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Steak and ale


Robust local brews pair well with chili, hamburgers, smoked meats and more.

Malena Lott December 23rd, 2013

Shorter days and darker evenings call for a bolder beverage, and local brews paired with local eateries are sure to warm the cockles of Old Man Winter.

COOP Ale Works’ co-founder J.D. Merryweather says all four quarters represent a change in the beer industry and drinkers will definitely see heavier and more robust offerings this time of year.

“COOP’s Octoberfest has seen great success,” said Merryweather, whose company is in the midst of a sizable expansion, going from a brewhouse of seven barrels to 30 barrels so more folks can experience its brews year-round.

“Native Amber draft is on tap at quite a few places,” Merryweather said, explaining that maltier, sweeter caramel flavor is a great pair with chili. “Goes well with heavier foods because it’s hoppier, stringent, with a really nice ability to cleanse the palette,” he added.

Burgers at home and at restaurants, like Irma’s Burger Shacks’ California burger, pair well with Native Amber, Merryweather said.

Irma’s has two Oklahoma City locations: 1035 NW 63rd St. and 1120 N. Classen Drive. He also recommends pairing it with barbecue at Iron Starr Urban Barbeque.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill chef Ryan Parrott recommends pairing Mediterranean food with COOP F5 IPA or Atlas IPA by Marshall Brewing Company. “The hops in these beers pair well with the fresh and vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean food,” said Parrott.

COOP’s next seasonal beer — Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Russian Emperial Stout — is here through December for a limited release.

“It’s a heavy stout, about 10 percent alcohol, aged in Elijah Craig whiskey oak barrels. Stout is typically dry and heavy, and those barrels soften it up a bit,” explained Merryweather. “The oak imparts other flavors like vanilla, cinnamon and nice characteristics.”

He recommends pairing it with ribs and braised meats and said it’s also nice enough for plain dessert beer as well.

Another local brew to add to the holiday party menu is the seasonal Big Jamoke Porter from Marshall Brewing Company, an American robust porter named for the B-25 that Brewmaster Eric Marshall’s grandfather flew in WWII.

According to their website, it’s “a blend of five malts from Munich to Chocolate provide a deep mahogany color and aroma of toffee and roasted coffee. On the palate, this beer is full-bodied with hints of bittersweet chocolate and toffee, ... while finishing smooth and dry from the addition of earthy hops.” Suggested pairings include ham, barbecue, smoked meats, Brie and bittersweet chocolate desserts. Marshall is based in Tulsa.

Zach Prichard, president of Choc Beer Co. in Krebs, said its seasonal Winter Stout is seeing its third winter and may be available through late February. Most of the beer-focused liquor stores should have it in stock, and it can be found on draft at James E. McNellie’s Public House at 1100 Classen Drive and Tapwerks Ale House at 121 E. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City.

“It has a ton of roast and hops, so really something pretty hearty will go well with it. We made beef chili and drank it with it last week, and it’s an excellent combo,” Prichard said.

Frito chili pie

Add a little crunch to your homemade chili with Oklahoma’s own Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Frito chili pie recipe:

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef

2 cloves garlic, chopped One

8-ounce can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour, found in the Mexican food section of many supermarkets) One

15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed One

15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Directions Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and/or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped onions, tortilla chips and lime wedges.

May be served with shredded cheese, chopped green onions, chopped white onions, tortilla chips, corn chips and/or lime wedges.

Source: Adapted from Drummond’s recipe on The Food Network: foodnetwork.com/recipes/reedrummond/simple-perfect-chilirecipe.

Find another version of the recipe on Drummond's blog: thepioneerwoman.com/ cooking/2011/09/frito-chili-pie.

 
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