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February 19, 2009

Beef in Harpoon Cider
Posted by Teresa at 01:10 PM * 67 comments

1-2 pounds of hanger steak or other lean beef
2 bottles of Harpoon cider
a pound of dry noodles or pasta
1 package of good-quality frozen mixed vegetables
butter, salt, pepper, cornstarch

Put a knob of butter in a heavy saucepan and use it to brown your meat on both sides, then cut the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Pour an entire bottle of Harpoon cider over it and set it to simmer at a low temperature. When the cider is reduced to about a fourth of its previous volume, add the second bottle of cider and keep simmering. By the time the cider and pan juices are down to about the half the volume of a bottle of cider, the beef should be fairly tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and turn the fire way down.

Get a pot of noodles cooking. (For the record, I used Grand’Mère seven-egg spaetzle, which Patrick is fond of, but any butterable pasta will do. For that matter, so will an equivalent quantity of gnocchi, rice, or new potatoes.) Add the frozen vegetables to the beef, put a lid on it, and turn the fire up far enough for the vegetables to be cooked before the noodles are ready. Thicken the pan juices with cornstarch.

Drain the noodles and toss them with some butter. You can serve the beef and vegetables on top of the buttered noodles, or side-by-side with them, as you prefer.

Notes: Yes, of course you can use a different brand of cider, but Harpoon works well with this recipe. You may want to add a little chopped onion if your vegetable mix doesn’t include it. I wouldn’t put mushrooms in this, as it would blunt the effect.

Addendum: What Andrew Plotkin’s Been Cooking

(This is just to say what I did this evening:)

Swirling and churning in a pan on the fire,
A can of mango puree and a cup of sugar;
While two cups of ricotta sizzle alongside,
Perhaps in ghee, or oil, or some butter.

The two pans sit and glower, side by side;
Instructions say the ricotta should be browned
And the mango thick. I’m not convinced:
The one lacks all color, the other’s full of passion
But no consistency. Surely some burnination is at hand.
Things boil down, the saute cannot hold.

The final mixing! (I’ve run out of patience
and anyway I have to work on Monday.)
Trouble’s in sight — I took it off too soon —
Not thick enough. Back on the heat it goes.

Well, now I know. A second recipe’s at hand;
It wants farina?! I’ve got oatmeal. Shush.
Vanilla, a bit of ginger, cardamom seed
Ground to powder by a rocking pestle.
Mix, stir, thicken, turn out at last,
Mango burfi is loosed upon the world.

(…What recipe, so delicious and so sweet
Slouches towards the icebox to be breakfast?)

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Beef in Harpoon Cider:
#1 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 02:45 PM:

What, no onions? Needs onions.

#2 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 02:47 PM:

Sorry; missed your note. But the onions are more important than the other veggies.

#3 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 02:48 PM:

I'd sooner give up alcohol than onions.

#4 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 02:49 PM:

Those of you who are familiar with Strongbow cider, or French cidre doux or cidre brut, what would be the best substitute? I don't know what Harpoon tastes like and doubt it is readily available here.

#5 ::: Barry ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 03:46 PM:

I've had good success braising chicken and pork (occasionally beef) with Woodchuck cider. It's not quite as strong-tasting as Strongbow. One verion of Woodchuck is oak-aged; it's rare in Michigan, but it's *great* for cooking.

#6 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 03:51 PM:

Dammit! That was the last thing I needed to see while sitting here, trying to figure out -something- for lunch!

#7 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 04:07 PM:

It can be tomorrow's lunch. I bet it will work pretty well the next day to put some meat mixture in one tupperware thingy, some noodles in another, and combine-n-wave.

Now I've got to think about who sells good apple cider here in Washington.

#8 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 04:21 PM:

PS to #4: here being Belgium. Sorry for not mentioning it.

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 04:39 PM:

Harpoon cider?

"From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned ale."

#10 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 04:45 PM:

This looks remarkably tempting, and, more importantly, easy. I might have to try it this weekend.

Serge, it's not a white ale; you can relax.

#11 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 04:53 PM:

@KeithS:
Ahab to shake my head at that, but admit it made me Ishmael.

