Booze Meets Food: 5 Recipes With a Little Extra Spirit

– By Jakob Anderson, Food Writer –

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Beer and wine do not exclusively belong at a party or after a long day at work. These boozy beverages when intertwined correctly with food can create sensations far exceeding your basic beer buzz. Here are a few types of alcohol to mix into your culinary cocktail!

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Red wine pairs exceptionally well with red meats.

Red Wine

A splash of Cabernet or Merlot is a great addition to any tomato sauce, beef dish or can even works its way into desserts! Braising beef or lamb is my personal favourite use for red wine while cooking.

Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine and Dried Cherry

2lbs beef short rib, english cut

1 onion, small diced

1 celery root, small diced

4 cloves garlic

1 cup beef stock

2 cups red wine

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup dried cherries, unsweetened

2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme

3 TBSP black pepper

salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300. Season short ribs heavily with salt and sear in oven proof dish. Remove meat and add onions, celery root, and garlic. Once vegetables begin to stick, add balsamic vinegar and scrape bottom of dish. Add red wine and cook vegetables slowly until they are completely caramelized. Add stock, herbs, cherries and pepper. Bring to boil, cover and place in oven for 5 hours.

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White wine works well with whiter meats, such as chicken or fish.

White Wine

Elegance, grace, purity. White wine can make any dish raise their pinky finger! My favourite use for white wine is with fish, a chardonnay in particular. Try experimenting with white wine on chicken or even certain vegetables such as leeks!

Seared Trout with White Wine and Enoki Mushroom Pan Sauce

1 Trout Filet

2 TBSP oil

salt to taste

1 package enoki mushrooms, separated into bundles

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/2 cup white wine

2 TBSP butter

2 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Heat pan with oil on high. Sear fish skin side down for about 2 minutes until skin is golden and crisp. Flip and finish on the flesh side, about 1 minute. Remove fish from pan and add mushrooms, onions, garlic. Once vegetables begin to stick, add white wine and reduce heat by half. Add butter and shake pan vigorously as you stir until the sauce emulsifies. Pour sauce on trout and finish with chives.

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Beer is extremely versatile when it comes to food pairings and recipes, and can work with everything from cheese to chili.

Beer

Whether it’s a wheat ale in a braise, an IPA for a marinade or a stout for a dessert; beer is never a bad call when developing recipes.

Peach, Ale, Brie and Jalapeño Baguette

4 peaches

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup wheat ale

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 small wheel of brie, sliced into thin slices

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste

1 baguette, sliced and toasted

In small pot, heat olive oil on low. Add peaches, garlic, salt and pepper; cook until peaches are soft. Add wheat ale and reduce heat by half. On baguette, add slice of brie, peach mixture and top with slice of jalapeño.

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Whisky is very savoury, and works well with many desserts.

Whisky

If sipping whiskey on the rocks like a true gentleman does not tickle your fancy, try mixing it into your cooking! Whiskey can buff a boring sauce or marinade as well as create a mean ice cream flavour!

Maple Whiskey Ice Cream

This is a phenomenal use of the hard stuff. Sortilege is a maple whiskey out of Quebec that is out of this world. Make sure you have an ice bath set up before you start this recipe! Making good ice cream all comes down to being vigilant and prepared!

10 egg yolks

3 cups cream (35% or higher)

1.5 cup whole milk (3.25%)

1 cup sugar (half in milk mixture, half in egg)

1 vanilla bean, split, seeded

1/2 cup maple whiskey (if you can get your hands on Sortilege Whisky, I highly advise you use it)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

1 tsp xantham gum (optional) (can give the ice cream a more gummy, store bought texture)

Add milk, cream, half the sugar, salt, vanilla, maple whiskey and xantham gum (if using) to medium pot. Scald this mixture, do not boil! In separate bowl while dairy is heating, whisk together eggs and other half sugar. Once dairy is scalded, slowly whisk into egg mixture. Place mixture back on stove at medium heat and whisk continuously until the mix is 170f (if you don’t have a thermometer available, once the mixture sticks to the back of a wood spoon and does not slide off.) Transfer to bowl in an ice bath and allow to cool completely. Churn in ice cream maker.

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Cider is a great way to add tart or flavour to any bland recipe.

Cider

No need to save your hard cider for a blistering summer day, use it anytime you like while in the kitchen! Cider is a very versatile ingredient and can add a tart funk to anything its boozy arms hug. I love to use it in the winter for braises and soups!

Fava Bean and Pork Belly Soup

1 lb pork belly, cut into 2 inch chunks

1/2 cup dry fava beans, soaked 4 hours or overnight in water

1 leek, diced small

2 cloves garlic, diced small

1 bulb fennel, diced small

2 cups kale, roughly chopped

1 cup cider

2L chicken stock

5 juniper berries

3 sprigs thyme

2 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Season pork with salt. In large pot, sear belly then remove from pot. Add leek, garlic and fennel to pot. Once they begin to stick, add cider and reduce by half. Add fava beans, pork, stock, juniper berries, thyme and pepper to pot. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer on very low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours. Stir kale into pot and cook until they are bright in colour and just becoming tender. Serve with crusty bread and an ice cold glass of cider.