Food Styling: Beer, Bacon and Beyond …

Inspired by the current trend for all things beer and bacon I wanted to do a shoot on cooking with craft beers. I had no idea my idea would turn into a finger lickin, lip smacking, chilled afternoon. We hung out on a random week day, the cool hipster friends showed off their tattoos and drank the beer, I cooked with it and Vanessa took the photos.


***The recipes are a rough guide.

Beer & Bacon Jam
Red onion finely chopped, about 2 , approx 500g bacon, chopped ( use nice bacon rindless back, or streaky ) Craft Beer of your choice – preferably a dark ale, brown sugar, about 1 cup, and ยฝ cup malt vinegar.
Fry the onion and bacon together, drain the fat, add the rest of the ingredients, simmer until reduced and sticky, about an hour, I wasnโ€™t checking the time. It should be thick and a dark rich colour. Dollop on burgers or spoon in a jar, will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Beer Battered Onion Rings
Whisk beer , light ale or lager into sifted flour, to make stiff batter. Seasoned with salt, toss in onion rings, and deep fry until golden brown. Drain and serve hot.


Cheddar & Pale Ale Soup
This soup was heaven in a bowl!
Sautรฉ 2 sliced leeks in a generous blob of butter, add a bit more butter and flour( approx 1/4 -1/3 cup) and 1-2 tablespoons of English mustard powder, to make a roux, stir in the Pale Ale (1 1/2 cup) , same amount of milk and good quality chicken stock, throw in a bay leaf and some mace if you have. Allow to simmer gently,for 20 minutes or so, do not boil. I said do not boil.
Add 1 cup grated very mature cheddar ( please, not that greasy bland yellow stuff, I’m asking nicely)
Add a spash of Worcestershire sauce, adjust seasoning, scoop out mace and bay leaf. Serve in warm bowls with crispy crumbled pancetta.


Sticky Beer Glazed Ribs ( top picture)
This was the most random of all the recipes and went something like this…
1 bottle of Craft Beer – preferably a lager. 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 brown sugar, 2 tablespoon paprika , 1 tsp chilli powder. 1 Tspn mustard powder. Whisk everything together . Enough for about 3 kg of ribs.
Pour over and bake and baste in a medium oven until sticky and yummy. No idea how long, as I said we were chatting, and sipping and eating, but at an educated guess I would say 11/2. – 2 hours. Don’t be tempted to crank up the oven, slow and low is better.
Pass the serviettes.
Ps. If you have time make ahead and marinade for 24 hours.


Cheats Chocolate Brownies with Milk Stout
Substitute milk stout for the milk in your favourite brownie recipe, or grab a box of Ina Paarman Chocolate a Brownies, add eggs and oil, and substitute milk stout for the quantity of milk. Mix and bake as per instructions on the packet.
Make a chocolate beer glaze by melting a slab of dark chocolate with 1/4 cup of the beer, allow to cool slightly and pour over the cooled brownies. Serve with ice cream.

***this is not a recipe blog. I had an epiphany about this the other ( details in another post ) so from now on all recipes I post will be as a guide only .
I intend to blog how I cook. I don’t often measure or time recipes – except for baking, For the rest it’s pretty much gut feel.
If you’re looking for precision recipes you’re in the wrong place.
If you’re looking for inspiration you’re in the right place, grab a beer or a coffee, I hope you’ll hang around.

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