You know what really grinds my gears? I have witnessed a lot of beer and barbecue sins over the years, but the one that really gets my goat is seeing people pour beer on to their barbecues. It is, to put it bluntly, a straight up waste of beer, which in my eyes is a cardinal food sin. So without further ado, my top reason why you should absolutely never, not ever, pour beer on your cue.
A long (long, long) time ago I posted my recipe for Beer Batter, and it obviously resonated as it’s still my most popular post. I’ve been playing around with it again lately so I made a video!
Imperial Stout Barbecue Sauce – Makes about 650ml
½ Brown onion, finely chopped
1 ½ cups Tomato Ketchup
250ml porter or stout
½ cup apple cider vinegar
50g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garlic powder
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat add the onion and cook until soft.
Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until all the ingredients have amalgamated and the sauce has thickened.
Blend the sauce to get it nice and smooth.
Note: The sauce freezes really well for up to 3-6 months
While most people consider summer to be barbecue weather, I’m the opposite. Standing next to a screaming hot barbecue in 40C heat is not my idea of having fun. On the other hand, when it’s nice and cold outside standing next to a nice hot barbecue is quite pleasant. That and holding a beer and watching my Imperial Stout ribs slowly smoke is heavenly. Anyway enough rabbiting on here’s the recipe.
Imperial Stout – Pork Spare Ribs Serves 4
2 racks of pork spare ribs
3 tbsp salt
1½ tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
1½ tbsp sweet paprika powder
100 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml Imperial Stout
1 cup of my BeerBQ sauce
Pre-heat your smoker to 135C (275F). I like to use a combination of applewood and ironbark.
Trim the pork racks and remove the membrane from the inside of the rack.
Combine the salt, pepper and paprika well and sprinkle evenly over the pork racks. Be sure to get a nice even coating, and rub it in a little with your hands. Pour the vinegar and beer into a spray bottle and combine well.
Place the pork racks in the smoker and cook for two hours, turning occasionally and spritzing with the beer/vinegar mixture every 30 minutes. Place a double layer of foil on your bench and remove the ribs from the smoker. Spritz again with the beer mixture and coat with the BeerBQ sauce. Wrap the ribs in the foil, making sure not to puncture it.
Return the ribs to the smoker and cook for a further hour. Check for doneness. Remember, barbecue is not an exact science so use your judgement if it needs a little longer. When the pork is done, remove from the foil and give them another 15 minutes in the smoker to set the glaze and get some colour on it.
Use a sharp knife to divide the ribs up and serve immediately with a pot of BeerBQ sauce on the side.
Note: I like to serve this with a simple kimchi slaw, and obviously a good beer!
Beer and pickles, need I say more?
Today I decided to have a massive picklefest and after all that, surely starting a Pickle Club is the next step. The tart bite of a pickle is amazing with a beer and if we take this to the next level we can either beer batter them or crumb and fry! Of course there is also the Pickleback, which has nothing to do with beer other than the fact that it’s fucking awesome and perfect during and after a long beer session.
Pickles come in many forms so I thought I’d try a few different versions to get the ball rolling: from the classic Bread and Butter Pickles to Smoke and Beetroot.
First off the rank were the Bread and Butter pickles; basically this is sweet pickled cucumber and onions with a slight turmeric twist – great with cheese (or, naturally, bread and butter). Next some pickled shiitake shrooms, but knowing me I couldn’t just do the basic pickle so I did half with vinegar and regular soy and the other half I smoked and then pickled them with mushroom soy and apple cider vinegar (#yumsticks). I love pickled eggs so this was the obvious next choice, but again with a twist, this time a beetroot pickle. I smoked the beetroot, pureed it and then combined that with apple cider vinegar and caster sugar – truly a divine combination, and one wholly inspired by Pitt Cue Co. (buy the book, just do it). Sticking with that theme I then proceeded to pickle the leftover beetroot stems using the smoked beetroot pickle (again #yumsticks). Last and by no means least I did some pickled celery with a simple pickle of apple cider vinegar, caster sugar, peppercorns, coriander seeds and mustard seeds. I can’t wait to taste all these babies in a week or two!
Here’s the recipe for the Bread and Butter Pickles. I would love you guys to try this and then start experimenting and let me know how it goes.
Bread and Butter Pickles
3 continental cucumbers
5 large brown onions
400ml Apple Cider Vinegar
100g caster suger
5g ground turmeric
5g black mustard seeds
5g toasted fennel seeds
5g fennel seeds
Slice the cucumbers and onions into approx 3mm rounds. Layer the cucumber and onions in a container and sprinkle each layer with salt as you go. Cover with cling film and weigh down. Leave overnight. Rinse the cucumbers and onions in running water for around five minutes to remove the salt. Spread out and let dry. (I usually get impatient and pat them dry with a tea towel)
Put all the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. When the sugar has dissolved, add the cucumber and onion and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for five minutes and turn off the heat.
Transfer the pickles to sterilised jars and store in the fridge until needed. This gerenerally means straight away but if you can resist leave them for a week or two to let the flavours develop. Make sure to reserve the pickling liquid for the best damn Picklebacks going.
(And again, #yumsticks)
BeerBQ is on this weekend. Come and join us for Maximum Barbecue Saturation! Tickets are on sale now.
Get four Sierra Nevada beers, beef brisket, pork ribs, lamb sliders and chipotle wings and free lawn bowls for $65 BARGAIN!!!!
Boneyard Brewing has finally been unleashed on the world! It’s taken a heck of a lot of tasting, recipe testing, brewing, cleaning, bottling, labeling, and a fair amount of drinking, but it’s finally out there and, in my opinion, it’s damn good.
First beer from the tanks is our hoppy Golden Ale. It’s a dry, refreshing little number, designed to be completely sessionable. As I may have mentioned once or twice, my favourite way to enjoy a good beer is perfectly matched with some good food, and this is good food indeed. We’ve tried this beer with a load of different foods, and while it works nicely with most things, I like it best with seafood, especially if it has a bit of spice to it. Singapore Black Pepper Crab certainly fits the bill. It’s a classic seafood dish with all those sweet, salty, spicy flavours and a nice amount of chilli and pepper kick to make you want, nay need, a big mouthful of cleansing ale. This dish is the ultimate in tactile eating; if you don’t end up with face, hands and possibly shirt covered in sauce, you’re not doing it right.
Singapore Black Pepper Crab
3 tablespoons oyster sauce 3 tablespoons caster sugar
4 raw blue swimmer crabs
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 -2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
Put kecap manis, oyster sauce, sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl, stir, then set aside.
Pull back the apron of each crab, remove top shell, then intestines and feathery gills. Rinse quickly. Cut each crab into quarters and crack the legs gently so the flavours can enter.
Heat the oil in a very large wok over high heat; add the crab pieces and stir fry in batches until the shell is bright orange and the meat almost cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove and repeat until all is cooked.
Add the butter, ginger, garlic, chilli, black and white peppers and coriander to the wok; stir fry 30 seconds.
Add the sauce mixture and stir; bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Return the crab to the wok and toss to coat in the sauce.
Cook a further 2-3 minutes to finish cooking the crab then garnish with the spring onions and coriander leaves. Serve at once.