Thursday, February 18, 2010

Drink With The Wench

I'm real happy to be a featured blogger today on Drink With The Wench.  In case you don't follow her blog or on twitter, you should.  She has a huge knowledge of beer as well as a huge network of friends in the beer world.  And she's funny too!!  Check her out also on Twitter @TheBeerWench

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Here is the dessert I made for my wife for Valentine's Day:  Dark Chocolate Pasta with raspberries and fresh whipped cream.  The only thing missing was the Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence which I drank during the Superbowl.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tale of Two IPA's

We had a wonderful basil and pine nut pizza at Oggi's in Mission Viejo tonight. For those that aren't familiar with Oggi's they are a sports oriented pizza/brewpub that have several franchises in California and Arizona.  They have also started to bottle some of their brews under the label Left Coast Brewing. 

I started with one of their standards: Torrey Pines IPA.  It's a 7.6% ABV with five different hops.  This beer almost tastes like it was brewed in the middle of Torrey Pines.  It has a great woodsy/pine taste.  The hops really take all the glory with this beer, you don't taste too much else.  Which isn't bad at all.

Halfway through the pizza the waitress asked if I wanted another beer.  Silly question.  I asked if they had anything special on tap and to my great surprise she said they had Avery Dugana!!  I had heard alot about this beer but have never had it.  The stats are : OG: 1.076  ABV: 8.5%  IBUs: 93.  It's technically a double IPA, and though they say it's a brutally bitter, dank, piney and resinous ale, I found it to be quite balanced and had a bit of sweetness to it.  Hard for me to tell if that sweetness comes from the malt or maybe the huge amounts of hop oils trick your tongue into thinking sweet.  In either case, I really enjoyed this Dugana.

I'm a lightweight, those two beers were enough for me for the night.  Great way to end the week.  Pizza and IPA's with my two girls!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crockpot IPA BBQ Beef

Just in time for the Superbowl, here is my recipe for some kick-ass BBQ beef sandwiches made in the crockpot.  I used a Lagunitas IPA, but whatever super hopped up IPA you have will do fine.    This BBQ has some heat to it, so you may want to use fewer chiles if you don't want it so spicy.

* 1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
* 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
* 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 (5 to 6-pound) piece beef brisket, preferably point cut, fat trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes.
For the crockpot:
* 1 Bottle India Pale Ale
* 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomato
* 1 15-ounce cab tomato puree
* 3-6 capfuls of mesquite liquid smoke. (Or to taste)
* 2 ribs celery, minced
* 1 medium onion, minced
* 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
* 1/2 cup cider vinegar
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup yellow mustard
* 5 thick slices bacon, coarsely chopped (about 6 ounces)
* 10 cloves garlic, minced
* 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced  (If you don't want it as spicy, use half the amount of chipotles)
* 3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (Alternatively, use some rehydrated new mexico chiles pureed in the blender)
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
* Freshly ground black pepper
For the rub: Mix the paprika, 1 tablespoon each of salt and black pepper, the brown sugar, and the cayenne. Put the brisket cubes into a large bowl and mix in the rub ingredients until meat is completely covered, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day cook the bacon over medium heat in a stockpot until about halfway cooked through.  Drain the bacon grease.  Put the pot back on the heat and turn it up to med-high.  Add the brisket cubes and cook just until brown, enough to sear the meat. Don't cook it all the way through.

Transfer the brisket and bacon to the crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook on high for about two hours, then reduce the heat to low.  Cook for another 4-5 hours, checking every hour or so to give it a stir.

Remove the bay leaves and serve the BBQ Beef on buttered french rolls (toasted is better but not required), and pint of the IPA of your choice.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My New Kegerator

Last week I finally put the homemade kegerator together just in time for poker night.  I already had the fridge in the garage from my bachelor days.  I won't go into detail about how to do it step-by-step, but here's a good tutorial by blogger bsbrewing. 

A couple months ago I started kegging with 5 gallon cornelius kegs bought on ebay.  For dispensing, I use a 5lb aluminum CO2 tank with dual regulators.  Up to now I had been using the picnic taps, which worked fine, but they dripped a bit in the fridge after every pour.  So I decided it was about time to step up to some real faucets. 

My setup includes two Perlick stainless forward seal faucets, with 5 1/8 inch stainless shanks.  I really didn't need shanks that long, but figured if I ever use the faucets anywhere else, I'll be set.  Then last week I happened to be up in Northern California, so I picked up a couple Sierra Nevada tap handles. (Pale and Porter) I got the short ones so there is enough clearance for the freezer door and the taps can close all the way.  Here's the photos of my rig:

I have a very understanding wife!!!

What's wrong with this picture?  
One dry line.  I better get brewing!!!
My new Sierra taps, with my labels 
above to know what's really pouring.