Freshly ground pepper

• 3 pounds cubed lamb shoulder

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 16-ounce can stout or dark beer

• 1 ½ pounds red potatoes, quartered

• 3 parsnips peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

• 3 carrots peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

• 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped

• 4 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 3 14 ½-ounce cans low-sodium beef broth

• 1 cup pearl barley

• 12 sprigs parsley

• 3 sprigs thyme

• 2 sprigs rosemary

» Mix ½ cup of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste in a resealable bag; add lamb. Shake to coat lamb. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb in batches, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove each batch to a plate.

» Stir remaining 2 tablespoons of the flour into the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, 1 minute. Stir in the stout, scraping up the browned bits. Add the potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

» Return meat to the Dutch oven. Add the broth and barley. Tie the parsley, thyme and rosemary in a bundle with kitchen string; add to Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lamb is fork-tender, about 2 ½ hours. Skim off any fat. Season with remaining teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste.

» Makes 10 servings.

— chef Steve Perlstein of the Irish American Heritage Center (Perlstein? Must be from the County Cork).

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Cooking With Beer, Day 4, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Beef Kidney With Beer

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 14, 2007

When it came to cuisine, my mother’s taste was as Irish as Paddy’s pig. She never relented on having my Dad periodically prepare one of her favorite dishes, Beef Kidney With Beer. It was comfort food to her; a taste that brought her back to memories of sitting down with her parents and her seven siblings.

To my sister and me, it was pure horror. There are few kitchens today where you can still “enjoy” the aroma of broken down warm urea, but this dish kept my Mom and her family quite content, while gluek-beer.jpglater driving my sister and me from the house. 

For the more adventurous, however, I give you this very Irish recipe of Beef Kidneys & Beer from the Gluek Brewing Company of Cold Spring, MN (and still in business) during the 1940s.

2 beef kidneys
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups beer
6 slices crisp toast

Cut kidneys into small cubes. Remove skin and white core (gettin’ hungry yet?). Cover with cold water. Bring to boiling point. Drain. Repeat. Drain well. Saute in butter until brown. Add flour. Mix well until blended. Add salt and beer. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes or until kidney is tender and beer cooked down to a thickened sauce. Serve on toast.

Yield: 6 servings

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Cooking With National Premium, Day 3, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Irish Beer Stew

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 12, 2007

In 1948, the National Brewing Company of Baltimore, MD published a little guide to cooking with beer, actually, cooking with National Premium Beer. This booklet’s approach was unique because it targeted MEN as cooks. From Repeal on, virtually all the beer-in-food booklets that were either published by the United States Brewers Association (USBA) or individual breweries were addressed towards women. They, after all, were the Queens of Cuisine, the shoppers of groceries. But Natty Bo turned towards the idea of men as cooks, noting that at one time “…cooking was so deplorably a purely feminine function…” Brew in Your Stew and all its beer related food recipes was “…designed for men,” including the following recipe for Irish Beer Stew; National Premium Beer, 1948

From the Emerald Isle, where Shamrocks and Shillelaghs are still considered the best in low-rate insurance policies, comes this mealtime favorite with a flavor Mother never knew was there. And you can thank your National Premium for that very special flavor!

2.5 lbs. stewing lamb
2 tbsps. fat
1.5 cups National Premium Beer
1.5 cups boiling water
salt & pepper
12 small onions
9 small potatoes
1 bunch carrots
2 cups cooked peas

Have lamb cut in serving-size pieces at meat market. Dredge with seasoned flour. Brown on all sides in hot fat. Add National Premium and water. Cover; simmer 1.5 hours. Add onions, potatoes and carrots cut lengthwise. Add enough boiling water to cover vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are tender (about 1 hour). Add peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Thicken gravy if desired. Serves 4 to 6 depending upon your appetites.

But sure to check out Beer & Food: An American History for more manly beer/food recipes, including an interesting recipe for Welsh Rabbit by bandleader Spike Jones.

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Malt Extract Cooking, Day 2, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 11, 2007

Oatmeal is almost as much a part of the Irish food culture as the potato. With that thought in mind, how about a oatmeal cookie recipe from a 1928 publication titled Schlitz Malt Syrup in the Home? An industry wide attempt to guise the use of malt syrup as merely one more food item in the kitchen — and not the reality of malt extract chiefly used as a base for homebrewing — was fortified with numerousSchlitz Malt Syrup Ad attempts by once big-named brewers (now malt extract manufacturers — wink, wink) in publishing food recipe pamphlets that promoted the use of extract as a key ingredient. This recipe for oatmeal cookies using Schlitz Malt Syrup, “the World’s Finest Malt Syrup,” is but one example.

Check out Beer & Food: An  American History for more.

Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or lard
1 tablespoon Schlitz Malt Syrup (plain)
2 eggs
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons sour milk (leave out overnight or simply add a few drops of lemon juice to the milk)
1 cup raisins

Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon together, and add the oatmeal. Cream the sugar, butter and Schlitz Malt Syrup. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture. Dissolve soda in sour milk. Add the flour to creamed mixture, alternating with the sour milk and soda mixture. Add the raisins. Bake in a moderate oven (350°-375° for 10 minutes or less).           

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Stout Cooking, Day 1, Counting Down To St. Paddy’s Day With A Double Chocolate Cake

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2007

Well, St. Paddy’s Day is on its way, and I’m sure my Irish mother, Mick McCarthy (no joke!), would have appreciated this week’s worth of beer & food recipes, splashed with some stout and layered with a bit o’ blarney. Let’s begin with this quick and easy recipe for a double chocolate cake with a wee bit of stout (your choice).

Whether your Irish heritage is Shanty or Lace Curtain, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this cake receipe that came over from the Old Sod nearly 100 years ago. As least that’s what the Irish bricklayer who was buying beers in Schaller’s Pump in Bridgeport in Chicago told me. I wanted to ask him how the recipe was 100 years old when it starts out “One package of Duncan Hines,” but hell, he was buying.Murphys Irish Stout

1 package of Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake mix
1  12-ounce package of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 small package of instant chocolate pudding
1.5 cups of sour cream
12-ounces of stout

Preheat your oven to 350F. Throw everything except the stout into a Kitchen-Aide stainless steel bowl. Drink 8 ounces of the stout and pour the last 4 ounces into the bowl. Beat it on “slow” until the conncoction is thoroughly mixed, stopping the beater to push the mix off the sides of the bowl. Spray a bundt pan with vegetable oil and sprinkle it with some flour so it’s completly coated with the flour. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 1 hour or the time it takes you to go through 4 more bottles of stout. If you haven’t hit the 1 hour mark but have drunk 4 bottles of stout, grab another stout and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

In an hour, both you and the cake should be baked. Since the cake will be very moist, don’t rely on the old “clean toothpick” method to see if it’s actually cooked. Better yet, take it out of the oven and give it a thump to see if it’s done. If so, carefully remove the cake from the bundt pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Now you have to wait.

If you have any Jameson’s on hand, relax and have a few. You deserve it!

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Guinness Brewery Tour

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2007

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