Our day commenced with our morning walk, followed by most of the day in the kitchen. Around 4:30, we packed up the wagon for our trek to the park. We had a rather full load this week and the wagon totally collapsed, with the sound of snapping metal, about a half block from the house. John walked back and retrieved Big Ugly, his poor old van from his Navy deep sea diving days, which has now been converted to our NUV (Newfy Utility Vehicle). We quickly transferred the wagon contents into the van and continued to the park unloading zone, where we emptied the van and proceeded to lug 4 tables, 4 chairs, a Dutch oven full of ribs, a chafing dish full of mashed potatoes, an ice chest full of ice cream, our picnic basket, wine, et al., ad nauseam, across the park to our spot under the Jacaranda tree.
Once set up, and settled in with a large glass of wine, I was able to chillax and await the arrival of our fellow chefs.
Everything was so delectable, I don't know where to begin!
Kai outperformed once again with "Pork & Beer." OMG...German sausage, boneless leg of pork, and slab bacon, all cozily nestled in Amber Ale cabbage. Just look at that seductively-scored pork fat...eat your heart out, Emeril! Kai even included homemade Beer Mustard as an accompanying condiment.
Kai's son Max approved wholeheartedly!
Alec & Nina graciously offered Beer-Braised Pork Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa Verde and the most incredible Boilermaker Brownies I've ever tasted. Nina added beer to the brownie batter and whiskey to the chocolate ganache, but the sprinkling of finishing salt really cinched the deal.
I must say, my man has become quite the Ice Cream Maker Extraordinaire! He created a very special Beer Ice Cream by incorporating Bass Pale Ale in the custard. He then reduced his new favorite beer, Speedway Stout, with some sugar, to create Caramel-Stout Syrup. Can you say "liquid sex?"
Jack & Sandra shared fantastic Beer-Simmered Brats with Grilled Onions and Peppers; Pammy whipped up a pitcher of her most-requested Trailer-Trash Margaritas, made with Tequila, Beer, and Limeade; Mom baked Double-Chocolate Stout mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder; and Bradley, the one-hour chef, managed to have time for a matinee and grace us with his presence and offering of Gooey Beer Cheese smeared on Garlic Bread.
Yours truly, aka Miss Blogsalot (John's new pet name for me since I've plunged into the food blogsphere), managed to sweet-talk the butcher into some meaty buffalo short ribs for my Bass Pale Ale and Hoisin-Braised Short Ribs, served over creamy mashed Yukons.
Ok, they weren't really buffalo short ribs...I just wanted an excuse to share one of our Yellowstone National Park buffalo photos from our incredible Yellowstone and Jackson Hole vacation last year! Soon, I will figure out a way to incorporate one of our moose photos, most likely with a recipe for a bar appetizer we enjoyed in Jackson Hole, lovingly named Moose Mix.
Bass Pale Ale & Hoisin Braised Short Ribs
(Inspired by Fine Cooking's Barbecued-Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Vinegar Glaze and Dave Lieberman's Braised Hoisin Beer Short Ribs with Creamy Mashed Yukons)
4 lbs. beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for ribs, plus 3 tablespoons to saute the garlic, ginger and vegetable spice mix
10 garlic cloves, smashed
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
3 tablespoons It's Delish Vegetable Mix
18 ounces Bass Pale Ale
3 tablespoons Chinese Black Vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
1 cup hoisin sauce
5 tablespoons Chili-Garlic Sauce
Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Tie each rib with an 8" piece of cooking twine. Sear the ribs on a hot gas grill, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and saute the garlic, ginger, and vegetable spice mix, for about 4 minutes. Add the beer and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the ribs, meaty side down. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Remove the ribs to a clean plate and strain the sauce. Remove the fat from the sauce using a fat separator and return the sauce to the Dutch oven. Add the hoisin and chili-garlic sauces and let the sauce reduce over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Put the ribs back in, meaty side down, and move the pot to the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Serve the succulent, fall-off-the-bone, meaty ribs with mashed potatoes and a sprinkling of minced chives or green onion.