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Slow Cooker Kielbasa & Beer

February 5, 2011

This recipe combines two of my absolute favorite things: kielbasa and beer. I’m half Polish, so loving kielbasa is in my blood, and obviously, I love beer.

I made this for a family party, and the rest of the Polacks loved it too! As a special ingredient, I used some of my own home brewed IPA, which amazed everyone. It’s quick, easy, and delicious.

Slow cooked kielbasa

This isn't the kielbasa I made, but it looks close enough.

Ingredients

2-3lb kielbasa
12oz your beer of choice (you’ll have to add more if you use a bigger slow cooker)
onion powder
garlic powder
curry powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey mustard
dash of horseradish
slow cooker

Serves 6-10

Directions

I used a 1.5 quart slow cooker, but you could probably upgrade this to a 3 quart by using a bit more of each ingredient.

Slice the kielbasa into 1/2 inch pieces. Optionally, brown them in a saucepan. I didn’t do this, but I’ve seen it done in similar recipes.

Turn the slow cooker on low. Add the honey mustard and brown sugar and mix together. Slowly pour in the beer so it doesn’t foam up terribly. Toss in the dash (teaspoon or so, however much you like) of horseradish, add 3 – 5 shakes of garlic and onion powder, and 3 shakes of curry powder.

Add the kielbasa slices to the slow cooker, mix everything together, cover and let it sit for 5 hours. After 5 hours, set it to “keep warm” until you’re ready to eat.

You could add a can of sauerkraut to the mix if you want, to give it even more of an authentic Polish taste.

Metro West Craft Beer Meetup

January 27, 2011

I’m planning on stopping by the MetroWest Craft Beer Meetup on Feb. 5 at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson. It runs from 1pm-5pm, and it’s free!

I think this will be a fun time, and it’ll be cool to meet some fellow craft beer lovers and home brewers in the area. And hey, with 80+ beers on tap you, really can’t go wrong.

For more information and to RSVP, go here: Metro West Craft Beer Meetup

Drink Socially

January 26, 2011

Everyone knows that drinking beer is more fun when others are involved. That’s been a given for centuries.

The makers of Untappd have taken this age-old tradition and brought it into the digital age with their beer drinking social network service.

The premise is very similar to Foursquare or Facebook’s Places, but instead of checking in to a location, you “check in” the beer that you’re currently drinking. You have the option of including your location too, if you’re into that sort of thing, and you can also simultaneously publish your beers to Facebook. Like a lot of apps these days, Untappd grants achievements as you “progress” in your beer-drinking, with everything from a badge for adding your first beer to the “Top of the Mornin'” badge for having at least five beers before noon.

It’s a pretty cool service, and a fun way to keep track of all the beer you drink. Also, it’s a good way to tell if you’ve perhaps been imbibing a bit too much and should maybe lay off for a few days.

If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to be part of your beer drinking social network: Friend me on Untappd

Homemade Beer Bread

January 25, 2011

My mother bought me a beer bread mix for Christmas. It looked simple enough so I gave it a shot.

It was easy; just mix the beer bread mix (similar recipe below) and a bottle of Sam Adams Pale Ale, add in some spices (I used Italian seasoning and some garlic), bake for 45 minutes or so, and you have bread!

Here are the basic ingredients:

All mixed together and ready to bake:

And the finished product ready to go with some dipping oil:

This was very easy to make, and it tasted amazing.

As promised, here’s a recipe you can use to make your own beer bread:

Basic Beer Bread Mix:

3 cups organic all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

12 ounces beer

Optional glaze: 1 egg & 2 teaspoons water, beaten

Heat oven to 375°. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, dill, and cheddar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly stir in beer and mix just until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread in a greased 8-inch loaf pan, brush with egg glaze if desired, and bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Farmgirl Fare

Check out that link for more flavor variations.

My First Home Brew Attempt

January 25, 2011

Here is my first foray into home brewing thanks to Mr. Beer.

They say you’re supposed to start out with the basic pale ale that comes with a Mr. Beer starter kit. However, I wanted to go big and have something good ready for St. Patty’s Day so my first brew was an Irish Red Ale.

Everything’s ready:

The ingredients:

Pitching the yeast:

The keg ready to ferment:

And the finished product 6 weeks later, Faisca’s Famous Leitrim’s Irish Red:

Not bad for a first try.

I’ll go into a more detailed description of the entire process of brewing with a Mr. Beer kit in a future post. It’s amazing what you can do with this little sucker.

The Portsmouth Brewery

January 25, 2011

My girlfriend and I took a day trip to Portsmouth and stopped by The Portsmouth Brewery.

The Portsmouth Brewery

We sat down for some lunch and tried the beer sampler.

Before:

After:

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact beers that were in this sampler. Although, I do know that it’s the first time I ever tried pumpkin beer. And I liked it!

How It All Began

January 25, 2011

The tour and the beer that started it all:

Samuel Adams: Boston Lager

In September 2009 I went on a tour of the Sam Adams brewery in Boston and my relationship with beer was changed forever.