#12 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:11 PM:

Pendrift @ #11, It made me Queequeg in my boots, though.

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:28 PM:

Theophylact, you're right. Onion is necessary, though not primary.

Pendrift, it's a bright, straightforward apple cider, semi-dry, not too tart, no real bitterness, lots of flavor. It cooks down well without losing its balance.

Serge, that makes my brain hurt, in a good way.

#14 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:38 PM:

If you do very nearly the same thing with a decent lager or ale - definitely with plenty of onions sauteed with the beef - you pretty much have Carbonade Flamande, an insanely good beef stew.

Leave out the veggies and instead of noodles, you can add dumplings in to cook in the stock towards the end of cooking.

#15 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:48 PM:

I can't imagine why you would pollute this with boring, nasty, regular onions when you could use shallots instead.

This really does sound delicious, though.

(NOT an onion fan. Bleh.)

#16 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:53 PM:

Could one use homemade cider, from unpasteurized apple juice that one discovers has incurred a startling transformation in the cooler?
[Ah, memories of youth...]
I raise my Flask to the appreciators of fine cooking and fine literature.

#17 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 05:55 PM:

Teresa @13: Sounds like a basic French cidre doux will do the trick, then.

Clifton @14: The choice of beer will have a huge influence on taste. Some people swear by a gueuze (or a kriek), others recommend darker ales or even Trappists. Chimay is cited most often, but I tend to find the end result a shade too bitter.
The trick is testing different beers until you find the one that suits your palate.

#18 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 06:27 PM:

Linkmeister @12,

I'm thinking about this recipe for tomorrow. By then I'll have Pequod out fresh veggies at the farmers' market, and I can already imagine how its Melville fill the house.

#19 ::: punkrockhockeymom ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 06:50 PM:

I'm SO cooking this over the weekend. Yum.

#20 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 07:02 PM:

Would this work with a perry rather than a cider? Given that perry is lighter in flavour than cider.

A weissbier, as Serge seems to be suggesting, would be too tart.

#21 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 07:11 PM:

Um, are we talking hard cider?

Can one substitute hard lemonade?

(Stands aside and waits for gagging sounds.)

#22 ::: takuan ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 07:26 PM:

carbonade flamande, noted, filed, salivating to try.

#23 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 07:43 PM:

Teresa, I applaud your taste in cider. Harpoon Cider is IMHO the best mass-produced cider available on the East Coast today. (Now I really need to track down Barry @5's Woodchuck oak-aged cider and give it a shot. That sounds /delicious/.)

I'm going to have to give this a try with the leftover cider from the party a couple weeks ago. It's not Harpoon Cider -- it's Newton's Folly or whatever from Trader Joe's, which I picked because it was cheap and was pleased to discover it tasty -- and it should do for this application. Mmmmmmm.

Stefan Jones @21: Lemonade and beef? (Now preserved lemons, maybe.) I'm just not seeing it. Now, a similar dish with chicken or fish and hard lemonade, that I could see working (but only if real lemons were harmed in the production of your hard lemonade).

Fragano Ledgister @20: I'm skeptical about perry with beef, but I bet it would go wonderfully with pork. To be fair, the cider would go well with pork too.

Angiportus @16: Could one use that? I say hell yes.

One of the oddest experiences I've ever had was that of cracking open a bottle of orange juice bought from a tiny little backwoods resort convenience store in the Sierras on my way back to civilization from hiking. I heard a rather louder fizz than usual when I opened it, got a strong smell of yeast off it, and tasted it and found it carbonated, and yes, in fact, somewhat alcoholic. It makes sense that such fermentation could occur, but it was still... surprising to me when I noticed it. It was tasty, though. Having had that experience, I'm a little surprised no one makes hard orange juice commercially.

#24 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 07:43 PM:

takuan @ #22, you mean fileted?

#25 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 08:18 PM:

takuan, 22: Some recipes leave out the bread*. I, however, never skip this step. I've made carbonnade à la flamande successfully with Guinness, Shiner (back when it was still independent; I don't drink it now), and both Red and Blue Chimay. They're all good.

*The best bread you can find, sliced no thinner than 1", liberally slathered with Dijon or other good mustard, put on top of the stew like a jigsaw puzzle before you put it in the oven. If you do this, leave the lid off the pot.

