Craft Beer and Food

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Black Eyed Peas Curry with White IPA

New Year's Day Curry Black Eyed Peas & Beer Pairings

Having lived in the south as a child, I fell in love with black eyed peas.  I do not cook them enough, but try to honor the tradition of of including them in my New Years Day menu.  I knew that it was a a tradition in the southern United States to eat them for good luck on the first day of the year, but after some quick research I discovered the trading goes back thousands of  years.  According to Wikipedia,  the "good luck" traditions of eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, are recorded in the Babylonian Talmud (compiled circa 500 AD).

This year, rather than a traditional southern US dish, an Indian curry meal seemed appropriate with a little beer pairing test.   On the menu was a recipe I adapted called Lobhia (blackeyed peas) Masala, Naan and three beers.

The three beers we tested were Anchor Summer Beer (Anchor Brewing Co.), Accumulation White IPA (New Belgium Brewing) and Inversion IPA (Deschutes Brewery).   My favorite pairing with this dish was the Accumulation White IPA followed by the Inversion.  Although it is often recommended a wheat beer pairs well with the curries, I did not find this to be the case.

Black Eyed Pea Masala


2 cans lobia/black eyed beans
½ inch piece ginger chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 green chili chopped
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves
½ inch piece of cinnamon
3-4 tsp Garam Masala powder
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
¼ tsp red chilli flakes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp oil


In a large sauce pan, heat oil.
Add the whole spices, when they begin to sizzle add the onions.
Fry the onions till they become transparent. Now add the chopped ginger-garlic-chili. Fry till the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappear.  Add powder spices and cook about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
Now add the soaked black eyed peas, salt and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes. time to cook.  Garnish Lobia Masala with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or rice.

Serving size: 4

Monday, January 27, 2014

Beer Braised Short Ribs - Crockpot Recipe

It is winter in most parts of the northern hemisphere and a good time for easy comfort food.  I had some grass fed short ribs in my freezer that seemed to be just right for a crockpot recipe.

I combined a few recipes and this is what I came up with.

  1. Do not use an IPA for this recipe.  We used Fat Tire Amber Ale, but a dark, low hop beer or stout would be fine.  
  2. The gravy was a little heavy.  I would either omit it or make a beer based demi-glace.  I will post a recipe for this when I have created it.
  3. Shorten the cooking time to 6 hours on low.
Recipe Ratings
To help our readers, we will now rate the recipes on a scale of 1 -5 for ease, time and flavor.  The cost of the meal will be scored with $ symbols.

2 Recipe Ease (1 is easiest - 5 is most complicated)
5 Time to Cook (1 is less than 1 hour - 5 is all day)
3 Flavor  (1 least desireable - 5 a favorite recipe I would make again tomorrow)
$ Cost  ($ is less than $20 for 4 servings - $$$$ expensive, but worth the treat)

Crock Pot Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs

1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. kosher or sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black  pepper
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. dried mustard
2.5 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 carrots cut in 1 inch pieces.
2 cloves garlic, minced
Couple of sprigs fresh thyme
12 oz. full-bodied beer (may substitute beef broth)
2 T. flour
3 T. water


1. Combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika and dried mustard. Dredge ribs in flour mixture and brown in olive oil in a medium skillet.

2. Place onions, carrots and garlic in the crock pot and top with browned ribs. Pour beer (or broth) over ribs.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

4. Remove ribs, carrots, thyme and onions and place on a serving platter. Cover with foil to keep warm.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and water and add it to the beef juices in the crock pot. Set to high and stir until juices thicken into gravy. Pour gravy over ribs and serve.  

Serve over garlic mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harvest Box & Beer Weekly Recipe Contest

Harvest Box & Beer Recipe Contest
My friend turned me on to this great, little organic farm here. The Rutiz Family Farms is located in Arroyo Grande, CA .  Not only do they have a nice selection of local organic produce, they have a weekly harvest box program that does not require a subscription, just order midweek for pick up on Friday.  If you live locally, check it out at  We are fortunate to live on the central coast of California where we have a farmer’s market daily in one of the surrounding towns.  We have access to locally grown, fresh fruits and veggies 365 days a year.  In addition to what is available to purchase, I do grow my own, but we get enough frost that I won’t have any home grown veggies until summer.

As I cleaned my vegetables, Eric was putting a 5 gallon keg of Firestone Walker’s Honey Blonde Ale in to the kegerator.  Firestone is about 50 miles north of us. Across the country there is a growing trend to buy local.  

I picked up my last week and the veggies are wonderful.  As I cleaned my vegetables, Eric was putting a 5 gallon keg of Firestone Walker’s Honey Blonde Ale in to the kegerator.  Wondering what I should make with my bounty spurred idea of a Harvest Box & Beer contest.  Each week on Thursday, I will post the content of the harvest box.  Submit your recipe entries by Sunday.  The recipes must contain at least 1 ingredient from the harvest box (more points go to using more ingredients from the box) and use craft beer in the recipe or include a craft beer pairing.  All beers must be produced in the USA for now.   Simplicity is the key, we are looking for dishes anyone could prepare with little extra shopping or effort.   Dishes may include meat.   Yes, there will be prizes awarded each week.

What makes a winner – TASTE, TASTE, TASTE.

Link to enter contest:

Produce in the Harvest Box this week:
a bunch of green "spring" garlic
snap peas
a bag of salad mix
a bunch of carrots
tomatoes from the Salton Sea
a basket of "Jerry's Berries" strawberries
I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.  Good luck and Cheers!