If Food Could Drink will be an ongoing Beltramo’s blog feature with the aim of showcasing the multitude possibilities for cooking with wine, beer, and spirits. Recipes may include anything from appetizers to entrees to deserts, and will range in complexity, but always with the goal of encouraging readers to explore the nuances and versatility of alcohol in the kitchen. Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
“What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?” - W.C. Fields
Summertime means Barbecue. There’s actually not a time of the year that Barbecue isn’t fondly welcome in my home and belly, but it seems like a lot of other people wait until the warmer months for this culinary genre. With that in mind, I offer up this saucy dish prepared in a slow cooker. You don’t have to wait for the snow to melt off your grill outside in order to enjoy this, but you can pull it off in the summer too. Just throw all the ingredients together and go out into the Californian wilderness for a hike at The Dish or Windy Hill. When you come back home, the aromas will be so mouthwatering that you won’t mind regaining all those calories that you just burned!
- 3 lbs. beef chuck, cubed
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 large bell peppers
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1-2 chipotle chile peppers (minced) in adobo sauce (appx. 2 tablespoons)
- ½ brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup chili power
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 cup Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale
- 8 toasted Dutch crunch buns
Combine the beef, onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, chipotles, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, salt, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce, liquid smoke, and Boont Amber Ale into your slow cooker. Cover and then set cooker to high and leave for 6 to 8 hours (until the beef is falling apart).
Shred the beef with a fork (until it resembles pulled pork), and then pile it onto the toasted buns. Serves 8 people.
Yeah, that’s all there is to do. The hardest step of the recipe is waiting so long while the deliciousness develops, but the rewards are plenty.
After 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, the beef is fall-apart tender and the flavors of the spices all comingle perfectly. I like to butter the rolls and then stick them either under the broiler or on a griddle to toast. Then portion the barbecue mixture onto the toasted buns, adding as much of the sauce as you see fit. The flavors are rich and smoky with a lot of spiciness. The Boont Amber Ale definitely contributes to the richness with malty essences that get dark and dense during the long cooking time. Have your bold, beefy, barbecue sandwiches (side salad optional) with a cold Boont Amber Ale chaser! The beer will cool down the spice and it also has a sweetness that provides a nice counterpoint to the smoky, robust flavors of the sandwich.
Neal F., Beltramo’s Spirits Staff