The Art of Pairing and Cooking with Beer for Any Occasion
* By Sage Priolo *
Over the past decades the popularity of craft brewing has grown tremendously. With all of the flavorful beers now available, it only makes sense that it would open up a whole new world of beer recipe and pairing possibilities.
The Foodie’s Beer Book, which I’m officially obsessed with, is the perfect way to unite your inner foodie with your love of craft beer.
The book was created by gastropub owners and Culinary Institute of America graduates Brooke and Luther Fedora. They explore the many ways beer can enrich a dish or an entire meal and state that the book offers, “no-fuss, high-flavor recipes and pairing suggestions for every season and palate.”
The recipes are broken down by season and region, and grouped together in themed menus, so you can find a recipe to suite any occasion. There are recipes for classic beer focused events like Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day, as well as beer recipes for Thanksgiving, summer beach parties, beer-themed weddings, or just for everyday.
The difficulty levels are also ranging. You have the option for a basic bratwurst plate or to take on something more complicated, such as macaroons, and the directions are rather clear. (I will say though that the recipe directions are written in paragraph form and jump around a bit, this may not be the easiest cookbook for you if you need very detailed directions or if you are a very novice cook, however, I encourage you to give it a go.)
While the recipes call for basic beer styles such as an “Amber Beer” the book also lists highlighted beers that they recommend to use specifically, if you so choose. The features include small craft breweries such as Balast Point in San Diego, Calif., as well as more commonly known beers such as Guiness. I love their suggestions because it’s a great excuse to try a new beer I haven’t had before.
They’ve also included recipes for home brewing; a brief history of beer; and instructions for baking, de-glazing, frying, grilling, steaming and poaching with beer.
An example of one of the many delicious recipes featured in the book is a Burnt Pineapple Mousse topped with Praline Almond Crunch. The recipe is designed to compliment the bold flavors of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, however, if you can’t get a hold of Sculpin, any good IPA will do. Remember; don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink!
You can purchase the book at any Barnes and Noble location, or click here to buy the book from Amazon ($19.50).
For more on pairing craft beer with food read our article Beer 101 – Paring Beer with Food
We have included here a couple of recipes from the cookbook, an entrée of slow roasted ribeye and burnt pineapple mouse with almond praline crunch for dessert, to get you started. Watch WineFoodExplorer in the coming weeks and months for more recipes from this fun and unusual cookbook for beer lovers.
Slow Roasted Ribeye
(Designed to make with and pair with Pliny The Elder by Russian River Brewing Company.)
This is a nice and easy way to prepare a juicy steak: marinated and then roasted in the oven.
(Serves 4 people)
2 pounds boneless ribeye
1 cup olive oil
1 cup IPA beer (They recommend Pliny The Elder by Russian River Brewing Co.)
1/2 cup dry mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Combine the beer, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a blender until all combined. With the blender on medium speed, stream the oil into the blender until the marinade is homogenous. Rub the marinade all over the ribeye, wrap with plastic and marinate for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of two days.
When ready to cook, remove the plastic wrap and wrap the meat in aluminum foil. Bake the ribeye in a 325-degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature. We recommend medium-rare which will measure at 135 degrees. Let your ribeye rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Praline Almond Crunch
Enjoy on it’s own or to top Burnt Pineapple Mousse, recipe below.
(Makes 1 cup)
1 cup almonds (sliced, lightly toasted)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
4 teaspoons salted butter
1 teaspoon IPA beer (They recommend Ballast Point’s Sculpin)
Lightly toast the almonds, set aside. Combine the sugar and water in a small sauté pan, cook the sugar until it becomes golden brown. Add the butter and IPA to the caramelized sugar, then add the nuts. Stir to coat all the nuts. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Cool completely and cut into bit sized pieces.
Burnt Pineapple Mousse
Created to complement the bold flavors of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA, this mousse has flavors of caramel and tangy pineapple and is balanced with a creamy texture. We have paired this mousse with almond macaroons, sour cherry compote, and praline almonds, but it could be served alone or as a cake filling.
(Makes 6 cups)
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into medium slices
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin powder
1 cup cold water
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons IPA beer
Cut the pineapple into medium size slices. In a large, flat-bottomed pan add 1/4 cup of sugar, add a few drops of water to the sugar and mix until it resembles wet sand in texture. Clean the sides of the pan with water and cook over high heat, swirl but do not stir the sugar. Cook until it is a medium caramel color, add the pineapple slices, and cook on one side for 2–3 minutes, until pineapple has a dark caramel color, turn over and cook for another 2–3 minutes.
Add the pineapple juice and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and put into a blender. Puree the pineapple until smooth and cool completely. When pineapple is cold begin the rest of the mousse preparation. In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin powder over 1 cup of ice cold water, mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl add the egg yolks and whisk until they become light yellow and fluffy.
While the yolks are being whisked, combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a small sauté pan. Cook the sugar until it begins to boil and then cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and slowly pour into the egg yolk mix. This is a tricky process, slow the mixer down to slow and pour the hot sugar in a constant but slow stream into the egg yolks, being sure to pour along the inside edge of the bowl, keeping it out of the whisk. When all the sugar is combined with the egg yolks continue to mix until the yolks are cool and hold soft peaks.
Place the set-up gelatin in a saucepan and gently melt the gelatin, be sure to warm just until melted, but not overcook. Once the gelatin is melted temper it into the egg yolk mix. Temper the egg-gelatin mix with the pineapple puree, whisk together until smooth.
Whisk the heavy cream and IPA beer in a mixing bowl. Whisk until soft peaks form. Gently fold the cream mix into the pineapple mix, do not over mix, as it is important to keep the air in the mix. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set-up. Serve cold.