Monday, January 9, 2012

The Smiling Saint's Christmas Stew

Jen emailed me today to declare that she had smelled a great deal of hamburgers today and that she had a craving for hamburgers. I didn't really understand where she was all day that she was smelling a bunch of hamburgers. To the best of my knowledge she returned to her job after an extensive 17 days off and not to a new job peddling hamburgers.

I only got home in time to spend five minutes cooking before I picked Jen up at the train. That's just enough time to heat a pan, toss in some garlic, onion, potato, and peppers, then get them almost to the sizzling stage before turning off the head and dashing out the door.

La Quercia Prosciutto Salad with Balsamic Glaze and Parmigiano-Reggiano

When Jen got home I put together some quick salad with greens, leftover La Quercia prosciutto from Jen's New Year's dinner, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil, and a little balsamic glaze I'd made a couple of months ago. This was enough to keep us from starving to death as I finished the main dinner.

Beef and Mustard Green Stew with St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

I briefly entertained the idea of making hamburgers but it would have required a lot of additional ingredients when we already had so much to clear out of the fridge and freezer. Instead I put the fire back on the pan, added some frozen ground beef (an ingredient in hamburgers, I am told), and then added some jalapeno, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and chopped mustard greens.

Beef and Mustard Green Stew with St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Since I had a little extra St. Bernardus Christmas Ale leftover I added that into the pot to cook down the stew. Some would say this is a waste of perfectly good Belgian Christmas ale, however . . .

Merry Boozemas 2011

. . . some probably also did not recive quite as many beer-themed presents for Christmas there year. I'd like to think that the smiling saint would approve.

Beef and Mustard Green Stew with St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Jen said that she also had a craving for avocados. We both generally share this craving 100% of the time but since she actually mentioned it verbally I chose to add some to the stew with a little sour cream and some slices of her sweet roll loaf that I'd buttered and fried.

Bell's Christmas Ale

I do love Christmas stews and dark winter ales so I paired this with one of my many Christmas presents, this Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery in Michigan. It was a very nice Christmas beer, dark, mildly spiced, and piney from the West coast hops used in its brewing. One would imagine a piney hop aroma to be perfect for a Christmas beer, like you have swept up all the needles under the tree and thrown them into the mash tun.

This particular drink was a present from my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. I also got to enjoy it in a nonic glass that Jen got me for Christmas. Jen, aside from having a hankering for some hamburgers, also recognized that I have been struggling with only twenty-some-odd different glasses to enjoy beer from. This just could not be allowed to stand.

This is why I married her.


uberlours said...

Is that a couple of bottles of tghe Elf beer in see in the Xmas loot photo?

Unknown said...

It's a total of four to be precise.

uberlours said...

Delta was gentle?!

Unknown said...

With the beer? Yes.