#26 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 11:31 PM:

Kevin @ 23

For me, the best cider is Bulmers, with Magners* a close second. I draw the line at the tap, because those bottles are just not the same. The flavor is off. So Magners draft only for me, in all 3 places in town where I can get it.**

Barry's @5 is sold as Woodchuck "limited reserve" with a blue label. It's avalible at Hyvee in the middle of MO, though, so it's not too exclusive. And it's quite tasty. I may pick some up to try this for this weekend or for dinner next week. The oak would probably give this just the right note.

*Yes, I know. The water makes a difference. And there's nothing quite like drinking Bulmers in a itty bitty pub north of Waterford.

**You'd think, in a town that still has an Irish quarter, that we'd be able to get Bulmers in more places. But no. No such luck. Don't even get me started about the abomination that is Strongbow from a can.

#27 ::: Madeline ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2009, 11:33 PM:

There's this weekend's post-Japanese-lesson dinner!. Perfect for the weather that just rolled in. Thank you.

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 12:17 AM:

Fragano, perry is lighter, but it concentrates as it cooks down. I think it would be good with beef, even better with veal.

#29 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 12:19 AM:

Hmmm. I was inspired to buy some stew beef this afternoon, but that might be too fatty. I might try it tomorrow anyway, if I still have cider in the cupboard or fridge.

How well does this keep? I can tell that it will be too much for one meal for one person.

#30 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 12:46 AM:

I wish we were not going out of town this weekend, but I've been so looking forward to a trip. I want to make this recipe.

Perhaps next weekend.

#31 ::: Dr Paisley ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 12:53 AM:

any butterable pasta will do

Out of curiosity, what pasta isn't butterable? Inquiring minds (and the ghost of Marlon Brando) want to know.

#32 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 02:18 AM:

TexAnne @ 25:

Guiness worked well for me also. As an experiment, I once sacrificed a bottle of Old Rasputin Imperial Russian Stout to a beef stew; the result was delicious, so I tried some other stouts and porters. Mactarnahan Black Watch Cream Porter also worked quite well. On the lighter side, Arrogant Bastard Ale was good, but that may just have been because of its inherent orneriness.

For those with a taste for hops, IPAs produce a very nice stew as well; the bitterness melds in nicely and doesn't, at least to my taste, overpower the meat or the sweetness of the veggies.

#33 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 06:59 AM:

As Clifton says @#14, this is basically a carbonnade, and that's a technique hard to beat. Julia's is good but fussy. I'm fond of a variation by John Thorne that uses Guinness stout:

2 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed of fat and cubed
½ cup flour, seasoned with salt and black pepper
¼ cup good olive oil
2 large onions, one coarsely chopped and the other cut into bite-size pieces
1 12-ounce bottle of Guinness stout
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large piece of orange peel
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
chopped parsley to garnish

Put the seasoned flour in a brown paper bag. Add the cubes of beef and shake the bag to coat the meat with flour. Remove the meat, giving each piece a last shake to rid it of any surplus coating, and lay them out on a plate.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over a medium-hot flame. Then add the meat and quickly brown it on all sides, turning the pieces with a spatula to keep the flour coating from burning. During the last few minutes of this procedure, add the onion, letting it cook along with the meat until it is translucent and starting to brown. At this point, pour in the stout and add the carrot pieces, the orange peel, and the bay leaf. Keep the heat high to bring the stew up to a gentle simmer. A few bubbles should be making their way to the top, but don’t let it come close to boiling. Lower the heat to hold the temperature steady (a flame tamer may be needed) and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally.

At the end of the cooking time, discard the orange peel and bay leaf. The contents of the pot should be quite moist but not swimming in liquid. Put the dry mustard in a tea strainer or small sieve and sprinkle carefully over the stew. Stir it in along with the brown sugar. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if desired. Let the stew simmer a few more minutes before ladling out, sprinkling a little parsley onto each serving.

#34 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 07:16 AM:

TexAnne @25:

Pain d'épices (gingerbread or spice bread) is recommended in most recipes here.

