This dish is stupid easy, relatively cheap, and gosh darn delicious – all of which are perfect for a midweek meal. From start to finish it’ll take less than 45 minutes (if you don’t count the marinating time). Try to wake up and put the marinade together before you leave for work. It’ll take around 5 minutes and that’s calculated in I-haven’t-had-a-coffee-yet time. Cuts of meat like the flank steak need those extra minutes to live up to their full potential. Not a morning person? Put the marinade together the night before.
- 2-4 cloves of minced garlic
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
- 8 ounces of a darker beer, we used a doppelbock because it’s what was in the fridge. Medium bodied, darker beers work best in this dish. Think dark lager, porter, or brown ale.
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- an herb – we used dried rosemary, but fresh is almost always better
- 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs. of flank, hanger, or skirt steak
- 2 cups polenta
- 6 cups water
- 3 tbs. butter
- lots of parmesan cheese, 1/2 to 1 cup
ROASTED RED PEPPER SALAD
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 ounces of the beer you used in the marinade
- 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- rosemary or thyme
- salt & pepper
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients until well combined.
- Pour the marinade into a large bag or in a shallow dish with deep sides.
- Place the steak in the marinade
- Seal the bag or cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 6 hours to 1 day, turning occasionally.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Allow to sit at room temperature.
ROASTED RED PEPPER
- Begin roasting the red pepper over a burner and turn until the skin is blackened and delicious.
- Place the pepper in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for ~10 minutes. The steam will cause the skin to loosen which will make the pepper easier to peel.
- Remove the charred skin from the pepper. I find this is easiest to do with slightly wet hands. Do not rinse the pepper, though!
- Slice the red pepper into ribbons.
I start the polenta while the pepper is roasting
- While the pepper is resting, bring the salt and water for the polenta to a boil in a large, deep pan. Once the water comes to a boil, gradually stir in the polenta.
- Stir frequently for ~20 minutes until the mixture thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Stir the butter and cheese into the polenta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a lid on the polenta and set aside.
Grab a helper if needed!
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan to cook the steaks. My favorite is cast iron.
- Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place a very small amount of oil (not olive) in the pan.
- Place the steaks in the pan when the oil sizzles if you place the corner of the meat in.
- Do not move the steak until it needs to be flipped. Don’t disrupt the browning! This will take about 5 minutes per side.
- They are ready when a thermometer registers 125-130F for medium rare. Cook a little longer if you prefer your steak to be medium. Try not to cook to well done — skirt steaks don’t handle overcooking as well as other cuts of meat.
- Allow to rest!
- Cut the steak into thin slices against the meat grain.
- While the meat rests, add 4 ounces of beer and 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary or thyme.
- Cook over medium heat until the liquid reduces by half.
- Turn off heat and add a spoonful of honey.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the herbs.
- Taste! Depending on the beer and your preferences, it may need additional seasoning, acidity, or sweetness.
- Dress the arugula with salt & pepper and oil & lemon juice.
- Toss with the red pepper slices.
Plate it up and enjoy!
This is hands down my favorite dish in the whole wide world. I’m an Indian food die hard, particularly when it comes to Tikka Masala.
Here’s my version of tikka masala – two ways.
What kind of curry?
Lamb shank, chicken, paneer, and/or….
Lamb shank: brown in a 2tbs of melted butter; remove from pan and deglaze with a beer. Use this to brown the veggies (see recipe below).
Chicken: marinate in 1 1/2 cups of greek yogurt, 4 tbs curry powder, 3 tbs. smoked paprika (optional), 2 tbs garam masala; allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
Tikka Masala Ingredients
- 1 diced onion (yellow or vidalia)
- 2 tsp diced fresh pepper (jalapeno or serrano)
- 4 tsp garlic paste
- 1 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 10 ounces of beer
- 3 tbs garam masala
- 1 tbs smoked hot paprika (or less for less spicy)
- A heavy handed squeeze of honey
- 2 lemons
- 2 tbs tahini
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream (can use additional yogurt or heavy cream instead)
- salt and pepper
- Sauté onions until lightly golden in color
- If cooking chicken, take the chicken out of the fridge and remove most of the marinade. I typically cook over medium to medium low heat in a pan until almost all the way cooked and then finish cooking by chopping and placing in the tikka masala for the final 10 minutes of simmering.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, chile, ginger, paprika, and garam masala. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes until mixture is very fragrant
- Add tomato sauce, honey, and beer and bring to a boil
- Lower the heat and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes. If using lamb shanks – add an additional 1/4 cup of liquid (beer, tomato sauce, water, chicken stock) and place the lamb shanks in the pot. Cover and cook over low heat until the lamb is fall off the bone tender (~1 hour, but varies based on the size of the shanks).
- After the 15 minutes have elapsed, add the tahini, sour cream, yogurt, and juice of 2 lemons to the sauce. Stir to combine and simmer an additional 15 minutes. A
- Add salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of fresh cracked pepper, but you may not.
- Here is where you’ll need to judge the acidity and spice level; my tikka masala is different every time when it comes to this stage. Sometimes I’ll add more lemon, a splash of rice vinegar, additional honey, more garam masala, more hot paprika, sometimes a little cayenne, and once in awhile I’ll add frozen peas (continue simmering until peas are cooked through) – it really depends on mood and taste.
- I serve with basmati rice and homemade paneer (make your own! super easy) and pair with.. well, what you cooked with! I also enjoy with a double IPA or the Dogfish Head Theobrama (great beer for curry dishes).
This chili is one of the best I’ve ever had, and trust me, I’ve eaten a whole lot of chili. It came about as part my Valentine’s Day tradition: beer, chili, and zombie movies. This year, however, I wanted to try something new and a smidgen more adventurous. The result? Big, bold, flavorful chili with just enough kick and incredible depths of flavor.
- 3/4 lb ground pork
- 1 lb bison
- 1 can (or more) fire roasted tomatoes
- 12 oz tomato sauce
- 1 bottle less a few drinks of beer (I recommend an amber or brown. I’ve also had luck with smoky beers)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 can black beans
Then there are the spices (the below is AMAZING, but you can substitute or change the quantity on anything and everything depending on your taste)
- 2 tbs garlic powder
- 2 tbs chipotle chili (or 1 canned chipotle chili & 2 tablespoons of the sauce)
- 1/2 tbs coriander
- 1 1/2 tbs cumin
- 2 tbs house coffee chile rub (from Central Market)
- 1 1/4 tbs ancho chili powder
- 3/4 tbs oregano
- 1 1/4 tbs mexican chocolate
- salt and pepper to taste
- and a heavy handed dash of each of the following: allspice, cloves, cinnamon
- Brown the meat with the diced onions and bell pepper (I prefer a large, rough chop). Then add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beer. Scrape up all of the goodness on the bottom of the pot. Add the spices and cover.
- Allow the chili to simmer low and slow for as long as you can possibly handle letting it do so. Hell, this may be the time to break out that crock pot your mom gave you years ago that you forgot was in the back of your closet. Seriously.
- During the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, add the diced sweet potatoes. But wait! There’s more.. throw in the can of black beans and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- If it’s too thick, add a little masa mixed with water, it adds a nice corn flavor that will stay mellow in the background. Too thick? More beer! Or tomato sauce. Or even water (there’s enough spice to withstand some dilution).
I recommend serving with cornbread, cheese, sour cream/creme fraiche, and fresh avocado. I also served mine with an Alesmith Wee Heavy (heck yes).