Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Posted: January 27, 2012 in Beer
Tags:

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Sierra Nevada has been producing great beers since 1980. They have been instrumental in the beer revolution in this country over the past 20 years or so. This one does not fall short of all their other great beers. What a great brew! It pours nice with a great smell. Copper color with a nice hoppy head. This is a well balanced beer with lots of hop notes. A little bitter at the end, but still a smooth swallow. The rye makes this beer stand out from others of this style and I enjoy the flavor that the rye gives the beer. All in all, it is a good beer that is well done and well thought out. With an ABV of 6.6% this one makes for a great middle weight, a nice punch with an IBU of 55. Don’t miss this one, it was a good find.

Overall Grade: B+

Cheers,

Matt

Leftover Roast Beef Stew

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Recipes
Tags: ,

Have you ever cooked a roast and had way to much left over? To me, it is not as good as leftovers as a turkey, chicken or ham are. So here is a recipe that will make your leftover roast beef come to life. The best part is I made with BEER!!

Ingredients

About 3 cups of Leftover Roast Beef cut into chunks and fat removed

1 – 12oz. beer of your choice

1 onion chopped fine

1 green pepper chopped fine

3 cups of Beef stock

1 Tbs. of Dried oragano

1 Tbs. of dried basil

2 cups of mushrooms or more if you like ūüôā

6-8 red potatoes cut into chunks

1 bunch of chopped fresh basil

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes

1 Tbs. of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

The first thing we did was chop up the beef, and marinated it in the beer overnight.

In a medium to large cooking pot or dutch oven, add the olive oil and when hot add the onions and cook for about 3-4 min and add a little salt and pepper. Then add the garlic and cook for about 1 min. more. Add the green peppers and cook for 3 more min.

You then can put in the mushrooms and cook them down a little here, or not it depends how you like your mushrooms. If you like them bigger and more hearty don’t cook them down. If you like them a little more soft and smaller then cook them down a few minutes.

At this point you want to add the beef broth and tomatoes, juice and all. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot or dutch oven getting all those cooked-in bits into the liquid.

Now the rest is easy, add everything else except for the fresh basil, including the beef with the beer. Bring to a boil slowly and simmer until the potatoes are softened, about 20-30 min.

After the potatoes are cooked add the fresh basil and simmer for 10-15 min more. Serve right away. This is also a good stew for leftovers. I brought this to work the next day and it was fantastic.

I discovered a version of this stew on Kalyn’s Kitchen, check out her Italian leftover roast beef stew. I made her version step by step and it came out good. This is the modified Beer Drinkers Kitchen version. We hope you like it and let us know if you make it and how it came out.

 Cheers,

Donna and Matt

Sam Adams New World Tripel

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Beer
Tags:

Sam Adams New World Tripel

This style of beer happens to be one of my favorites; no one makes makes beer like the Belgians do. This one fits the Tripel style perfectly. It pours nice with a cloudy, orange, coppery color. A fantastic smell and a creamy pure white foamy head. These beers are meant to be sweet. The only reason they add hops to these beers is to cut down on the sweetness from the Belgian candied sugars that are used in the brewing process. For my taste, this one may¬† be just a tad to sweet –¬† just a tad though – not enough to make the beer bad or anything, because this is a good beer. The IBU is only 15¬† and¬† the AVB is right up there with all the other Tripels¬† at 10%. All in all, this is a good example of what the Belgian Tripel is supposed to be – sweet smelling, sweet tasting and smooth throughout the whole range from front to back. If you like Tripels, I would not miss this one if I were you.

Overall Grade: B+

Cheers,

Matt

Split Pea Soup

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Recipes
Tags:

Have you ever bought one of those spiral hams and had all that meat left over on the end of the bone? Well here is a great way to use that bone and get the most out of your holiday ham.

This was the first time we had ever attempted split pea soup. After reading a few recipes and calling mom to find out how she made hers, we then came up with this one using the left over ham bone from Christmas Eve. Let me tell you this came out fantastic … better than we imagined.

Ingredients:

2 – 16 oz. packages of dried split peas.

1 ham bone with plenty of meat still on it, or 2 pork shoulders will work as well.

2 – 4 pieces of ham cut from the bone with some fat still on it, or leftover pieces from the ham.

2 onions, finely chopped

3-4 celery stalks, finely chopped

4-5 carrots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs. ground black pepper

2 tbs. marjoram

2 bay leaves

12 cups of water

Directions:

Place the peas in a covered pot or dutch oven and just cover with water, refrigerate and let soak over night. Or you can do as we did and bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Then rinse and drain the peas.