#35 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 07:59 AM:

Pendrift, 34: Did you say you're a translator in Belgium? Mind if I ask which city and what languages? (I'm a French teacher who spent a year near Lille, is why I'm curious.)

American gingerbread isn't very much like Belgian gingerbread. Alas.

#36 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 09:33 AM:

You're right; it's basically a carbonnade. I don't think I've previously encountered the dish, but I can't be sure. My cooking brain carries on independent of the rest of me. All I do is record what happened.

#37 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: February 20, 2009, 05:32 PM:

theophylact @ 33: That sounds like a fussied-up version (orange peel? really?) of an Irish beef, lamb and Guinness stew that I now find I always think of as wake stew (Rikibeth knows why). Being an Irish stew, it involves copious amounts of potato and leek as well, but the liquid is Guinness and a little honey.

(And it will probably take another wake in our gaming circle to get me to cook 13 pounds of stew meat at a go again....)

#38 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 11:59 AM:

TexAnne @35: I sent you an email. The short answer is "Yes, French to English, near Mons."

What is American gingerbread like? If I've tried it, I don't recall the taste.

#39 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 01:01 PM:

#29:

I can't speak for the cider version -- it might suffer losses of nuance when stored & reheated -- but the ale/beer versions (to which I usually add some carmelized onion) seem to keep about as well as anything under refrigeration or freezing, and make a swell filling for a burrito (perhaps with a bit of reduction in the microwave), Cornish pastry, or savory pie a few days later.

#40 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 02:48 PM:

Pendrift @38:
What is American gingerbread like?

American gingerbread is closest to German printen in flavor, but generally firmer in texture. Many people compare spekulaas or kruidnoten to the flavor, but gingerbread has a different spice mix.

#41 ::: Madeline ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 05:11 PM:

Okay. I picked up three different brands of cider, and any advice on which to choose for this project would be appreciated. I've got: Cracked Apple, Stowford Press, and Bulmer's. Thoughts?

Also, should I boil the potatoes in the cider with the beef, niku jaga style?

#42 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 06:18 PM:

That'll make yer Ramen sit up and beg.

(Blasphemy!)

#43 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 06:29 PM:

Teresa, don't feel put off by having reinvented a classic! Sometimes one follows a recipe, other times one follows an impulse. If it tastes good, then you've got something to go on with, whether or not somebody else previously did something similar. That's the way I cook too.

#44 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 06:56 PM:

sisuile @26:

For me, the best cider is Bulmers, with Magners* a close second. I draw the line at the tap, because those bottles are just not the same. The flavor is off. So Magners draft only for me, in all 3 places in town where I can get it.**

It's only recently that I've started visiting the Irish pub up the street from me, where I can get Magners on tap. It's very good, and definitely better than bottled, though I want it to be just a touch more sour, I think. (Guinness is also, unsurprisingly, better draft, though drawing it is a bit of a process, and watching the bartenders do it always makes me smile.) I haven't seen nor heard of Bulmer's here in Boston, oddly -- I'll have to keep an eye out for it. (Brief Googling suggests that what's sold as Magner's here is sold as Bulmer's in Ireland, and what's sold as Bulmer's here is the English cider of that name?)

Barry's @5 is sold as Woodchuck "limited reserve" with a blue label. It's avalible at Hyvee in the middle of MO, though, so it's not too exclusive. And it's quite tasty. I may pick some up to try this for this weekend or for dinner next week. The oak would probably give this just the right note.

At a Hy-vee in Missouri? Wow, I'm impressed. I didn't know Woodchuck distributed that far inland, for starters. I'm glad to know it's reasonable to find -- come August or September I'll have to start looking for it in the liquor stores around here.

#45 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 21, 2009, 10:02 PM:

Kevin Riggle: I've been drinking Woodchuck, in Calif., for 20+ years (and when did 20+ become a normal unit of the past, at least for me?).

So that's a datum-point for distribution.

#46 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2009, 11:26 AM:

Clifton, I'm not put off at all. I don't know how my cooking brain comes up with stuff. I just watch and provide the hands. (It could be that my cooking brain is miffed, but I'll never find out.)

#47 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2009, 11:26 AM:

I'm off to try Theophylact's recipe ...

