As a guy who rarely cooks, I’m guessing that God’s having none of that and making sure I can actually provide for my family.
Some time ago, I shared the story of my hatred for cooking, sure I’d avoid the kitchen for the rest of my earthbound years. But with daycare nipping hot at the heels of the East York Palmers, and with it the scheduling unpredictability that comes from a family with two working parents, I had to bite the bullet sometime!
So whaddya know — despite being loath for anything finding me in front of a stove, brands like Samuel Adams put their money where their mouth is (and product where mine is), challenging me to grab an apron and see what I can do to feed myself without calling the number for the local pizzeria — and yes, it is on my speed dial.
Everyone, for your viewing pleasure, I present — Cooking With Beer: Because it’s Not Just Good for Drinking!
Beer-Brined Pork Chops — Deliciousness Just ASKING to be Made!
Even I know that the difference between good and great cooking are the ingredients. We wanted to make a delicious steak we’d had with a dark lager base, but Stock in Trade was plumb out of hanger steak, so their butchers convinced us to go another way — we had home with a couple of bone-in pork chops and a Sam Adams six-pack from The Beer Store, ready to see what magic we could make!
We used a modified version of Canadian Living’s recipe for Beer-Brined Pork Chops:
- 2 cups (500 mL) Samuel Adams Boston Lager
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) sea salt
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 bone-in pork chops, 1 to 1-1/4 inches thick
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
- 1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
- 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
In baking dish, whisk together Sam Adams, salt and brown sugar; stir in ice cubes and onion. Submerge pork chops in mixture; cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Spice Rub: In small bowl, combine paprika, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and thyme.
Remove chops from brine; pat dry with paper towel. Rub spice blend onto both sides of chops.
Place chops on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill until juices run clear when pork is pierced and just a hint of pink remains inside, about 4 minutes per side.
Cooking is Awesome in THEORY….
After soaking the chops overnight in Sam Adams brine, I could finally get my cook on the next day! Preparing the spice rub to coat my chops, I went to the backyard on an overcast evening to preheat the barbecue for the deliciousness about to grace its grills. I went in, coating the chops with the rub, and readied myself to hit the grill… on to realize I wasn’t alone.
Dusk is not a time for humans to cook outside, braving the elements to sate their appetites. No, dusk is the hour of the raccoon, and a pork chop would be a heck of an upgrade from the leftover scraps they usually eat.
So I waited. I bade my time and made enough noise that they eventually sauntered off, leaving me in relative rainy peace to get my grill on and hope it’d be edible!
And it was — oh, it most definitely was! Paired with corn and bean salads that Sarah’d put together for a recent barbecue, and — of course — a tasty bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, I’d totally do this again.
Just with a little less raccoon.
Cooking = Not the Worst Ever.
So maybe I’m not completely useless. I’m not opening a restaurant anytime soon (or ever if I have my way), but I’m a little less worried that my family will starve to death on my watch.
The next time you get your hands on a Sam Adams, don’t just drink it — create with it! Beer’s unique flavour complements all sorts of foods from meats to salad dressing and even cupcakes.
It’s time to get your nom on and do it right — so go cook with beer and grab as bite!
Enjoy your boozy creations,