Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beer Pickles: A Bonus Post

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I'm a big fan of fat.  Fat from meat, that is.  It's the stuff that makes a sausage a sausage and it's what distinguishes a 'meh' steak from one that is extraordinary.  Fans of the boneless, skinless chicken breast irk me and frankly I think they're kidding themselves when they allege that their fatless, boring breasts have as much flavor as those with the skin intact.  And I would argue that across the board discerning carnivores agree.  There's a reason bacon holds strong as one of America's favorite foods and that delicacies like pat├ęs and terrines are so beloved … it's because fat is amazing!

But I digress.  This post isn't as much about fat as it is about the pickle.  The pickle that cuts the fat, to be precise.  Because sometimes enjoying the good fats requires the snap of a dill or the lull of a gherkin!    It cuts the fat and refreshes the mouth for the next bite.  Other variety of palette cleansers -   a refreshing beer, a strong mustard, etc - are also great but I find pickled items like the white radishes I paired with my smoked Kielbasa to be especially good.  The true-blue cucumber pickle is still a favorite and they're even better when homemade with fresh ingredients.  Dill, a little garlic, good sea salt, vinegar and a well fitted jar is all thats needed to transform an ordinary cucumber into a good pickle.

I also like to add beer as I've done in this recipe.  I used Two Brothers Atom Smasher because it has some residual sugar and I was looking for a touch of sweetness.   Cucumbers are porous and will absorb the flavors of the beer so chose one you genuinely like the flavor of.  I think most lagers with residual sugar work well and I would also suggest lagers from Metropolitan Brewery, Lakefront Brewery and New Glarus.  Another tip: be sure to choose a firm, fresh cucumber.  The better the cucumber, the better the pickle!


Beer Pickles
1/2 English Cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 oz. Fresh Dill
1 clove Fresh Garlic, smashed
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Sugar
3 oz. Good Lager Beer
3 oz. Malt Vinegar

In a small sauce pan combine the beer, vinegar, salt, and sugar.  Heat on low until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 5-7 minutes, creating a brine.  Use a jar with a well fitted lid and layer the dill and cucumbers until the jar is full.  Pour the warm brine mixture over the cucumbers until they are cover completely.  If cucumbers are not covered completely, make a little more brine.  Refrigerate for at least one day before eating.  The longer the pickles sit, the stronger their flavor will become.


1 comment :

  1. What a great idea! I have to try this out, sounds so cool!