Valentine’s Day Raspberry Lambic Lamb Chops

You see what we did there? A lamb recipe using a lambic. This recipe uses Lindemans Framboise in our sauce. A Raspberry lambic that has a delicate raspberry palate with fruity acidity. A very nice desert beer to sip on. This is the perfect meal for your Valentine and incorporates a very lovely red sparkling raspberry lambic that she will also enjoy. Top if off with a nice chocolate stout (I would recommend Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodisiaque.

Ingredients:

  • lamb chops
  • red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • onion or shallots, finely chopped
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • framboise
  • raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • fresh thyme
  • butter
  • garlic, minced
  • Preparations:

    Potatoes:
    Preheat oven to 375. Chop potatoes and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and garlic powder. Add plenty of fresh thyme (you can just pull gently down the stem against the grain and the leaves will come right off). Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with some more thyme after baking.

    Lamb Chops:
    Melt some butter along with olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Simmer for about a minute. Turn the heat to high. Add the lamb chops, cooking for a few minutes per side, until nice and browned on the outside. Turn off heat and remove the lamb from the pan (you can cover them with aluminum foil so they stay warm). Splash in some of the framboise to deglaze the pan (oooh it looks so pretty at this point). Add in the raspberries, a little more minced garlic, a dash of salt, and a good amount of butter. Turn the heat to low and smash up the raspberries as you combine in the pan. You can also add in a little sugar if you want to balance out some of the acidity.


    Romance Your Valentine With These Chocolate Beers

    Do away with the cheap box of chocolates and get your loved one something you can both enjoy. Just remember, while beer can help relax the mood and increase inhibitions, too much will do the opposite. So pay attention to the ABVs and the number of bottles you knock back if you want to spark the romance tonight.

    Let us begin with two of my favourite Montreal brews:

    Oatmeal Stout | St-Ambroise | Montreal, QC | 5% ABV
    Brewed from 40 percent dark malts and roasted barley, this intensely black ale carries strong hints of espresso and chocolate. Oatmeal contributes body and a long-lasting mocha-colored head to this well-hopped beer. Oatmeal Stout is one of my favourite easily available beers. It’s easy to find and low in ABV with a lovely chocolate and coffee taste. You can also whip up a batch of the Oatmeal Stout Chocolate Cake.

    Aphrodisiaque | Dieu du Ciel | Montreal, QC | 6.5% ABV
    Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.

    Sexual Chocolate | Foothills Brewing Co. | Winston-Salem, N.C. | 9.25% ABV
    This rich cocoa-infused Imperial Stout has been released annually just before Valentine’s Day since 2006. It sells out quickly, because it’s an awesome brew, and don’t we all want to say “Baby, I brought the Sexual Chocolate?” This liquid chocolate brew is practically guaranteed to induce friskiness.

    Seduction | Brewery Ommegang | Cooperstown, N.Y. | 6.8% ABV
    Because that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about! This Belgian-style ale combines chocolate from Callebut Chocolate with tart cherries. Seduction will leave you with a warm, lingering glow.

    Chocolate Ale | Boulevard Brewing Co. | Kansas City, Mo. | 9% ABV
    Brewed with a rare variety of chocolate sourced from the Dominican Republic and provided by Christopher Elbow Chocolates, this seasonal is both delicious and classy, bottled beautifully in a cork and cage 750 mL bottle.

    Reunion Ale | Terrapin Beer Co. & Schmaltz Brewing Co. | Athens, Ga. | 7.6% ABV
    Just like love, craft beer can be a collaboration. A portion of the profits from this brown ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla and chili peppers benefits the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. The chilies give this beer a fiery finish. Terrapin also releases their Moo-Hoo Milk Chocolate Stout this time of year. It’s exactly what it sounds like—an alcoholic nod to the Yoo-Hoo chocolate beverage.

    Imperial Choklat Stout | Southern Tier Brewing Co. | Lakewood, N.Y. | 11% ABV
    This lovely Stout is made with bittersweet Belgian chocolate and packs an intense chocolate kick. Even non-beer lovers like this brew. Be sure to quaff this one slowly, and notice how the flavors develop as the beer warms.

    Chocolate Stout | Pisgah Brewing Co. | Black Mountain, N.C. | 6% ABV
    This brew is aged on cocoa nibs for a number of weeks. The beans hail from the La Red Guaconejo cooperative in the Dominican Republic and are hand-sorted, roasted, and cracked by the head chocolate maker at the nearby French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, N.C.

    Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales | Milton, De. | 9% ABV
    The name of this beer translates to “food of the gods,” and is based on a recipe found on pottery fragments in Honduras, Mexico. If you want a love that lasts forever, this is a good gift choice. Although lighter in color than you’d expect from a chocolate brew, it can pack a punch.

