Always excited about a challenge, especially when it comes to trying a different beer to use in a recipe, I was thrilled to be given a stipend from Foodbuzz and New Belgium Brewing to do just that. It was a mind-boggling task at first! Beer can be used in many dishes-breads, as a marinade for meats and even in desserts-the list seemed endless. After buying and tasting 3 different flavors of New Belgium beer, Fat Tire, Ranger IPA and 1554, I made my decision. I would make a bread with the Fat Tire as its fresh, toasty flavor reminded me of a good toasting bread raised with beer, some yeast and the addition of semolina flour, traditionally used to make pasta, but makes delicious bread, too. The 1554 is a black ale with chocolate overtones and would work perfectly with a braised beef and dried chile dish. With the Ranger IPA for a future post, I envision a velvety beer caramel sauce to grace a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
Let’s begin with the ingredients for the 1554 Braised Chile Short Ribs. I prefer the short ribs with a straight bone and at least 2 inches of meat on top. Beware of short ribs with a fat vein running through the muscle layers. Your butcher should be able to find you the best cut of short rib for your needs.
1554 Braised Chile Short Ribs
8 beef short ribs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 ancho chiles, toasted, deseeded, and sliced into strips
2 guajillo chiles, toasted, deseeded, and sliced into strip
1 chipotle chile, optional (prepare as above)
1 12-ounce bottle New Belgium 1554 beer
3 cloves, garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon masa harina
Pat the short ribs with paper towels to dry and season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat, heat the oil and in batches brown the ribs well on all sides. Remove to plate when browned. Add chilies and garlic and saute one minute. Pour in the beer and stir, scraping up the browned bits. Add the short ribs and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Cover, lower heat and braise ribs for about 4 -6 hours, or until meat has separated from the bone and is very tender. Remove meat to a plate, then remove bones and shred roughly. Strain the sauce and discard garlic and chilies. At this point, you may refrigerate sauce and meat separately. When cold, remove congealed fat layer from sauce. Add the defatted sauce back to pot, bring to a boil and whisk in masa harina. Add shredded short rib meat. Serve on warmed corn tortillas-top with shredded cheese of choice, cilantro and sliced cherry tomatoes. Serves 4. Beverage of choice-New Belgium 1554. Recipe adapted from Chile Pepper Magazine.
Although I love the very rustic quick bread that has only beer and baking powder as a leavening, I wanted my beer bread to have a finer texture that comes from using yeast and then goes through several rises to achieve that tender crumb. After tasting the Fat Tire beer, I knew it would make a flavorful loaf of bread. My bread machine is my workhorse, it never fails me; however, I rarely use the baking cycle and prefer to shape my dough after it is processed.
Fat Tire Beer Semolina Yeast Bread
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
3-1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup semolina, polenta or cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, or unsalted butter
12 oz bottle Fat Tire beer
1 large egg
Process the ingredients according to manufacturer’s instructions for a basic bread setting or if you want to shape the bread yourself, follow instructions for the dough cycle. Makes 1 large loaf. For tips and techniques on using a bread machine, bread-maker.net is helpful.
Disclosure-As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, I received a stipend for New Belgium Brewing.