Fight the Chill with the Grill (and Boston Lager)!
When temperatures drop and the sun starts setting earlier, there’s an army of brave souls that emerge with a passion for grilling outdoors, and I have to admit that I’m one of them. So when the flakes started falling here in Boston this past weekend, I was grilling outside with a Boston Lager in hand and, of course, beer infused in the recipe.
This winter, we’re teaming up with Chef Vinson Petrillo who is known for his boundary pushing dishes (you may have seen him on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’), to create unexpected winter grilling recipes enhanced by Boston Lager.
We’re hoping these will inspire you to get outside this winter to grill and when you do, we want you to share your photos with us! Join in via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #GrillingWithSam to share your favorite winter grilling photos, tips, stories and recipes. Those who post using the hashtag will be entered to win prizes, including a Samuel Adams customized Weber® grill (like the one in the photo above) and a Samuel Adams prize pack.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager on its own is the perfect cold weather beer. It’s a full-bodied, robust brew with a rich malty character, balanced by spicy hop and sweet caramel notes. And when you combine Boston Lager with grilling, there’s really nothing better. People tend to be a lot more daring when they are outside grilling than when they have a saucepan in the kitchen, hence a perfect time to incorporate beer! From a flavor perspective, grilling can give food a little bit of caramelized sweetness from the flames. Boston Lager’s maltiness compliments this slight sweetness while the hops in the beer give a little spice to balance everything out.
So don’t be daunted by the cold. There’s no better time to be a winter griller and no better way to grill than with beer. Head outside to fight the winter chill with a grill. Below is one of Chef Vinson’s favorite Samuel Adams Boston Lager winter grilling recipes. We hope you’ll try it out! Don’t forget to share your photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #GrillingWithSam!
Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brined and Grilled Pork Rack
1 rack of pork (3-4 pounds, bone on, with 6 bones attached)
2 cups apple cider
2 cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Canola oil for coating the pork
For the Samuel Adams Boston Lager Brine:
Heat all the ingredients together, minus the pork and canola oil, in a saucepan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, pour it into a container that can fit in an ice bath. Cool the mixture in an ice bath until the liquid is at 40 degrees F.
For the Grilled Pork Rack:
Place the pork rack in the brine and refrigerate overnight for at least 12 hrs. When the pork is fully brined, remove from the brine and discard the brining liquid.
Place the pork on a cooling rack so it can dry, and let it come to room temperature before grilling.
Light a grill with coals, but be sure to offset the coals slightly, making one side hotter than the other.
Portion the pork rack into six 1-1 ½ inch chops. Generously season with salt and pepper and a light coating of canola oil, so the pork sears but doesn’t stick to the grill.
Place the pork on the hot side of the lighted grill and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side (until it begins to brown). Be sure to move the pork often to prevent flare-ups. After the pork chops cook for 2 minutes on each side, move them to the cooler side of the grill and turn them every 2 minutes. The pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 140-145 degrees F. Once done, take the pork chops off the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Samuel Adams Apple Butter.
Samuel Adams Apple Butter
2 ½ cups Samuel Adams Boston Lager
6 Honeycrisp apples
3 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pinches Penzy apple pie seasoning
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, kept cold
Salt and pepper to taste
Gather a cast-iron pan or a heavy skillet that can be used on the grill.
Peel and core the apples, cut them in half, then cut each half into four pieces. This should result in a total of eight pieces per apple. Peel and slice the onions evenly.
Add the onions, apples, apple pie seasoning and a pinch of salt to the pan, and sweat them until translucent. Once the onions are translucent, add the Samuel Adams Boston Lager and reduce by half. Once reduced, take the mixture off the heat and slowly start adding the cold butter, stirring with a whisk. Add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, taking caution not to break the sauce. Once all of the butter is added, you’ll have apple butter for the pork chops.