Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cooking with Beer-Beef Brisket

Well, if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed that one of the things that I love to do is cook, especially cook with beer. I have a difficult time finding good recipes that incorporate beer, so when I find one, or come up with one (like today) I have to share it.

So here is the recipe for the Beer beef brisket that I made this past Sunday (it was REALLY good). I do have to give credit, where credit is due, we bought the brisket form the Woodstock Farmers Market, from Willow Lea Stock Farms, and I am sure that has something to do withe the awesomeness of this meal. The farmers market has quickly become my family's favorite Saturday morning activity.

Ingredients       2 tablespoons chili powder
·         2 tablespoons salt
·         1 tablespoon garlic powder ( I was out so used 2 cloves fresh garlic)
·         1 tablespoon onion powder
·         1 tablespoon ground black pepper
·         1 tablespoon basil
·         4 good shakes of liquid smoke
·         ¼ cup sugar
·         2 teaspoons dry mustard
·         2 bay leaf, crushed
·         4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
·         2 Beef bouillon cubes, crushed
·         1 Bottle Red Ale (I used Fixed Gear from Lakefron Brewery)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Make a dry rub by combining chili powder, salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard, basil, crushed bouillon cubes, and bay leaf. Season the raw brisket on both sides with the rub, and liquid smoke. Add beer to the roasting pan. Place in a roasting pan and roast, covered, for 3 hours.
Raise oven to 400 degrees F, uncover pan and continue cooking for 1 hour, or until fork-tender.
Trim the fat and slice meat thinly across the grain. Top with juice from the pan.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I am sure you all remember Matt from earlier guest posts... well I got him to write another guest post for me, because I am completely lost with this move.
So, enjoy!
I recently went up to Milwaukee for a little vacation. In between gorging on gigantic portions of ludicrously heavy German food, getting scolded at the Art Museum, and experiencing rush hour in downtown Milwaukee (all four cars), we took a tour of Lakefront Brewery.

As we walked up, a young couple asked us to take their photo in front of the brewery, to which the young woman laughed, “This is going in our engagement album.” “It’s so romantic,” the young man said. “Can you make sure you get the sign in the photo, too?” Man, I love these two! They turned and walked inside with us. I don’t remember seeing them after that.

On to the beer. For $7 you get a tour of the brewery, smart-ass, snarky comments and at times faux sexual innuendos/beer brewing terms from the tour guide, four 6 oz. samples of beer, and a commemorative Lakefront Brewery pint glass. I wonder where that couple went? Anyways, we start the tour, and there’s only 5 of us (the smallest group of the day). 

The previous tour had about 14 people. We were brought into a room where the Brewery Navigation Specialist (here’s his photo…it’s blurry to simulate that you’ve been drinking) explained the history of Lakefront Brewery, how beer is made, facts about beer, what’s in it, and several other things I completely forgot because I kept wondering where the hell those two went? There was nowhere else for them to go! Anyways, then he brought us out into the brewing area with the following warning, “Just because we’re in a brewery does not mean that any liquid on the floor is beer.” Noted.

He then explained the entire beer making process, showed us some hops, barley, where they keep their supplies, the vats they use to make their beer, how long it takes, how many barrels they make per year, and lots of other things which I can’t recall. Where the hell did those two go? Seriously? I’m getting concerned. Anyways, we play a quick game of “Stump the Tour Guide” for an extra beer sample, and we fail. Maybe they went into the bottling area? But how could they get down there? Anyways, he explains more about the beer shipping process using brewing terms that once again, are euphemisms for bedroom-related activities (I think the same person who came up with “ballcock” for the toilet then went into beer brewing). I would love to recall all the knowledge I gained, but I can’t. Did they leave right away? We walked back upstairs to the main bar area to finish off the rest of our beer samples.

We tried the Wisconsonsite Summer Weiss (our favorite…it wasn’t overpoweringly spicy, it had just the right amount of spice), Fixed Gear, Pumpkin Lager (awesome tasting, but I can’t imagine downing a six-pack), and another one which I can’t recall. Helpful, aren’t I? We also received an extra serving of the pumpkin lager because they were going to toss the rest of the pitcher out in back in the garbage. Dammit, where are they? Did they go out back?

So if you find yourself in Milwaukee and want to have a good time and learn about all the stuff I easily forgot about, Lakefront Brewery is great! The Fixed Gear and Wisconsonite Summer Weiss are fantastic! While you’re there, maybe you can check up on where those two ran off to. Seriously. I don’t know.

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