Sunday 17 February 2013

Cooking With Beer 1 : Beef & Stout Stew.

I rarely actually cook with beer, usually I'll just cook and amazing meal(modest aren't I?) and pair it with beer.

Since this time next next week I'll have moved house, I'm trying to get rid of some of my beer collection. Now I've had a Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout in the collection for a while and thought a hearty beef stew to tuck into mid painting & decorating would be amazing.

We used the Heather Whinney Slow Cook Book for the recipe. See page 142 for the details. Now since there's only me and Mrs Rabidbarfly to eat it we basically halved everything. But I did take off the anchovies(only meant to go on Pizzas, Heather!) and swapped the 250ml of red wine for 250ml of the Stout, then I added Parsnips - bit Carborific but fuck it, it's my stew!

Ingredients go into the slow cooker

As you can see, it looked amazing and frankly it smelt pretty damn good too. Time to leave it though and go do more painting.

8 Hours Later

We get home after a day of hardcore decorating and are aching and ravenous. We add the greens, have a small taste, add a bit more salt and I pour the rest of the stout into two glasses. The piping hot stew goes into two bowls and we're set!

The stew is slightly bitter, we're not sure if the beef was cooked too much or the stout gave it added bitterness. It's not unpleasant, just unexpected. I think the red wine may have sweetened it a bit more but we weren't complaining and it's a recipe we'll use again!

I almost go for seconds but decide against it, lunch tomorrow instead.

Saturday 9 February 2013

So What Have We Learned?

Last night I was out with a mate I rarely get to see. We had a great time drinking crafty beers and catching up with stuff in each others lives.

But I learned three things...

1) Binge drinking is not my superpower.

2) When someone says "Let's do shots" say no.

3) Don't throw up in public. It's not big, it's not cleaver and you get puke on your boots!

I looked like a teenager in those news reports about how alcohol abuse is rising and whatnot....Except I'm not a teenager, I'm 39 in two months and I shouldn't be doing that sort of shit anymore!

Apologies to anyone that had the misfortune to witness me vomming into the junction at Clapham Junction, my bad.

Talking of things educational. Congrats to Melissa on her award from Imbibe this week for 'Educator of the year'. Well deserved!

Monday 4 February 2013

Dryathon? What a Load of Cock!

To whom it may concern, I have a bone to pick with you.

Hopefully by now, all you January abstainers will have fallen off your high horses wagons, got your arses down the pub and started supporting our industry again!

One thing that really irks me is that you people choose to take a month off drinking during the quietest time of year! Come on people, give your local a fighting chance and ignore it in October or November when you're supposed to be saving up for Baby Jesus birthday!!

Better still, drink in moderation all year round and you won't be so miserable during January! Then everyone will be happy. I mean you may as well say "I can get pissed for the rest of the year because I was really good and took January off" Please stop making me vomit, it's ruining the taste of my beer!

I am really, truly and utterly sick of people moaning about how they can't have a drink because they're taking January off, stop moaning! Best you fall off the wagon hammered than make me listen to the reasons why you're not drinking!

For all of those people whose reason is financial, if you only spend what you actually have, you wouldn't have to take January off to pay your credit cards!

I realise that I have readers who were having enforced booze layoffs for health reasons and I forgive them, really, I do. But unless your Doctor said stop drinking in January or you'll die, I'm very disappointed in you. Go stand in the naughty corner. Or better still, go down the pub and buy the most expensive pint you can find to make up for January!

So that's it, rant over. As you were.