Sunday, October 20, 2013

Let’s Talk Beer and Burgers…on a Sunday….Does It Get Any Better than That?

Ladies and Gentleman, The Sunday Best Grilled Beef Brisket Burger
Another weekend is here, and I can think of only one thing…well, two things if you want to get technical: burgers and beer! You can make 8 burgers with my "Sunday Best Burger" recipe...and of course, everyone at the table needs something extra special to wash it down with--and that's what prompted me to get on the trending subject of craft beer and how it not only compliments a burger, but elevates its flavors into Napkin Heaven! The simplicity if this recipe is just beautiful, and wholly worthy of a Summer Wheat beer to go along with--beyond the 3 pounds of brisket, all you need to finish the job are olive oil and Worchester, garlic and S&P (make that kosher salt and pepper straight from the mill!)

But I’m not here to talk about meat, so much as beer.
Everyone knows I’m a wine enthusiast, but I’ll be the first to admit the ol’ bottled grape has had the upper hand for way too long. Beer is a formidable opponent when it comes to food pairing; its carbonation—all those tiny bubbles—scrub your tongue and make each bite extra flavorful. The ultimate pairing tip is so simple with beer: you simply match like with like, and with those spicy dishes remember that sweet calms heat. If your entrée has some bitter, earthy undertones, you’ll want a bitter beer. If something is super fatty, a hoppy beer will cut through that heavy feeling in your mouth. If you’re drinking beer to go along with your “Death by Chocolate” dessert, a nice thick stout works wonders. The scenarios are endless and look even better with your beer goggles on, LOL!    

So now that I’m talking India Pale Ales (IPAs), stouts and lagers for the first time on my blog, I’ll go ahead and divulge my key sources of information on this topic: my son, Jonathan Morgan, who got his first brewing kit from Williams-Sonoma, and Bobby Gordash, a professional brew master who makes the occasional public appearance (recently at my local Whole Foods) and dishes on what he’s learned since winning the Sam Adams Home Brewers Award. Gordash has brought us beloved beers like Panic Attack, Swamp Ape and Holy Mackerel—really, good stuff!

First, my son’s thoughts…and let me preface them by reminding everyone that without Jon the drool inducing ebook that is Sunday Best Dishes would never have been possible. Here’s his litany of libations—or to put it more simply, the beer he’s made so far.

·         Summer Wheat

·         Smoked Wheat/chestnut brown ale (his favorite; made it twice)

·         Chocolate Maple Porter

Says Jon:  I've always wanted to try brewing, ever since my freshman year of college when I experienced some outstanding craft beer in Italy. While I was working at Williams-Sonoma, I used my employee discount to get a brew kit at a reduced price—I’ve made a few batches since. When I pair dinner with beer, I go with a smoky flavor theme.  I’ll grill up some turkey burgers with chipotle pepper mixed into the meat (along with a little chicken broth to add moisture and carry the chipotle through the whole patty), and then top it with some slices of smoked gouda and charred bell peppers and onions. It’s important to toast the buns on the grill with some mayonnaise until JUST starting to blacken on the edges. I try to use a charcoal grill if I can, as gas grills won't impart the same kind of smoky deliciousness.”
What can I say: Apple….Tree!

So try out a beer kit like Jon did, or simply patronize a brewery near you; they have started cropping up all over Florida. For my NC friends, the craft beer trend is clearly established with the presence of SIXTEEN breweries in Ashville alone. Jon recommends the Fat Tire and Duck Rabbit!  If you’re shopping beer in Lauderdale, he recommends Total Wine & Liquor, and encourages you to look for some of the strong Danish and Scottish Ales in the +6% ABV rangethen come on home and make something chargrilled and amazing from Sunday Best!

OK—I’ll get off my beer box now!

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