Good things brewing in the kitchen
Beer a natural ingredient to enhance your culinary repertoire
amber and Canadian base malt from Saskatchewan, and a little caramel malt from the United States.
“ When we’re looking for specialty malts we cannot always find Canadian,” says Donna Warner, Ron’s wife and business partner who does the lab analysis of yeasts and batches to ensure everything is just so as the brews progress from wort to finished product. November and felt duty-bound to track down the recipe.
The below recipe was created by executive chef Russell Weir at the Sheraton Ottawa, using a bottle of Heritage Traditional Dark beer (you can substitute another dark beer if outside of Ottawa).
“ The first time I had braised lamb shank was four years ago in Scotland,” Weir says. “I was drinking Guinness at the time, and the pairing was amazing.”
“ So I was thinking, these shanks should be cooked in beer, and that got me thinking. I went home and tried it, and now Heritage Braised Lamb Shanks are on our menu at the hotel.
“Cooking with beer is a natural,” Weir says. “It’s all natural and made with grains and herbs. But it’s not the same as cooking with wine.
“Normally when you cook with wine you use it to deglaze pans and you cook it vigorously to increase its robust flavour. But you don’t want to do that with the hops and herbaceous nature of beer or the hops will burn and become more bitter.
“So you add beer toward the end of cooking and not at the beginning, and you don’t cook it vigorously.”
No less tasty are two more recipes, here, from chef Michael Pickard at Ottawa’s InFusion Bistro for heartwarming Cheddar Ale Soup and Black Irish Creme Brulee — beer isn’t just for breakfast, you know.
No matter what you pour or how you cook with it, beer offers endless possibilities.