We could never manage to get ourselves through an entire conversation about cooking with beer without talking about meat. Sure, the magical leavening powers of beer give bread that awesome texture, and after making a chocolate stout cake none of my cakes will ever be sober again, but meat is where it all begins.
There is no hard data on the inception of beer cooking, but my educated guess leans me towards meat. Not just for the incedible meat tenderizing properties of beer, but also due to the fact that it’s a mild preservative, important in those pre-Frigidare days of trying to feed a crowd. These days, meat and beer just seem to have found a seamless connection, a perfect marriage that leads to the birth of outstanding crowd pleasing meals. This union is due in no small part to the fact that beer gives meat an amazingly tender texture while infusing it with a little bit of that beer flavor we all know and love.
So, what beer with what meat, you ask? Great question. Here are my recommendations:
Beef: Imperial Stout
Pork: Smoked Porter
Chicken & Turkey: Brown Ale
Fish: White Ale
In my history of beer cooking, those are the pairings that have proven the most successful. Also, don’t forget to save some of that beer for drinking.
For this recipe I used my Homemade Beer Burger Buns, which was a fantastic idea.
Mediterranean Beer Braised Pork Burgers
For the Meat:
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 lbs country style pork ribs
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 14.5 wt. oz. stewed tomatoes
- 12 oz smoked porter
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
For the topping:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbs dill, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, dices
- 1 cup firm tomatoes, chopped
- 8 Homemade Beer Burger Buns
- In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cumin.
- Sprinkle pork on all sides with spice mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven until hot but not smoking. Sear pork on all sides, working in batches in necessary.
- Pour the stewed tomatoes and beer over the pork. Add the Worcestershire, onions and garlic. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Add a lid at a vent and allow to cook until pork is very tender and falling off the bone, about 4 hours. Shred using two forks, removing the bones from the pot. Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon to drain off excess moisture.
- To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, dill and red onion. Chill until ready to serve.
- Split the burger buns and fill with pork, top with cucumber, tomatoes and yogurt sauce.
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