As I am learning with my beer cooking experiments, finding the right beer to enhance the flavours of a recipe is vitally important, which is why it took me some 2 weeks to decide on the beer for this recipe. My first thought was to go for something big and bold, like an imperial stout or strong English ale – the front runners at the time were either Hobgoblin or again using the Primátor 24°. Eventually though I came to the conclusion that something big and bold would probably be quite overpowering, especially given the rather strong flavours already in the recipe.
I fairly quickly dismissed the idea of using ale and set about finding a lager which would do the trick. The beer I settled upon would have to be sweetish with malty notes that would backup the roasted flavour of the garlic rather than compete with it. So Mrs Velkyal and I eventually agreed that it would have to be a polotmávé, or amber lager, and I decided that I wanted to use a Chodovar product – especially as I had a collection of various bottles to use.
My recipe ended up as follows:
- 750g roughly chopped onions
- 2 heads roasted garlic
- 4 dessertspoons brown sugar
- 125 ml Chodovar Skální ležák
- 125 ml water
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons apple vinegar
- Olive oil
And here’s what to do with it all
- Break up the garlic heads, put in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 90 minutes. When the garlic is roasted, squeeze out the soft insides.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, when hot add the onions and cover, stir occasionally until they are softened and translucent – this should take about 20 minutes.
- Add the sugar, stir and replace the lid, stir occasionally until onions are golden, this takes about 20 minutes.
- Add the beer, stir and cover to cook for about 30 minutes.
- When the onions are dark brown add the vinegar, garlic cloves and water.
- Cook uncovered until you have a rich sticky mixture.
- Let the mixture cool before putting in sterilized jars.
This was remarkably easy to make, and wonderfully tasty. There was only one little problem, from about 750g of onions I got about 300g of jam. So next time I make this, probably the weekend after this, I will double or treble the amounts so that I can make several jars. I would particularly recommend enjoying this with a good welsh rarebit, made with the best cheddar cheese you can get your hands on.
And of course having opened a bottle of beer, you just have to finish it while you cook!