Originally posted @ A Pig’s Ear
I had really hoped to get to Jack’s Abby Brewery this weekend to have a look at the craft brewery in my own town. When I had found out about a month ago that there existed such magical place in Framingham, I felt like a kid again trying to see how I could get to the North Pole.
But alas, a trip across town can often be like planning a trip to the Arctic Circle when you live in Framingham, MA. I got all tangled up in life and was not able to drag the family to the brewery for their Saturday Taste and Tour.
I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying some of the goodness of the Abby though. I ended up picking up a pack of their Smoke and Dagger Black Lager. I could not have picked a better beer with which ring in October. With strong hints of coffee and a smoky smooth finish, a glass of Smoke and Dagger felt more like a warm cozy blanket on a cold, rainy Fall night.
Smoke and Dagger is my go-to beer for the changing season. I mix it with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead to make my own version of their Smashed pumpkin (which is much better than what you buy in stores).
And I didn’t just stop with drinking it! I got in the Autumn mood so badly that I cooked a fantastic pork loin in the slow cooker with apples. My house smelled so good.
I am definitely a new convert to the Abby. I will make the pilgrimage their one of these days. So excited to see craft brewing happening in town.
Below is the concoction I came up with for dinner which my entire family devoured including my 14-month-old and my 4-year-old:
Smoke and Cider Pork
|4-5 lb boneless shoulder roast
Salt & Pepper
4 T Butter
2 Apples, peeled, halved & cored
1 bottle of Jack’s Abby Smoke and Dagger Black Lager
1/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 T. apple cider vinegar
|Trim away any fat on roast. Roll meat up and tie securely at intervals with kitchen twine. Sprinkle generously with salt & pepper. In large frying pan, heat oil. Add pork and brown on each side, about 10 min. Add onions and apples until lightly browned, about 5 min. Remove roast from pan, and drain fat. Then add beer to pan to deglaze, scrapping up bits. Cook until beer liquid starts to thicken, about 10 min. Add cider vinegar. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Place pork in bottom of slow cooker. Place apples and onions all around and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour beer & cider mixture over top. Cover and cook until meat is tender, about 8-10 hours on the low heat setting.|
A Public Service Announcement from Cooking With Jack’s Abby: Beer Brats
We’re filing this one under “public service announcements” rather than “recipes” because we can’t really claim this recipe as our own—bratwurst in its many forms have existed for the better part of a millennium and the tradition of preparing brats using German-style lager began in Wisconsin during the early part of the 20th century. As an all-lager brewery, Jack’s Abby gives you a number of different options when making beer brats. Jabby Brau, Red Tape Lager, and Copper Legend (Octoberfest Lager) are all perfect beers to use while cooking beer brats. We cooked up some beer brats with the first batch of this year’s Copper Legend and the results were delicious!
Copper Legend Beer Brats
- ½ dozen (or more!) bratwurst
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 liter (2 bottles) Jack’s Abby Copper Legend*
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pour beer into a large pot and add onions and pepper. Bring to a simmer (don’t let it boil!) and add the brats.
- Cook at least 15 minutes. The longer the better, but avoid leaving them in for over a half hour—you’re poaching the brats in beer for flavor, not cooking them.
- Throw brats on grill over medium heat, turning every 3-4 minutes until cooked all the way through (depending on the heat, this should take a little over 10 minutes).
- Strain the beer onion mixture and serve onions as a topping.
* We would hate to think of you “wasting” beer, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, using the same beer to cook 2-3 batches of brats is fine.
Jimi Michiel lives in Framingham and is a member of the Jack’s Abby Dart Team. He has previously written about classical and jazz music but is excited to be writing about cooking and beer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend we used Peanut Butter Smoke & Dagger to create a delicious Beer-B-Q sauce that we used to marinate chicken breasts for our BBQ. We’ve also made this recipe using the regular Smoke & Dagger, which is equally delicious. See recipe below and enjoy!
* 1 cup of warm J&A beer
* 1 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup white vinegar
* 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (optional)
1. Mix all but the chopped onions in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add the onion and lemon zest. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Blend using a mixer if you like yours chunky or a blender to puree it making it smooth.
I’m pretty sure I learned to love beer before I learned to cook, and certainly before I learned to cook with beer! My first adventures in cooking with beer were mostly marinades, but I quickly found that the right beer can bring almost any dish to life. The beers of Jack’s Abby are perfect for cooking—from the Jabby to the Framinghammer, they all feature distinct, confident flavors that are perfect for cooking.
Smoke & Dagger Dirty Rice puts a Framingham twist on a traditional Cuban dish. Many recipes for dirty rice call for the onion, pepper, and cilantro to be puréed into sofrito, but I think just dicing them adds texture and gives the beer a little more room to have a flavor presence in the final dish. It’s a simple recipe and, if you’re in a more carnivorous mood, a healthy dose of braised pork would be a natural addition. I paired it with a pint of Hoponius Union to balance the earthy flavor of the Smoke & Dagger, but I think it would also go great with a glass of Jabby Brau. Enjoy, and stay tuned for Cooking with Jack’s Abby #2!
Smoke & Dagger Dirty Rice and Beans
1 can of black beans (15 oz.)
2½ cups cooked white rice
1 cup (total) minced onion, green bell pepper, and cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ pint Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil, apple cider vinegar
Extra cilantro to garnish
1) Before you begin, make sure your rice is done. If you’re using the rice cooker, the best thing to do is leave it on ‘Keep Warm’ while doing the rest of the cooking.
2) In a large pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil on high heat. After about 20 seconds, turn the heat down to medium and add the onion/pepper/cilantro mix. Stir slowly while adding the cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3) After another minute, add the tomato sauce, beans, and finally the beer. Stir continuously, but don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the smell.
4) After five minutes, add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar. Continue cooking for another minute.
5) In a large separate mixing bowl, mix the contents from the pan with the white rice. Stir until dirty.
6) Let it sit for 5 minutes, then serve with a liberal garnish of cilantro.
Jimi Michiel lives in Framingham and is a member of the Jack’s Abby Dart Team. He has previously written about classical and jazz music, but is excited at the opportunity to write about cooking with beer. He can be reached at email@example.com
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