By Gerald Glavota
Summer is here and with it comes visions of Georgian Bay and Muskoka to the north, and Cape Cod and The Hamptons to the south. It goes without saying therefore that a cold beer and barbecue – or for those who prefer the ocean a bit of Boston style bisque, a.k.a. chowder – make an ideal summer getaway, cottage-esque type meal. For this instalment of Preferred, we will be pairing both Toronto’s very own Steam Whistle Beer with a few barbecue tips, as well as Boston’s Samuel Adams with a “Lobstah Chowdah” recipe.
Let’s begin. Hey, did you hear the story about the three guys who lost their jobs at a top microbrewery and opened their own in Toronto? Of course you have, since they sponsor numerous events including tech, music, and beer festivals, and play venue host to a slew of those festivals at the Steam Whistle property located at the historic John St. Roundhouse next to the CN Tower.
Steam Whistle beer is a pilsner style lager that originated in Plzen, Czechoslovakia. It is described as a refreshing golden beer, brewed true to the original style, using four essential ingredients: malted barley, hops, water and bottom fermenting yeast. Steam Whistle “employs the same decoction method of brewing where part of the mash is boiled, and have both hired a Czech Brewmaster, as well as had their brewhouse constructed and shipped over form the Czech Republic.”
With Steam Whistle the Preferred beer to quench your summer thirst, the big question remains: is there a difference between grilling and barbecuing? Steve Adams, team Cedar Grilling describes the difference as: barbecue is generally slow cooking over indirect heat (below 250 degrees); and grilling as you may have guessed, uses direct heat and is much faster. A grill master hint: cook your chicken over direct setup and finish with indirect – cooked perfectly at 190 degrees.
Continuing on the beer and barbecue quest, nothing says summer like a frosty Steam Whistle and a juicy, sizzling steak. Steaks are devoured by paleo’s everywhere and come with an eight-minute grilling rule. According to grill gurus, the trick to grill perfection is: remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to barbecuing and place directly over high heat. Grill for 2 minutes. Flip again for 2 minutes and twice more, rotating the steak to achieve grill marks. Place on a warm plate, cover with foil to rest, and serve.
Finally there are burgers – everyone loves burgers, even those who forgo the bun in the name of a “healthy dietary choice.” When making your burger, may we suggest that you bury cheese in the middle. And, while on the grill, add a splash of Steam Whistle for some enhanced flavour. But, remember – what is good for the burger is good for the grill Master so put your lips together and… take a swig. The only whistle here is in the beer. Visit www.steamwhistle.ca for more recipes and grilling tips.
Next, is the Preferred beer choice compliments of our neighbours to the south. The Samuel Adams brand began in 1984 with Samuel Boston Adams Lager, and continues to enjoy a growing presence in Toronto. Following Jim Koch’s great-great grandfather’s recipe, Samuel Adams uses traditional brewing processes, including: decoction mash (a four vessel process), and krausening (a secondary fermentation), that allows the ingredients in Samuel Adams Boston Lager to come together and form layers of complex flavour. Noble hops add a wide range of floral, piney and citrus notes, which are present from the aroma, through the taste, and all the way to the lingering smooth finish. The Lager is my overall favourite of the two Sam Adams offerings with the second being a new entrant, Samuel Adams Rebel IPA first brewed in 2014. The Rebel IPA has been described as a West Coast style India Pale Ale that features citrus and grapefruit highlights. The beer is brewed with five American hops – American Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Centennial, and Amarillo.
What goes great with a great Samuel Adam’s lager you ask? Why chowder of course. For your beer and dining pleasure, try this easy chowder recipe. Chef’s tip: I like to use Samuel Adams Boston Lager as it adds rich caramel and hoppy notes. For some added fun, grab large sourdough bread buns and cut the centers out of them to create decadent chowder bowls, Boston style! Cheers and bon Appetite!
1 live lobster (about 1 1/4 lb), boiled and meat
removed, shells and 10 cups cooking liquid reserved
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
6 ears fresh corn
1 bottle (355 ml) lager
1 1/2 lb (about 6–8 medium) red potatoes, peeled
and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1. Roughly chop the lobster meat and place it in a bowl. Set aside. 2. In the same stockpot you used to cook the lobster, heat the reserved cooking liquid, uncovered, over high heat. Add the lobster shells and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, until the soup is creamy and thick. 3. Using a sharp knife, scrape the kernels off each corn cob into a bowl and set aside. 4. Strain the lobster broth through a fine mesh sieve into a clean, smaller saucepan. Add the lager and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until the broth starts to thicken. Add the potatoes and corn kernels. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and add the cayenne pepper. Return to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lobster meat and continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 2 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 5. Ladle the chowder into bowls and top with chopped chives.
Excerpted from The Great Lobster Cookbook. Copyright © 2014 Matt Dean Pettit. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Limited a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.