I’m not a good brewer, just a persistent one – and I’m certainly no chef, but I do like to eat, so it follows that once I left the nest I’d have to learn how to cook or forage in campground dumpsters like the rest of my family (I was raised by raccoons).
And I came to really, really enjoy cooking; the language of flavors and aromas is something that food and beer have in common. I think that years of daily food prep has been really valuable in sharpening my focus when tasting and critiquing beers (as I was reminded the other week when giving a talk on harvest beers and mentioned the spice mace when discussing pumpkin beers … and at least some of the audience thought I was talking about pepper spray [like I would even know what that tastes like <Raquel Welch, if you’re reading this blog, no hard feelings, simple misunderstanding, I am still saving you a bottle of lambic>]).
Anyway, I brew and I cook, and what with all the beer on hand, I often cook with beer, so you’re probably going to hear about that from time to time here, citizens. Here’s what’s for dinner:
Porter-braised pot roast
- bacon fat
- 3 lb rump roast
- 1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pint robust porter
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- bay leaves
- Fry some bacon in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Save the fat in the skillet. Feed the bacon to your raccoon family, or eat it yourself.
- Dust the rump roast with flour, then sear on all sides in the bacon fat.
- Remove the roast and stir the onions into the fat on high heat until they brown.
- Deglaze with a half pint or so of porter.
- Drink the rest of the porter.
- Place the roast in a crock pot and pour the deglazing liquid plus the onions over it (if using a Dutch oven, just put the roast back in on top of the liquid and onions).
- Add bay leaves, garlic, and salt; cover and cook on low heat for many hours.
- When the roast is fork-tender, remove it and bring the braising liquid to a boil to reduce it.
- Pour a round of porters for the table.
- Serve with roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprouts or winter kale.