    Slumbrew Porter Square Porter | Somerville Brewing Co. | Somerville, Mass. | 6.5% ABV
    This rich porter is brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned on nibs from Taza Chocolate. Yum!


    A Beer a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

    Often a source of the only clean water available, in moderation, beer can be good for you. It appears that the carbon-dioxide in the beer improved water absorption with carbohydrates replacing lost calories for athletes. Beer is also rich in B vitamins, silica for bone health and fibre. What about that beer belly you ask? Well, glass for glass, beer has less calories than wine. Just cut out the binge drinking and the chips and salsa.

    ‘Beer has a bad image – it is more often associated with drunken football crowds than health-conscious, discerning drinkers,’ says Dr George Philliskirk of The Institute of Brewing and Distillery, who specialises in yeast research. ‘But when drunk in moderation, beer provides a wider range of health benefits than wine.’

    Like you needed a reason to drink beer. Now you have no excuse not to crack one open tonight with dinner! Cheers.


    St-Ambroise Scotch Ale


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    St-Ambroise Scotch AleSt-Ambroise Scotch Ale

    ABV: 7.5% (Bottle 341ml)

    Malts: Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Peated Malt

    This is the first of the 2012 St-Ambroise seasonal brews. Living so close to the brewery, I spend a lot of time there on the terrace, and I was able to have a taste this past summer. Now finally it is available for the masses and you can pick up a four pack (or more) at select locations around the city. This is by far one of my top brews of theirs and I think second only to their Pumpkin Ale.

    It also seems to be up from 7.2% from last year.

    St-Ambroise Scotch Ale is dark ruby red with a tawny head – sweet and malty, with hints of vanilla and butterscotch, and a log hop finish. With it’s 7.5% alcool, this beer evokes the classic “wee heavies” or the full-bodied 90-shilling strong winter ales of Scotland. Enjoy a glass of St‑Ambroise Scotch Ale and celebrate over 400 years of Scottish heritage in Canada.

    Appearance:

    This pours out very smooth and leaves a small light brown head.
    Like the description says, this is a very deep red, ruby, beer.
    It is very clear, without much carbonation, and the head disappears quickly.

    Aroma:

    It has a caramel/butterscotch aroma with some dark fruits mixed in.
    It very pleasing, without being very complex, it seems that there is a new aroma each time you go back, cherries, toffee, caramel, dark smokey malts.

    Taste:

    The beer is extremely smooth and has a silky almost buttery feel to it in your mouth. The carbonation plays well and adds some nice feel to it.
    The taste is just like the aromas, sweet with a caramel/butterscotch flavour and it plays just right together. It is quite a nice light taste, with a bit of a hint of smokiness.
    There was not much of an alcohol taste to it as well, which added to my enjoyment.
    The sweetness and flavour stay with the after taste without turning bitter.

    Overall:

    This is an exceptional seasonal beer that I wish was available more often. It goes down very smooth, but doesn’t rush you. It tastes great cold and 30 minutes later I was still sipping on it and enjoying every drop. I didn’t want it to end. So I opened another bottle and had another go.

    Official Site 


    Quelque Chose From Unibroue, Quelque Chose.


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    Quelque Chose is brewed in Chambly, Quebec by Unibroue. A Hybrid beer which is a blend of brown ale brewed in Chambly and a Belgian kriek ale. A kriek is made by fermenting lambic with sour Morello cherries. Lambics are usually sour beers to begin with so adding the cherries probably adds nice sweetness to balance the tartness.

    Quelque Chose has been brewed since 1996 and from what I understand it is only brewed every six years. A 8.0% beer with a deep ruby red colour, this beer can be imbibed hot or cold and on ice. Drinking it hot is said to bring out more of the sweetness in the cherries, along with warm spiciness. Drinking it cold will give you little to no head, typical of a lambic.

    With an aroma that is said to be of ripe cherries with cinnamon, cloves, honey and vanilla. I think this could be the perfect Valentine’s beer to cozy up with on a cold Quebec February.

    Which is why I am searching high and low to find a bottle or two of this. One for now and one in the cellar. If anyone knows any store that carries this please let me know.

    For more information head on over to the Unibroue product page and check out the video below of Unibroue beer sommelier Sylvain Bouchard pouring and describing the beer.


    Beer Soap? Nothing Better Than The Smell Of Scotch Ale In The Morning.


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    Apparently you can make soap from beer. McAuslan has been known for making various food stuffs with their beer, like their hot mustard which is amazing. I have no idea how beer soap is made or what it smells like. These can be picked up at the McAuslan Brewery at the reception desk between 9:30-11:30 and 13:30-16:30.

