Dinner Tonight: Sausage, Pepper and Onion One-Pot

I was looking for some good old fashioned comfort food to do for dinner tonight, and stumbled across this recipe for Sausage and Peppers done in  a single pot.  Using a single pot for every stage of this process means you don't lose any of the flavor from the veggies or the pork fat that renders out of the sausage.  It all stays and layers to make an amazing dish.  The only change I made was to use a nice belgian white ale in place of the white wine (Fat Boy's don't keep white wine around the house).  Nice crisp full flavors without a lot of clean-up afterwords, now thats what I call Fat Boy Heaven.

Find the recipe here: Rachael Ray's Official Website - Sausage, Pepper and Onion One-Pot 

Oregon Brews and BBQs: Slick's Big Time BBQ

First on the list today was Slick's Big Time BBQ out if Newberg. We tried the Chef's Special, which included 2 Ribs, a Pulled Pork sandwich and 2 sides for $12.00

The ribs were juicy and tender, with a very nice bark.  They were cooked the way I would do them in the back yard, cut thick and falling off the bone.  In a competition they would be overcooked with the way the whole piece of meat came off when I tried to take a bite.  The pulled pork was tender, but I didn't care for the heavy sauce they paired with this one. It was supposed to be sweet and spicy, but the spice overwhelmed the sweet here.  The baked beans were more of a chili than a baked bean, and the slaw was good but not great.

Overall it was decent but not great BBQ, but well above average for a fair-type setting.

Cooking with Beer Wednesday: Braised Boneless Beef Ribs

Braised Beef Ribs served over riceOne of the things that happens in every household is opening the fridge and finding leftovers that are too good to toss.  Tonight I got to thinking about the leftover French onion soup I made the other night, and had an idea.  If I added a beer to it, there would be enough liquid to braise some beef!  Boneless ribs were on sale, so they got added to the plan.  Here's what I did:

Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Brown 3-4 pounds (6-8) Boneless beef ribs in olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven.  Add 2-3 cups of that left over french onion soup along with a bottle of beer.  Throw the covered dutch oven into the oven for 2 hours.  Increase the heat to 400 and remove the lid of the dutch oven so that about 1/3 of the liquid evaporates (about 30 minutes).

Serve over white-rice and enjoy your little slice of fat boy heaven!

Cooking with Beer Wednesday: Crock-pot Chicken

We had some chicken in the fridge that I needed to use tonight, but it was cooking with beer night.  I wasn't sure what to do, but I figured anything cooks fine in a crock pot, right?

The kids went back for seconds, and my Daughter said it was the best thing I've made since we started the cooking with beer segment here on FatBoyHeaven.com.  Enjoy!

As always, the recipe is here.

Cooking with Beer Wednesday: Pot Roast!

Perfect Pot Roast!OK, everyone loves a GOOD pot roast.  Unfortunately, everyone HATES a bad pot roast.  Anyone who has had a dried out piece of boiled beef knows that it can go horribly wrong.  There is a secret to perfect pot roast every time, and the biggest part is how you cook it.  I've had a few failures, but none of them have been when I used a slow cooker.  The lower heat and extended cooking time has never done me wrong.  The second mistake people often make is not taking the time to brown the meat before cooking adding the liquid.  After years of experimenting, I think I have got the recipe down perfectly, so I present to you here, my perfect pot roast.

Cooking with Beer Wednesday: Beer-braised pork shanks with Gluten-Free Sirloin Gratin

Tonight I wanted to stretch myself a bit, so I found a couple recipes that I thought would go well together, and adapted them to our dietary needs. Since wheat does not agree with me, making recipes wheat and gluten free can sometimes be a struggle.  Using a gluten and wheat free flour substitute can change the flavor profile a bit.

I was afraid that doing the rue needed for the gratin (a fancier Mac and cheese using marscapone and parmesan cheeses) would stretch that to its limit, but it got rave reviews.

The seasoning in the braised pork added some great flavors as well.  The use of cinnamon and cloves in the braising liquid really deepened the flavor profiles with flavors that you don't usually find in a meat dish.  The kids didn't want to try it when they found out there was beer in the liquid, but Carrie asked for seconds, so I think it was pretty good.

Recipes can be found here.

Cooking with Beer Wednesday - Beer Braised Irish stew w/ Colcannon

Beer Braised Beef - always a good start!Cooking with beer.  Just makes you feel good to hear those words to start a post doesn’t it?  This week I turned to AllRecipes.com for inspiration, and found a new go-to dish.  I modified this recipe to make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free beer from 10Barrels brewing, and using an all-purpose gluten free flour mix from Bob’s Red mill.  The only other change I made was to use red potatoes instead of russets.  

Recipe is here for you to give it a try!  The beef was as tender as anything I’ve ever made, it almost melts in your mouth. The Colcannon was what made this meal interesting.  The little bit of crunch and slight bite from the cabbage and the richness of the bacon really kicked up the mashed potatoes.  I had never heard of Colcannon before, but even the kids agreed it was great.  I may never make mashed potatoes any other way again.  

A nice big plate of Fat Boy Heaven right here!

Cooking with Beer: 15 Bean Cajun soup with Ham Shanks

A nice soup on a cold wintery day can be just the thing.  One of my favorites is a nice thick 15 Bean soup. Hurst’s Hambeens Cajun 15 Bean Soup can be found with the other beans and legumes at most grocery stores.  I love their flavor, and the great mix of beans they provide.  I also found when I first started cooking that their recipes on the back were great for making sure the soup came out perfect every time.

I started today by soaking the beans in water for 7 hours.  The longer you let them soak, the better and faster they cook.  Keep this in mind if you want to cook them in the crock-pot.  Leaving them to soak overnight before turning on the crock-pot in the morning will give you perfect beans every time.

Once I had drained the water from off of the beans (trust me, never use the liquid you soaked them in to cook them), I added them to the pot.  At this point the standard recipe and I diverge in the wood.  Hambeens recipe calls for just 2 quarts of water.  I prefer a thicker, more flavorful soup, so I used 2 bottles of Henry Winehard’s India Pale Ale, and 2 cups of beef stock.

To this I add the included seasoning packet, 3 tbs. of Garlic Powder, 2 tsp. black pepper, and 2 tsp. Lowery’s Seasoning Salt.

I then add 2 Large Ham shanks.  I prefer the shank to the hock as it has more meat, and seems to have less salt.  You could also brown some cajun sausage links or the like here for different flavor profiles.

Bring the soup to a rapid boil for 3-5 minutes, then turn to low and let it cook.  After about 2 hours, here is what it looks like: