Time out Chicago Reviews The Book…And Gets It Right

Time out Chicago Reviews The Book…And Gets It Right

3Time Out Chicago writer Tim McCormick offers a succinct review of the book, with my favorite quote:

Who it’s for An experienced cook with a taste for beer. Some of the recipes, while streamlined, are better suited for your inner Julia Child than your inner Sandra Lee…..

We tried Pan-seared pilsner sirloin tips with herbed pecan orzo and shiitake–blue cheese sauce (recommended with a brown ale; we chose Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown Ale). One of the easier recipes in the book, it also proves that cooking with beer has added bonuses: Since we didn’t use the whole 12-ounce bottle, we were happy to polish off the remaining Veltins pils. And Saunders only says that “this rich beef dish pairs well with nut brown ale.” It’s up to us to figure out that a more caramelly ale like the Dogfish would cut nicely into the tangy blue cheese…”

McCormick got it right – it is indeed up to you to figure out exactly how you want to pair the dish with a beer style to your taste. For example, in the recipe below, some cooks might use less of the blue cheese in making the sauce, and add more shiitake mushrooms instead, making the dark lager a better alternative. It’s your palate, your kitchen, your choice, so have fun with it.

Pan-Seared Pilsner Sirloin Tips with Herbed-Pecan Orzo and Shiitake-Blue Cheese Sauce

This recipe was contributed by a finalist in the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s first Cooking with Beer Challenge, Veronica Callaghan of Glastonbury, CT, produced this rich beef dish that pairs well with nut brown ale or dark lager.

Sirloin Tips:

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed beef sirloin tips
  • 1 cup pilsner
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Herbed-Pecan Orzo:

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces pilsner
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Rosemary sprigs for garnish

  1. Place sirloin tips in large zipper-lock plastic bag. Add pilsner, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Marinate at least 20 minutes.
  2. Cook orzo in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and toss with butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in herbs and pecans. Cover with foil and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Remove sirloin tips from marinade, reserving marinade for later use. Add meat to pan and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until slight crust is formed and meat is just browned. Remove meat to a plate and cover with foil.
  4. Melt butter in same pan used to cook meat. Add shallot and mushrooms. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until just tender. Stir in pilsner and cook until almost completely absorbed. Sprinkle salt and flour over mushrooms, stirring to coat. Pour in reserved marinade. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
  5. Return meat to pan, pouring in any accumulated juices from the plate, and cook 4-5 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness.
  6. Arrange Herbed-Pecan Orzo on large serving platter. Fan sirloin tips over orzo and pour sauce over top. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with fresh rosemary.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Suggested pairing: American dark lager or nut brown ale

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