Monday, February 28, 2011

What's Cooking?

This weekend was relatively booze free. Sure I polished off my last growler of the Morana Dark Lager on Friday night, whilst watching Hamish MacBeth, and having to explain shinty to Mrs V, and yesterday I met up with a friend for a few pints of Cain's Finest Bitter (easy drinking and quite nice actually) and a couple of Buffalo Sweat, again a nice beer. Saturday was drier than the Sahara in summer, though I took the time to organise my beer cellar.

Perhaps I am a completely sad wally here, but on the spur of the moment on Saturday morning I grabbed a pen, some paper and got to cataloguing the cellar. It turned out that I had 117 bottles of commercial beer, now 116 as I used a bottle of Dark Starr Stout in my venison goulash last night. Those 116 bottles represented 68 different beer brands, for what of a better term, from 26 beer styles. Unsuprisingly, at least for those who know me well, was that the dominant family of styles was stouts and porters.

Unfortunately quite a few of the bottles have been sitting around for quite some time, in the case of some seasonals, about 18 months. Obviously there are plenty of beers for which that length of time sitting around is not a problem, but I need to use up a load of other odds and sods that might be beyond their peak, so the inevitable cooking projects will be rearing their heads in weeks to come. One such project is another batch of roasted onion and garlic jam (bizarrely one of the most common search terms that leads to this site, according to my Google Analytics). The first time round I used Chodovar Skální ležák in the recipe, but this time I am considering either Starr Hill Amber Ale or Saranac's Season's Best Nut Brown Lager.

One of my favourite culinary projects when I lived in Prague was my doppelbock chilli chutney, based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. For this I am thinking about switching out doppelbock for Young's Double Chocolate Stout or Zywiec Porter. Something to balance out the heat of the chillis with some big flavours of its own, I wonder then if a super hoppy beer would do the trick as well, perhaps Sierra Nevada Torpedo?

Cakes are always a good way to use up beer, as is marinading great chunks of meat in it - I still want to try making a beery marinade for jerky. If I ate more ice cream that might be an interesting project, but I need to be in a very specific mood for ice cream. Any ideas or suggestions then people?


  1. Doppelbock chilli chutney? Sounds great!

    I made a great chilli with imperial stout, so definitely recommend that. Mole with stout instead of chocolate. Ice cream, like you say. Sorbet. Porter/stout ketchup? Beer and onion soup (nothing too bitter though). Beer bread is always a good one. I want to try beer in a curry but not got around to it yet.

    Definitely lots of things to play around with. Basically, if it calls for water or stock then it can be replaced with beer!

  2. I'd forgotten about that chutney. Still want to try it! :D


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