Friday, October 5, 2007

Todays meal...

Had lunch with Mistress K today... always a pleasure. I haven't actually made this meal in a while, but I'm planning on it for this weekend. It's a favorite.

Meat and Veggies in beer (original name, huh?)

1 lb. red meat, cut into strips about one inch thick (mutton, beef or, preferably, game meat)
1-2 pints dark beer (brown ale is about perfect)
1 large onion
1 large bell pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:
Splash of cider vinegar
Handful of wheat flour for thickening


Rub meat with salt and pepper
Place in a large, heavy pot with 1 pint of beer
Add a splash of vinegar if you want for taste
Simmer for 50 minutes

While it simmers:
Chop the garlic and cut the vegetables into strips
At 50 minutes, add veggies and garlic to pot
Continue simmering for 5-10 minutes;
Beer should be boiled down to a thick sauce... if it gets too thick, add more beer; if it's too thin, turn up the heat to boil it down (adding a bit of flour helps as well)

Cook Time: ~1 hour

Servings: 4ish

Notes/Serving suggestions:
This is a medieval recipe for mutton in beer that I found while looking for ways to cook with homebrew and tweaked a bit; mainly to include more veggies. Boiling the beer down carmelizes the malt sugars, which really compliments red meat, particularly game meat (elk is great for this recipe). It also is a delicious sauce; I'd serve this with chunks of sourdough bread for "mopping up".

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Monday, October 1, 2007

To answer your question, Sunni...

Yes, it's good... in that way only bourbon can be. As you said, nectar o' the gods.

As good as Maker's? Hmm... Is moonlight as good as sunshine? Is air as good as water? Is a meadow as good as a sandy beach? :P

It's as good as Maker's, at least. It's hard to say exactly (I bought the Knob Creek 'cause I was out of Maker's, so I couldn't do a side by side tasting... I should've), but the KC seemed spicier than the MM (I think they use a regular rye based grain bill, rather than being wheated like Maker's). Still very smooth, though... absolutely drinkable neat. But I love the spiciness... especially in this week's drink (Which is was actually cool enough last night to have one of.).

Speaking of, btw, this week's drink is... The Manhattan! (And if any cocktail geeks are reading this, I just know they're screaming at their monitors: "But the Manhattan's made with RYE, you blaspheming idiot, not bourbon!") (I'm working on getting some rye to expand my booze horizons, but it's hard to stock up a bar when you live in the sticks... I'm a small town guy through and through, but I need better liquor and beer selections. Ah, well... At least I don't have to deal with liquor board nazis like some.)


The Manhattan
2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth (vermouth is our friend)
1-3 (dozen :-) dashes bitters

Stir well with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry (No, no, not that kind... put the fluorescent fruit away.) or lemon peel (Jac's personal favorite).

Enjoy spiced nirvana...

Editor's note: Never order a Manhattan at Applebee's. I know, I know... I should've known better, but the waiter came up when I was on the phone and I just said the first thing that came to mind; I nearly slapped myself the moment the words "Manhattan with a twist" left my lips, though. And when he brought my dad's drink and said "They're working on that Manhattan... she's never made one before" I almost reached for my butter knife (I don't know if I'd've used it on him or me, though.). Lessons learned:

A. Vermouth is NOT the modern bartender's friend... I saw the big green M&R bottle come out from under the bar, but I think she was teasing me. There was a whisp, MAYBE.

2. Bitters? What're those? Not a hint of 'em. I don't expect bartenders to psychically discern my preference for a heavy dose of bitters, but is it unreasonable to expect at least a token amount as, y'know, maybe a tribute to the drink's RECIPE?

And finally, the "cherry". The less said about finding Rudolph's nose in your drink, the better. I don't know why they never hear me (second time, by the way... at least the guy at the hotel that one time used vermouth) when I say "with a twist"... maybe I need to speak up. But he heard "Manhattan", right? It can't be all my fault..?