Place the 2 -4 pieces of pork in a preheated stew pot. Cook them until the bottom of the pan is covered in a thin layer of the fat, set the meat aside and cut into small bite size pieces, (remove the fat). This will be added later after the simmer is done.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and the garlic and saute until softened, about 8 min.

Once the onion, celery and the carrot mixture is soft. Add everything else to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 hours. Until the peas turn into mush.

At this point you will need to remove the bone and leftover bits of meat floating around in the soup.  You can do this next part  1 of 2 ways Р place the soup in a blender and give it a few pulses, or you can use one of those hand blenders which you stick right into the soup and give it a few pulses. This will get the peas mixed well. Next, cut up the meat that is left over into bit size pieces along with the pieces from earlier and add back to the soup and simmer for 30-40 min more. At this point you can taste it to see if you need to add more pepper and maybe a little salt. The ham has a high salt content and it bleeds into the soup so we did not add any salt until we tasted the finish product.

There you go, split pea soup using the left over ham bone, not wasting a thing. This was also great as leftovers. A real stick to your ribs kind of soup. If you try it out let us know what you think.

Cheers

Donna and Matt

French Onion Soup

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Recipes
Tags:

I was wondering how to make french onion soup, so I started breezing thru some recipes and I decided that I would create my own variation of this recipe. After a few tries and tweaks this recipe is now complete and I must admit, it is almost perfect. This is fairly easy to make and very tasty indeed. Great as leftovers, and a perfect recipe for a winter afternoon. Enjoy!

Ingredients

10 onions sliced in long cuts

 2 tsp salt

 4 tbs of butter

 2 tbs of flour

 1 cup of red wine

 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied off with cooking string.

 4 bay leaves

 2 tbs balsamic vinegar

 4 cups of low fat beef broth

 4 cups of chicken broth

 6 Baguette slices, toasted

 6 slices of reduced fat Swiss cheese

Directions

Slice your onions into long strips as shown. This may look like a lot of onions, and that is what I thought when I first made this, but they cook down a lot.   You will have about 1/2 to 2/3 less volume when you are done.

Add slivered onions and salt. Cook until browned and carmelized. (about 30-40 minutes). After they are cooked down, sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook in well.

Add the Red wine, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, beef broth, chicken broth. Mix well and bring to boil. Add your sprigs of thyme and bay leaves and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to broil. Remove thyme and bay leaves and portion out the soup into oven safe bowls. Preferably french onion soup crocks. Place one baguette over each bowl, and place a slice of cheese over that. Place in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and brown. (about 10 min.)

French onion soup can look a bit ugly, but I assure you this recipe is great. Even my own mother gave it the thumbs up. She told me it was better than anything you could buy at a restaurant. That is what she said anyway, you be the judge. Let us know what you think.

Enjoy!

Cheers!

Donna and Matt

Gritty McDuff’s 21 IPA

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Beer

Gritty McDuff’s 21 IPA

Another great New England brewery – Gritty McDuff’s. ¬†This is from one of the best beer city’s in New England, Portland ME. A great IPA with a nice copper hazy color and ¬†lots of hop smell. Although there is lots of hopps in this one, the beer remains smooth all the way thru. A nice flavor overall, with lots of complex hop mixtures. 6.8 ABV and 60 IBU’s, makes this one a well balanced brew from start to finish. Cheers to Gritty McDuff’s for creating some fantastic brews. If you like IPA’s, make sure you try this one out. If you are near the Portland area, they have a brew pub and I hear it is a great place. ¬†Try it and let us know what you think!

Overall Grade: B+

Cheers,

Matt

Harpoon Leviathan – Barleywine Style Ale

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Beer
Tags:

Harpoon Leviathan – Barleywine style Ale

This is the fourth beer from the Leviathan series that I have tried, and so far this series has not let me down yet. Barleywine can be a bit overwhelming to some beer drinkers. The heavy malt flavor along with strong alcohol can make this style a little hard going down.  Well, Harpoon did a great job on a difficult style that can be hard to get right. It boasts a nice color of a dark orange with a slight haze  and a  full malty smell with a slight citrus sent.

A full flavor from beginning to end. A strong one at 10% ABV, with 65 IBU’s. This one will keep the internal fires going. ¬†It gave me that warm belly feeling. All in all, a great Barleywine, though not my favorite style of beer. I strongly recommend this on those cold winter nights to help keep you warm.

Overall Grade: B+

Cheers,

Matt