TORONTO, Ont. NOVEMBER, 3, 2020— The autumn is all about comfort foods.
As the weather cools and Canada’s harvest comes in, food takes centre stage. Just look at a typical Thanksgiving feast for an indication of how grand the spread can be. But whether pulling together a big family dinner or just whipping up something quick for a weeknight dinner, there are many ways you can enhance the dish by using beer as an ingredient.
“Beer is an excellent addition when cooking to bring new dimensions and flavours to your meal,” says Tyson Porcellato, the Head Chef at the Steam Whistle Biergärten. “It makes an excellent basting or braising liquid, and can be used as a replacement for water in just about any sauce.”
The Biergärten uses Steam Whistle Premium Pilsner in its bratwurst sausage, and also braises its pork hock in the golden elixir. It is also used in a variety of its sauces and condiments.
Here are some ways you can incorporate beer into your menu:
- Steam Whistle Cheese Sauce — A staple with the pretzel served at the Steam Whistle Biergärten, this recipe starts with a classic French cheese sauce and kicks it up with some rosemary and hot sauce. First, steep milk with rosemary, garlic, onion and a bay leaf. Make a basic roux (equal parts melted butter and flour) over medium to low heat, and strain the steeped milk and half a bottle of Steam Whistle’s flagship Premium Pilsner, whisking until smooth. Gradually add shredded aged cheddar, orange cheddar and mozzarella, whisking continuously to ensure smooth consistency. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and salt to taste. Besides being a great dip for pretzels, crackers or tortillas, give this sauce a try drizzled over a sausage or a grilled burger.
- Steam Whistle Honey Mustard — This honey mustard started as a dip to go with the Biergärten’s pretzel, and is now served with the traditional bratwurst sausage. To make your own, mix three parts Keen’s Hot Mustard Powder to one part Steam Whistle Premium Session Lager, honey and cider vinegar. In a spice bag, place aromatics (rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, garlic) and let it sit in the honey mustard dressing for 24 to 48 hours. Remove the spice pack and add a bit more honey to give it a nice gloss when serving.
- Steam Whistle Beer Batter — The cod on the Biergärten’s fish fillet sandwich is battered with this concoction, but it can also be used with chicken (wings or breasts), pork or even fried vegetables. This recipe also uses yeast, and should be measured out carefully. Add 10 grams of instant dry yeast to 240 grams of flour, mix and pour in a bottle of Steam Whistle Premium Pilsner and water to adjust for consistency (fill the empty beer bottle with water and that should be just the right amount). Whisk it together and let it site — and a word of caution that it will grow, so use a bigger container than you think you need. Dip your food of choice in the batter and fry in hot oil. The yeast helps create a bubbly and flaky crust.
- Steam Whistle Pilsner BBQ Sauce — Great for tossing wings or coating ribs, props to Napoleon food stylist Andrea Alden for this one. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, then add three gloves of minced garlic and two teaspoons of fresh thyme. Cook for about a minute, where the garlic is soft and fragrant but before it browns, then pour in one bottle of Steam Whistle Premium Pilsner. Once the foam dissipates, add ½ cup of molasses, ½ cup of grainy mustard and two tablespoons of cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a simmer and allow to simmer until thickened.
- Steam Whistle Pale Ale & Cheddar Soup — A bowl of comfort on a chill autumn evening. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a soup pot, add a small diced onion, stirring until onion is soft and translucent, but not browning or burnt. Add three gloves of minced garlic and cook for about one minute before adding a tablespoon of flour; stir into a paste and slowly pour in 750mL of warm chicken, turkey or vegetable stock while continuing to stir or whisk to ensure all clumps are dissolved. Bring to a boil and add two cans of Steam Whistle Premium Pale Ale. Once again bring to a boil again and add 750mL of table cream, stirring gently. Before it comes to a boil, whisk in 200 grams of shredded old cheddar cheese, ensuring it all melts into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar on top.