Spiced Beef Sandwiches

I’m always looking for recipes that incorporate beer. This particular recipe takes a while but it is worth it. Great for a large crowd and the favors are well suited for football tailgating or any other fall activity.

1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp. molasses
4 pounds boneless tied beef rib roast
12 ounces stout beer

Note: This needs several days to marinate and at least 7 hours of cooking time before serving.

Mix spices, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in molasses to form a dry paste; rub all over beef. Place meat in a nonreactive container or resealable bag. Let marinate 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator, turning and rubbing beef once each day.

Place beef and stout in a wide (6- to 8-quart) pot and add water to just cover beef. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours (30 minutes more if using chuck). Remove from heat, but let beef sit in pot for 2 hours. When cool, remove beef and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Slice meat and assemble sandwiches.

You Had Me at Beer Butter


My BFF sent me a picture of this recipe today. It is from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Stout-Soaked Porterhouse with Beer Butter


1 Porterhouse steak, 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 lb.)
1 12 ounce bottle stout beer
1 T Dijon-style mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 t olive oil
1/2 c butter, softened


1. Place steak in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Set aside 2 T beer; in a small bowl combine remaining beer, mustard, Worcestershire, 1 t of the tarragon, the salt, and pepper. Pour beer mixture over steak in bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, cook shallot in hot oil 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in reserved 2 T beer. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine softened butter, shallot mixture, and remaining 1 t tarragon. Transfer to waxed paper; shape into a log. Wrap and freeze.
3. Preheat broiler. Drain steak; reserve marinade. Season steak with additional salt and pepper. Place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat to desired doneness, turning once, broiling 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145 deg F) or 15 to 20 minutes for medium (160 deg F). Transfer to platter. Tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes.
4. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes (Do not overcook; marinade can become bitter).
5. To serve, slice steak into portions. Drizzle with some of the marinade reduction, and top each with a slice of frozen butter. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

I fully intend on testing out this recipe with a few modifications. First, a good porterhouse steak is hard to come by, so I’ll most likely substitute either ribeye or NY strip for the steak. Second, I only grill steak, never broil. And finally, I prefer my steaks somewhere between blue and medium-rare, depending on the cut.

Today is Trash Day…

And look what I have here:


I recently replaced my old, rusting grill and was preparing to move the old one to the curb this morning when a moment of inspiration hit me. The hardly used side burner might just make a great burner for brewing. I guess I’d better learn welding soon!

Stone 16th Anniversary Ale


Wow, this one continues to knock my socks off. So much going on with this beer. The hops package is Amarillo and Calypso… more on that in a bit. The grain bill includes a healthy dose of rye but not enough to classify this double IPA as a Rye Ale. The adjuncts include lemon verbena and lemon oil. This is a fragrant, smooth citrus explosion with a sweet body and a 10% ABV burn. Calypso is undeniably my favorite hops. With a fruity pear and apple bouquet, it brings the unique fragrance to this beer and a smooth fruity first taste. The Amarillo seems to pair well with the slight rye bitterness and brings a bit of a grapefruit zing to balance the Calypso fruit. The finish is appropriately bitter, clearing the palate for your next sip. Served with a medium rare ribeye and grilled squash, the beer held up well but did not overpower the savory beef flavor.

Green Flash West Coast IPA


A pretty solid yet typical IPA that carries a strong grapefruit bitterness in the finish. This beer is using Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Columbus hops. I suspect the bitter finish is from the Simcoe and maybe the Centennial while the nose lends itself more to the Cascade. This coppery dark amber beer is only slightly sweet, about 7% ABV and has a lot going on in the hops department. A good drinker on a hot summer’s day, but expect it to wreck your palate. You will want to pair your food accordingly. Served with Gran Marnier Pâté and a jalapeño cheese, I found it to overwhelm the subtle citrus notes of the pâté but accent the spicy cheese nicely.



There are so many gadgets available for the home brewer and I freely admit that I have bought quite a few of them. Sometimes I even end up with the right gadget at the right time and that is how I felt about the vinometer.

Using the vinometer is easy. First, position the cupped end upright. Next, add about a milliliter of wine or cider to the cup and wait until drops begin to work their way out of the bottom of the tube. Finally, invert and watch the column of fluid drop until it stops then read the alcohol percentage from the scale.

Easy right? Well, there is one one catch. The vinometer really only works accurately for dry wines. I also have had luck using it with dry ciders where the SG is at or under 1.000. It works by capillary action where the specific gravity and surface tension cause the column of the liquid being measured to drop until an equilibrium is achieved. Alcohol lowers surface tension, so the higher the alcohol content, the further the column drops down the tube. Any residual sugars will cause your readings to be low as the sugar will increase the surface area. This makes it not so handy for beer, but certainly can be helpful for country wine, cider and perry where getting an accurate initial SG can be challenging due to the fruit solids in the must.