BBQ and craft beer are my two favourite things, but apart from relaxing in the yard enjoying a delicious pale ale while tending to my smoker, I have oft struggled to pair the two in a culinary setting.
That’s where The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd comes in.
After the cupcakes were such a success I decided to order the cookbook to see what else I could add to my repertoire.
What struck me immediately is that The Craft Beer Cookbook really is about a variety of craft beers, “from IPAs and bocks to pilsners & porters”. I say this because there’s been several books that purport to be about beer and food but invariably list the ingredients as “add a beer of your choice” which is ridiculous given the broad range of flavours available.
Importantly it’s not a book full of just pub & junk food, there’s a variety of dishes you could cook for many occasions.
The book contains nine chapters:
2. Appetizers, Starters & Sides
4. Breads & Pastas
5. Veggie Lovers Entrees
6. Beef & Pork
7. Things with Wings
There’s also a Beer Styles Basics and a glossary to assist with the multitude of styles contained within the book.
The first dish I’ve made so far is the chocolate chip and smoked porter pancakes so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Due to being under prepared I subbed in an imperial stout (Feral Brewing’s Boris, which is an amazing beer) as I figured that would still pair well with the chocolate.
1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp baking powder (ex squeeze me? a baking powder?)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup smoked porter (I subbed a stout but would recommend Feral Brewing’s smoked porter as it’s a great beer)
2 tbsp melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup wholemilk
1/4 cup choc chips
In the interests of brevity I am not going to post the whole damn recipe, if you need more info buy the book (which you should anyway).
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine. Make as you would any other pancake.
I added some beer candied bacon just to really take this to decadent new levels. They were freakin tasty; I’m not usually one for sweet things at breakfast but I highly recommend giving them a try.
There are so many more dishes I want to try next, a lot that pair interesting beers in an interesting way such as:
- IPA Shrimp Watermelon Ceviche
- Strawberry Pale Ale Popsicles
- IPA Crab Cakes with Beer Hollandaise
- Stout & Stilton Empanadas
It is clear that The Beeroness has put a lot of thought in to the unique flavours of each beer and how to pair them to foods to make those flavours shine.
In summary: if you like craft beer at all I definitely recommend getting this book, it’s got every meal of the day covered to ensure you get your beer fix from sun up to sun down. None of it is specifically BBQ based but it definitely fits in to my tastes and styles of cooking plus plenty of recipes could be adapted for the BBQ.
In the meantime check out The Beeroness website because there’s heaps of recipes available there too.
On a side note, this review has made me think – I frequently use the term man food or dude food as it seems to fit the foods I enjoy, but is that sexist? I know plenty of women that love bacon just as much (well, maybe not quite as much as me!)
Let me know your thoughts!