    If anyone gives it a try let me know. “Hey Chris, why do you smell like beer at work at 9 o’clock?”

    “Oh, it’s just my soap… and the three pints I drank for breakfast.”


    St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout Chocolate Cake

    A lot of recipes lately. There is nothing like the mixture of beer and food and drinking a beer with beer made with food. This one popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. This is a recipe closer to home in Montreal. A chocolate cake made with St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. Probably one of my favourite stouts. Oatmeal Stout is intensely black and creamy with an amazing chocolate and espresso taste. The perfect addition to a chocolate cake.

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups of St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout
  • 2 cups of non-salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups of sour cream
  • 2 cups of cherry pie filling
  • 1 can of cake frosting
  • Preparation

    Preaheat oven to 350°F. Butter four,8-inch round cake pans. Heat beer and 2 cups of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until the mixture is smooth.Cool to room temperature.

    Mix flour, sugar, baking soda andsalt in large bowl. Beat eggs andsour cream in a separate bowl. Add cocoa and beer mixture to egg andsour cream and beat. Add flour mixture and stir until well blended.Pour into cake pans and bake for 35 minutes.

    Take each cake and add frosting and cherry filling on top. Stackcakes one on top of the other, covering them with your favorite frosting.

    Gâteau au chocolat à la stout from Extra Caramel on Vimeo.


    Homebrew Process: Day 2 – Equipment


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    This is probably the most boring part to write about, but it is just as important as a good recipe. Because I am still new at this, before a brew day I will once over the equipment I have and make decisions where I can improve.

    I have a pretty basic kit that I inherited from my dad so I need to supplement it with new equipment when I get the money. The above picture isn’t my kit and just there as an example.

    My kit includes:

  • Plastic fermenting bucket (fits 5 gallons plus) with lid
  • Glass carboy (probably about 6 gallons plus)
  • Two ceramic coated stock pots, 11 Liters and 2 gallon
  • Small grain bag
  • Large plastic spoon
  • Tubing
  • Bottle capper
  • Brown glass bottles and caps
  • Thermometer
  • Hydrometer
  • Food scale
  • Now I realize this is far from perfect. However this should show you that it is incredibly easy to get started without fancy equipment. There are places for improvement in my kit and needed additions.

    For starters my ceramic coated stock pots aren’t very good. It’s frowned upon to use these since they will chip and rust with heavy stirring. I will eventually make my way to aluminum stock pots. My fermenting bucket doesn’t have a hole drilled in the lid for an airlock. Right now I loosely fit the bucket lid and put a towel over it to keep anything bad from getting in.

    However this time around I made some extra additions to my kit:

    I bought a stopper and airlock for my carboy (I used saran wrap last time to cover the hole). I also picked up an auto siphon so I don’t need to use my mouth (!!) when racking and bottling and a bottle filler that you press down into the bottle to fill (as opposed to just using a tube kinker). I also bought a large funnel just in case in the future.

    I like this way of building a kit. It’s relatively cheap to buy the kit up front but there is a bit of a thrill going to the store and buying new toys every once in awhile. The brew store is like a Toy’s R Us for homebrewers.


    Slow Cooker BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken

    Do you have a crock pot? Check. An amber ale sitting in the fridge? Check. Appetite? Double check. Then this is the recipe for you. Look at it. You know you want it. And the recipe only calls for 4oz of beer so go ahead and drink the rest. Maybe I should add “Do you need a beer this morning before you start the slow cooker before you day of work?… Check!”.

    Makes 3 “hearty” servings. Courtesy of The College Culinarian

    Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (or whatever’s on sale. Thighs would be super!)
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 4 oz beer (I used amber ale)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • Directions

  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Sprinkle the onion powder, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper over the top. Pour in the beer and barbecue sauce.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Shred and enjoy!

  • Michigan Brewing Company – Nut Brown Ale


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    5% ABV
    Bottled

    Appearance:
    Pours with a thick foamy head. Slowly dissipates but there wasn’t much lacing left over halfway through. A clear dark amber color shows when held up to the light.

    Aroma:
    A sweet and roasted nut aroma. Very malty.

    Taste:
    Light subtle taste. Very sweet middle with very little, if not a bit bland, aftertaste. A very nice smooth mouth feel as it hits the tongue. Very light carbonation.

    Overall:
    I love the color. It is a very beautiful and inviting dark red. The aroma is a bit too sweet for my taste and after awhile it transforms into an unappealing medicine smell. The taste is also sweet but more mellowed out. Unfortunately, maybe a bit too dull for my liking. Overall, an average beer. I would not buy it again.