It’s the middle of October and now is the time to bring out the sweaters, blankets and beer mugs—because October is the month for Beer Fests! What better way to celebrate the return of colder days than with a nice big frosty mug of amber ale? If beer had a best friend, it would be cheddar and my new favorite place to obtain some fine gourmet cheese is right here in Hammonton. Bagliani’s market has an entire section of its store dedicated to some of the most delicious and gourmet cheese I have ever had the privilege of tasting. The staff is very knowledgeable and eager to help you pick just the right block of cheese for your meal.
As I was picking out ingredients for my October Beef Fest meal, I came across the cheese aisle and there it was: a beautiful hunk of sharp cheddar cheese made with stout. Looking at the hunk of cheese was like staring at a mosaic with the white cheddar beautifully marbled with the dark, chocolate brown stout. I knew I had to buy it first and think of a recipe later. Other cheese were definitely too good to pass up such as pesto, port and even toffee flavored cheeses. The variety was endless and very enticing, surely many a meal will be born from this aisle alone!
So in order to combine the two ideas I had for my grocery items, I decided to make a delicious chili made with beer and along with it serve a cheesy beer bread. When my husband came home to this amazing Oktoberfest feast, he simply said that he didn’t know what he did, but he would keep doing it if it meant more beer fests were in his future! Again, it’s guy food…and as we dug into our meal of beef, beer and bread we both realized there was only one thing missing…bacon of course! So feel free to add some chunks of cooked bacon to the chili or beer bread when you try these recipes and enjoy!
inspired by Bon Appetit
1 tblsp ground cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1.5 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 12-ounce bottle dark beer (such as stout)
Chopped green onions
Coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Sauté beef in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking up with spoon, about 8 minutes. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, all bell peppers. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add mixture to pot with meat. Mix in spices. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, and beer. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated up to 2 days (or freeze up to 1 month). Rewarm over medium-low heat.
Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and cheese. We topped ours with stout cheddar crumbles.
This cheesy beer bread was absolutely delicious and so easy to make…you’ll be proud to brag that you made this from scratch and no one has to know how easy it really was! I used Sam Adam’s Octoberfest to make this, but you can use any lager such as Yuengling. The melted butter on top provided a wonderfully moist texture to this quick bread. This was the recipe I had in mind when I brought home my stout cheddar and it was a match made in heaven!
Cheesy Beer Bread
inspired by Bon Appetit
3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
12 oz. bottle of lager or stout (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan for baking.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder.
Whisk to combine well.
Add cheese and whisk to combine.
Slowly add beer to dry ingredients and stir lightly until combined.
Knead dough lightly until it just comes together.
Place into prepared loaf pan and pour melted butter over top.
Place in oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.