#48 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2009, 12:49 PM:

Hmmm. We didn't have any Guinness, so Patrick brought me the next-darkest beer in our stash, a Smuttynose Winter Ale. Don't think I'll be using it again. Winter Ales are traditionally dark, strong, and flavored with odd things. Whatever Smuttynose puts in theirs is not only persistently bitter, but makes my tongue and lips burn and go numb.

Foo.

The beef should be good. I just hate losing the gravy that's formed around it, which otherwise would be as good as it is beautiful.

#49 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2009, 10:00 PM:

I just finished making this. I had to make a couple substitutions due to what I had on hand, but consider this a definite recommendation.

Also, my gravy-making technique stinks.

#50 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 12:30 AM:

(This is just to say what I did this evening:)

Swirling and churning in a pan on the fire,
A can of mango puree and a cup of sugar;
While two cups of ricotta sizzle alongside,
Perhaps in ghee, or oil, or some butter.

The two pans sit and glower, side by side;
Instructions say the ricotta should be browned
And the mango thick. I'm not convinced:
The one lacks all color, the other's full of passion
But no consistency. Surely some burnination is at hand.
Things boil down, the saute cannot hold.

The final mixing! (I've run out of patience
and anyway I have to work on Monday.)
Trouble's in sight -- I took it off too soon --
Not thick enough. Back on the heat it goes.

Well, now I know. A second recipe's at hand;
It wants farina?! I've got oatmeal. Shush.
Vanilla, a bit of ginger, cardamom seed
Ground to powder by a rocking pestle.
Mix, stir, thicken, turn out at last,
Mango burfi is loosed upon the world.

(...What recipe, so delicious and so sweet
Slouches towards the icebox to be breakfast?)

#51 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 12:48 AM:

Teresa: I cook much like that. I'd say, "I could have told you that in Poughkeepsie" about the holiday ale, but it's one of those things.

On the subject of holiday ales, a lot of the herbal notes don't do well from the heat. I suspect it's because of the alcohol in the beer acting to extract some of the essential oils, and making parts of the spice which wouldn't, ordinarily, be available to the heat available.

#52 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 04:11 PM:

This doesn't work particularly well with Woodchuck Amber (the grocery store was out of any truly dry ciders. Mardi Gras, I assume. They had Woodchuck Amber and Granny Smith left), It was too sweet for my tastes. I'll see if I can't get Harpoon at the non-ghetto grocery store in the other direction and try again.

Kevin @ 44 Magners in the states is the Irish cider called Bulmers sold in the states. I maintain that the travel does it no good. Mr. Magners and Mr. Bulmers had a historical trademark issue going on, as do Bulmers Cider/HP Bulmers (makers of Strongbow) and Bulmers Ltd. (makers of Bulmers/Magners).

#53 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 06:55 PM:

Andrew, that is splendid, and it's now on the front page.

KeithS, here's a good, easy way to thicken pan juices: pour yourself a good glass of dry sherry. Don't drink it. Instead, scoop up a modestly mounded tablespoonful of cornstarch, add it to the sherry, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour that slowly into the pan, stirring or whisking as you go, and continue simmering and stirring until the liquids in the pan turn thick and clear.

A glass of sherry is about the right volume of liquid, and a great many dishes are improved by adding a shot of dry sherry and a knob of butter just before serving.

Terry: all true. The final product turned out considerably better than I expected it would when I wrote my previous comment. I think you're right about the herbal tinctures breaking down when heated, because the long slow simmering dispelled a lot of the bitterness and the odd tongue-numbing qualities.

#54 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 07:18 PM:

I was going to ask how many pats are in a knob of butter (figuring it was somewhere between "a few" and "several") but then I found that someone else besides me cares about non-parametric cooking measurements. heh.

#55 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 08:57 PM:

Terry @45: Good to know. I do usually expect that things I know in Boston will also turn up in California, but I'm surprised when they make it to places in the middle of the country. Perhaps I underestimate its urbanization or just plain connectedness to the rest of the world, since it always seemed so isolated when I was growing up there.

sisuile @52: Thanks for the clarification. Maybe they'll have it straightened out in a century or two. Truly a headache-inducing mess -- pass the cider, whatever it's called?

