With Winter in full swing it’s the perfect time to curl up with a delectable stout or porter to shake away the February blues.
How everything has a time and place, so do Stouts and porters. Although it is not necessarily a rule to only drink these brews in the Winter, it’s generally preferred due to the thickness and velvety texture of the beer. To an unadventurous beer drinker stouts and porters can be scary, it wasn’t until the early fall that I began to have an appreciation for stouts and porters myself. Like most, I was scared away by the appearance of the beer. When I finally got the courage to try a stout I was surprised, it was sweet but still bitter and carried itself with hints of dark chocolate, followed with smokey undertones. I realized at the right time and place, I could actually enjoy a stout.
As much as I now love drinking stouts and porters, I’ve love cooking with them even more. When a beer enthusiast and a chef live together you can only imagine what can go down in the kitchen. On the weekend we decided to dedicate one night for cooking with stouts and porters. What came from it you ask?
A Sirloin Tip Steak braised in Trafalgar Cognac-Aged Porter with Housemade Lock 17 BBQ sauce. Served with a Baked Potato topped with fresh local farmers cheese & corn on the cob.
I love steak, I have always been a meat and potatoes kind of girl. So with that in mind we decided to make my favourite dish with a twist. Picking a beer to best fit our steak was easy, when we saw the cognac-aged porter we knew the flavour of cognac and aged oak would be the perfect reduction. Marinated with garlic and rosemary, the steak was tender and not overdone. Less is more when it comes to steak for me, as much as I love my different seasonings and spices, sometimes you can lose the true flavour of the meat.
Stout Hot Chocolate – using Winterbeard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout by Muskoka Brewery
Coming up with something sweet for dessert was a no brainer, earlier that day I had found a recipe for Stout Hot Chocolate on Pinterest. Knowing I had a bottle of Winterbeard I had been saving, I figured this would be the perfect treat. The recipe is really easy to follow, and if you feel like being lazy you can always just use instant hot chocolate mix, although I prefer homemade.