Grilling With Beer: Spare Ribs, Brats, and Braised Red Cabbage
Happy Memorial Day, Miami. If there's sun -- and the forecast calls for an end to this damn rain -- you will want to grill out with an ice-cold beer in hand.
But when you're sipping on that brewski while the blazing-hot charcoals reach proper temperature, consider using beer as an ingredient for your barbecue.
There are many advantages to grilling with beer. First, it is a great meat tenderizer because it's less acidic than wine, vinegar, or
citrus, so it won't break down the texture as rapidly.
Second: flavor. Other herbs and spices will not be overwhelmed by the balanced flavor profile of beer. Also, with the diverse styles of beer, there is a flavor to match any type of meat or sauce.
Third, beer is less expensive than wine. You can expect to pay at least $10 for a 750mL bottle of the cheapest wine at a supermarket -- $5 if you get lucky. A six-pack of 12-ounce bottles of reasonably priced, good craft beer such as Sierra Nevada Torpedo typically sells for less than $10. Of course the fancier you go, the more expensive it will be, but that also goes for wine.
Last, marinating red meat with beer might actually prevent cancer. Seriously? Yes, studies from a German scientist by the name of Udo Pollmer suggest that soaking red meat in beer reduces the formation of cancer-causing HCAs (heterocyclic amines).
5. Beer-Braised Red Cabbage Wedges on a Grill
This is mainly a blog about grilling meat with beer, but we'll accommodate the haters because they gotta eat too, so let's throw a recipe in here for vegans and vegetarians. The best thing about their dietary preferences: They can still drink beer.
One head of red cabbage, core removed, sliced into quarters
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 Granny Smith apple, core removed, sliced thin
A Sachet of one cinnamon stick, six juniper berries, four pieces of clove, three star anise, and one pinch of crushed black peppercorns
Two 12-ounce bottles of Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
One-fourth stick of butter, or vegan butter substitute
One-half cup of lingonberry jam
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Marinate the cabbage with the onion, sugar, apple, sachet and beer overnight in the refrigerator. Strain, keep the liquid. Prepare the grill, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the grill, melt the butter on it, then place the wedges on the aluminum. Baste the wedges with the leftover liquid, lingonberry jam, and sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Cover the grill to trap the heat, cooking until the cabbage is tender.
Source: db Bistro Moderne
4. Beer Can Chicken
An American classic. We're not sure where this fabulous recipe originated, but thank you to whoever invented it. The beer evaporates inside the chicken, tenderizing the meat and adding a delicious flavor.
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
A six-pack of canned beer, Cigar City Hotter Than Helles lager, or Budweiser if you're cheap.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients, including salt and pepper. Remove the gibblets, neck and any excess fat from the chicken, then lightly brush the chicken inside and out with oil and dry rub. Preheat the grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Open a can of beer, take a sip, then slip the can into the cavity of the chicken and place it upright on the grill. Cover the grill and cook over indirect medium heat for about 90 minutes. Drink the rest of the beer.
3. Maduro-Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops
The original recipe called for baking the lamb chops in an oven with Maduro, but we're going to make a marinade instead. This sacrificial lamb will make its way to your stomach just as soon as you pull it off the grill.
Lamb shoulder chops
A few bottles of Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale
Pour a bottle or two of Maduro in a one-gallon Ziplock bag with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme, then place the lamb chops in the bag. Refrigerate and let set for at least 4 hours. Take them out, throw them on the grill and cook to your liking, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Beer-Boiled, Grilled Churrasco -- or Spare Ribs
Churrasco is the Spanish term for grilled beef. You can substitute any kind of grilled beef or ribs for this recipe.
Three pounds of spare ribs
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of ketchup
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of yellow mustard
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
One half teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Any six-pack of lager beer, or use Budweiser if you're inexperienced.
For this recipe you will need to boil the ribs in beer, which is not what a true southern gentleman would do, but this is Miami dammit. Cut the ribs into big chunks and place the pieces in a boiling pot of beer, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Blend everything else together in a separate bowl to form a barbeque sauce. Throw the ribs on a charcoal grill and baste them with the sauce, cooking to your liking.
1. Beer Bratwurst
bratwursts are Wisconsin's soul food, but that doesn't mean Miami can't
have in on the fun. Who doesn't like a fat juicy sausage in their
A package or two of bratwursts
A few bottles Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss
1 package of Bavarian semmel rolls
1 jar of sauerkraut
open the package of bratwursts and place in a pan, pour a bottle of
Leine's in there and simmer for a few minutes or until they turn grey.
Take them out of the pan, place on a grill and cook until the sides rip
open and you see the juices start seeping out. Place on a roll, top with
Dijon mustard and sauerkraut, and shove that sausage in your mouth. Don't ever put ketchup on it, that's blasphemy.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.