If you live anywhere north–east, west, or central–then you know one thing: IT’S FREAKIN’ COLD OUT RIGHT NOW.
The natural response to this is to huddle inside with hot comfort food and for some, a glass of wine or hot cocoa. Those are great, but I like a beer. As it turns out, I was thinking about making a beef stew for dinner on Wednesday and came across this recipe Tues night: Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika (photo from The Pioneer Woman Cooks Website).
I decided I had to try it. I have some fresh Hungarian Sweet Paprika I just ordered from the The Spice House (I highly recommend — spices aren’t much more pricey than the grocery store, and MUCH better), and we always have beer on hand.
Of course, no comfort food for a frigid winter night would be complete without bread, and I knew exactly what to make — Tues night I pulled out my Cook’s Illustrated Almost No-Knead Bread recipe which includes about a 1/3 cup of — you know it — beer! A perfect complement. This bread takes five minutes to make (though you need to start it the night before, or at least early in the morning) and it comes out perfect every time — the only catch is that you must bake it in a cast iron Dutch oven lined with parchment paper, or, as we do, in a terra cotta baker that makes a french-shaped loaf.
I used a very nice Harp Lager for my bread (and warmed myself up with the remainder) and will use the same beer for the stew.
So, in honor of this, I am renaming Wednesday, at least for this week, BeerDay.
What are you cooking for dinner? What is your favorite meal on a cold winter night? Do you have any beer-based recipes you enjoy? A favorite beer? Share your thoughts, recipes or ideas or just what you’re having for dinner tonight, and Happy BeerDay to you.