#56 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2009, 10:10 PM:

Kevin: I think the reason is TJ's. They were carrying it when it was, "Vermont Cider", ca. 1988. When it changed to Woodchuck they kept carrying it. It's since moved to more run of the mill shops.

#57 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 12:06 AM:

Terry @ 56 Woodchuck and other ciders predate TJ by several years out here in the middle midwest, 5-7 at least. As do Lambics, Chimay, trappist ales, etc. This is a Beer Town, with 50 breweries at it's height. We don't have nearly that many now, but we still know how to enjoy good alcohol. Our access to wide and varied potables (and edibles) comes more from the 3 million people here, moving in and out of the area, and their insistence on having the foods and drinks that they're used to.

Kevin @ 55 If you're in a city, you can probably get it. If you're in the middle of nowhere, depends on the local tastes.

#58 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 02:15 AM:

Sisuile: TJ's was a local set of stores (the first one is four miles walk from my house). They go back to the early '70s. Ciders, lambics, belgian ales, doppels, bocks, wiesse biers, etc. in the area, all predate them

They went national when they were bought out by someone, about 1993.


Nowadays the selection is a bit more pedestrian, but there are a lot more stores with quirky bottles. And a lot more small/local breweries.

But they (esp. when Joe was still running them) used to have a splendid selection of the strange and wonderful. In '87 I got a second rate '79 burgundy for $5.00. I used to get the most divine swiss beer, "Hopfenperle" which was a lager, so strongly hopped it was almost too warm at fridge temps. It wanted to be almost frozen, and then got aggressive.

Warm it was like swallowing turpentine.

I miss it it, it was the best summer beer I've ever had.

LA wasn't a big beer town (with only three or four major breweries, the last of which, Brew 102, went under in about '80, but buy then we had a few brew pubs (such as Crown City) in Pasadena, about 1/2 mile from the orginal TJ's, and I can think of 30, or so, now. There are probably more.

#59 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 04:24 AM:

Teresa@53:

Andrew, that is splendid, and it's now on the front page.
It is? Where?

#60 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 09:51 AM:

Indeed you do live in a beer burg, sisuile--my mother remembers when people could say it was "First in booze, first in shoes, and last in the American League"--and I notice that Griesedieck Beer is making a return. My Aunt Helen's husband always said he knew it was good beer but could never get past the sound of the name.

#61 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 10:51 AM:

David Goldfarb (59): As an addendum to this post.

#62 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 10:56 AM:

Teresa@53 -- thank you!

I try out the food product itself on people tonight... I *really* didn't reduce enough moisture out, but it tastes good.

#63 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 01:22 PM:

Teresa @ 53:

I've heard a lot of tricks, but never that one before. I'll have to keep it in mind.

Earl Cooley III @ 54:

The dash and pinch measuring spoons you see sometimes drive me nuts. Why do you need to measure those? Then again, I'm one of those people for whom "some" can be an reasonable quantity measurement when cooking.

#64 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 08:45 PM:

Fidelio@ 60, you mean, that wasn't this year? ;) I swear, our sports teams have forgotten how to play.

Many of the old breweries in town (or their not-quite-forgotten names) are making a comeback in the microbrewing movement. It makes the historian in me happy. In the history museum, there is a 1872 map showing marking the locations of all 53 breweries. I'm waiting for the companion/overlay with the brewpubs.

#65 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2009, 10:26 PM:

sisuile @57: I'm in Boston -- I should be fine. By your account it sounds like I might even be able to acquire some when I visit my parents, just a bit north of you, which was what really surprised me. I forget that the entire Midwest isn't as straightedge as where I grew up. :-)

I'm glad to hear that the breweries of old are being reborn as brewpubs -- now if somebody would just rescue Rolling Rock, we'd be all set!

#66 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2009, 05:57 AM:

I had no cider at home, so I used 2 bottles of Maredsous Triple and added 3 slices of spiced honey cake. It turned out lovely, with just the right hint of bitterness (although my husband found it a tad too bitter.)

#67 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2009, 10:31 AM:

Also, after using Teresa's technique @53 to great effect, I respectfully submit that any future collection of Fluorosphere recipes be called Making Gravy.

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